Dr. Chris Jones is a Research Engineer and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Iowa, IIHR. In addition to all his professorial duties, Dr. Jones posts a blog on water quality conundrums in Iowa, based on his research. His blog, while witty and fact-based, is blunt about Iowa's water quality problems and the role of agriculture in these problems. Here's how Dr. Jones describes his blog:
"Water quality is a difficult issue for Iowans. How do we balance the needs of an agricultural economy with the desire for clean water and a healthy environment? Better information is without a doubt the best place to start. I plan to explore the scientific nuances of Iowa's quest for better water quality, with a focus on how we can work together to make progress."
Case in point: Dr. Jones' June 9 2021 post, Ifyoucantbeatemjoinemitis. Here, Jones starts off with a quote from Pope John Paul II, “The dramatic threat of ecological breakdown is teaching us the extent to which greed and selfishness, both individual and collective, are contrary to the order of creation.”
Jones then takes a pointed look at the political causes of the elevated nitrate levels that are plaguing the water supply of the largest city in Iowa Des Moines. He also lays outs at what will be needed to fix these problems... and it's not the small fixes that are being funded in the watershed and receiving a lot of attention in the press. It will take major, sustained change.
Another of Jones' posts, Environmental Injustice, identifies the social injustice that results from the nitrate pollution in the Des Moines River. As we've documented in this blog previously (check out these three UMRR blog posts*) the Des Moines Waterworks sued three upstream counties on the Raccoon River to recoup the cost of treating nitrate pollution resulting from livestock and row crop agriculture. The suit was dismissed, leaving the Des Moines Waterworks to foot the bill for advanced treatment needed to remove nitrates to safe levels or find cleaner sources of water, Other downstream cities did not have the resources to do this. Click here to read a previous LWV UMRR Blog Post on Chris Jones' blog.
*Three UMRR blog posts on Des Moines lawsuit:
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region||