This new position will conduct outreach to Iowa municipalities and other regulated industries to show how engagement in watershed partnerships to achieve nutrient reduction goals can increase their operational flexibility and lower their costs. Watershed partnerships connect upstream farmers with regulated downstream communities to produce outcomes for cleaner water, reduce the risks of flooding, and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Success will be measured by the number of Iowa municipalities or industries that enter into agreements with the State to utilize the watershed strategy and the amount of public and private funding directed at watershed improvements that result. Four or five Iowa municipalities have already signed agreements with the Iowa DNR to do watershed work. Among those, and the new cities that participate, the position will also help connect their staff with farmer groups and other organizations that can produce and quantify reductions in the run-off of nitrogen, phosphorous, sediment or other pollutants of concern. A wide array of creative opportunities to build out watershed partnerships and relationships offers the chance to think outside the box, develop new funding streams through grants and new partnerships, and make a dramatic difference in water quality and management in Iowa. An emphasis of this position includes coordination and support for watershed coordinators and city personnel establishing watershed-focused work.
This position will report to the Director of Water Quality Partnerships, and will proactively engage with municipal leaders and staff, conservation organizations, state and local agencies, and the business community to fulfill the goal of increasing the number of cities and towns investing in better farm practices upstream.