Hello&and Welcome to History in the Making!
This is the first long-awaited official newsletter for IOWATER, Iowas citizen water quality monitoring network! What an exciting time to live in Iowa and take active roles in opportunities that will make our state a better place to live! Welcome, and thank you, for your dedication to a cleaner environment.
A Brief History Lesson
The IOWATER program has grown in scope and direction from humble beginnings in May of 1998. At that time, individuals who had long been striving for a statewide program gathered together to begin laying the framework for how such a program would work.
These initial individuals represented IOWATER's first advisory committee and include: Iowa DNR, Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Division of the Izaak Walton League,
Iowa Farm Bureau, and University of Iowa Water Hygienic Laboratory.
Original financial support for IOWATER, through the Iowa DNR, came from two sources. These start-up funds came from Federal Nonpoint Source management funds (U.S. EPA) and Sportfish Restoration fund (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa Fish & Wildlife Trust Fund).
First year activities resulted in hiring IOWATER's first coordinator, Todd Campbell, and development of the original IOWATER manual. During the 1999 season, the first IOWATER workshops were held at the Springbrook Conservation Education Center. For a more complete and detailed history, please visit the NEW IOWATER web site at: IOWATER.net
Rolling with the Changes&
Because of overwhelming public interest and the early success of the original IOWATER coalition, the program took on a major facelift in October of this last year. Iowa's overall water quality monitoring plan, under the direction of the Geological Survey Bureau, had gained the favorable attention of Governor Tom Vilsack and Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources Director Paul Johnson.
This is also when Rich Leopold was brought on as the new IOWATER coordinator, filling the position vacated by Todd Campbell's move to Texas. Logistical changes included moving IOWATER's "headquarters" to within the Geological Survey Bureau in Des Moines and adding many program partners to IOWATER's advisory committee (see partner list elsewhere in this publication).
Philosophical changes were perhaps even more dramatic in scope. IOWATER's mission, "To protect and improve Iowas water quality by establishing and supporting a statewide volunteer water monitoring program," took on the beliefs that:
Plan ® Action
How are we going to do it?
With the scope of the program changed, and with new partners and the enthusiastic interest of citizen volunteers and organizations, IOWATER is now setting sights on how this is going to work in the "real-world." Here's the plan:
To register for any of the above IOWATER workshops, or for more specific registration information, please contact the individuals listed.
What goes on at an IOWATER workshop? A variety of session settings, indoors and outdoors, will contain topics such as starting a monitoring plan, networking with others in your area concerned with water quality, and some muddy fun! Agenda items include:
Some workshops were planned to cover the state equally while others have specific "targets" in mind, such as a newly forming coalitions or historically successful models. Regardless of this, ALL workshops are open to any individual or group that is interested. Upon completion of the workshop, you will be a certified Level 1 IOWATER citizen monitor.
All workshops are based on ten hours training, usually set-up comfortably over two days. The hours of each may vary depending on location. Contact the listed individuals for actual times. Workshop registration fee is $25, which covers all program fees, meals, and testing equipment. Get involved - make a difference!
An exciting coalition has been made with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Iowa Environmental Council, and the Iowa Dept. of Ag. & Land Stewardship's Div. of Soil Conservation. The Boddy Media Group will present sessions at IOWATER workshops dealing with team building, working with volunteers, building local partnerships, and working with the media. IOWATER welcomes you!
All IOWATER monitors will receive:
Extra - TESTING!
Expanded Testing Parameters
In response to public feedback, additional testing parameters have been added to Level 1 training. Here's the list...
Future levels of monitoring may include other parameters such as; ammonia, alkalinity, coliforms, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), chloride, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and others as deemed necessary depending on locality.
The old IOWATER internet site, within the Environmental Protection Division of the Iowa DNR, was difficult for many to find. IOWATER now has a new site, which will be updated on a regular basis. Soon IOWATER monitors will be able to make contact with others sampling in Iowa, input and withdraw information from the IOWATER database, and access IOWATER's support materials such as benthic keys and newsletters. Stay tuned!
Our diversity is our strength! It is only through mutual respect and voluntary cooperation the dreams of this program are becoming a reality. The IOWATER Advisory Committee is a partnership effort of:
In closing, thank you again for being an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in this "history in the making." IOWATER is a vital component of the statewide monitoring program and will receive ongoing support. Iowa's citizens involved in the monitoring process will receive many benefits. We will become actively involved in local water-quality issues. We will make progress in attempting to restore Iowas natural water wonders. And we'll have a little fun and muddy exercise to boot! We are making a change on the land, for the better, for our childre and our children's children.
In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.