Virtual Thursday Forum: What’s in Your Water? Water Quality in Iowa (and Beyond)
- 12 a.m. - 11:58 p.m.
- All Ages
Maty St. Clair, Ben Peterson Professor of Chemistry
This Thursday Forum will explore the issue of water quality in Iowa. The forum will begin with a brief introduction to the history of water technology and regulation in the United States, including the Clean Water Act (1972) and Safe Drinking Water Act (1974). As a primarily agricultural state, Iowa’s most significant water quality issues include excess nutrients and bacteria. We will discuss the impacts of those pollutants on human health and the environment, examine efforts to assess the problem (including our own Coe Water Quality Lab) and review a recent lawsuit by Des Moines Water Works against drainage districts in northwestern Iowa. We also will assess the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, Iowa’s plan to reduce the impact of its contribution to the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone.” Finally, we will take a look at other headline-grabbing water-quality issues with contaminants such as lead, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals”) and viruses, with an eye toward anticipating future developments.