In late summer, I would swim and stream-walk a small section of the Raccoon River. While sedimented for decades now, the water was clear in the shallows. For a few years now, the water is pea-green from edge-to-edge. For decades and worse now, this water has strongly contributed to a vast hypoxia zone in the Gulf.
In the 1980s, I wrote about the wisdom of the river, focusing on the Des Moines River as a living, very open metaphor for the essential streaming dynamic of the universe that is within us as well in the streaming of our body metabolism and thought.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Bottom Line On Iowa Water
NO CLEAN WATER IN STREAMS, EVER.
Yah, ever. Really.
Cleaning water costs big money in mitigation and puts land out of production.
Present levels of production and increasing production is essential for sustainability of Iowa ag.
Iowa ag has transitioned to industrialized ag. It is not the ag of the past.
“Sustainability” translates equally with survivability if you are either a little or big landowner/land exploiter. If you are a little landowner, you are being dragged in the tail of corporate ag, unless you want to go bankrupt. You might e able to mount a little organic local food farm, and sell pumpkins and pies and give rides and construct a maize, but if its corn and soy, no way.
The majority of landowners do not like the Federal EPA imposing regulations with regard to limits on chemical release from farmland. And guess what? You’re not doing it now, and nothing is happening to you. And like you realize well, mitigating water pollution by installing changes to your land will not make you $$$. And further guess what, the state and the federal government are in you hands, so nothing is going to happen to you.
So even if the state government imposes additional taxes on the general population of Iowa, OR diverts the 2010 $$$ designed more for the natural habitat, you will still not benefit financially. You might “mitigate” some of the public criticism, but I think you can live with that. Your public spokes-groups will be a little uncomfortable, but they have taken the marketing courses in how to tweak stained images.
Given this look into the future, you know your are not going to change en masse either fast or slow. So perhaps, taking pity on the masses, you encourage spending public $$$, not yours of course even though you are the major source of the problem, on treating the water that will never be cleaned.
The blog, IOWA WATER, has many ides on improving water quality. However, it is not an activist, political blog suggesting that we need to do this now. It is presented with the sense that there are answers but that they will not be enacted. The answers are here if you want them, but there is a realization that there is no use on getting all huffy about a needed change because it is not going to happen until there is that sense that comes with a longstanding drought. It will be a literal drought of rain but rather a severe public health concern that will then radically force a change and a step away from the myths that protect Iowa ag as feeding the world.
The IOWA WATER blog is more of a letter to the future documenting that we knew what to do way back then, but were unwilling to do it.