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Iowa Ag Review

Abstract

Many of Iowa’s public lakes have been adversely affected by sediment, nutrients, or other nonpoint pollution. Iowa is grappling with the pressures of balancing federal water quality requirements, tight conservation budgets, concern for environmental preservation and restoration, and economic viability of rural areas. Efforts to improve water quality in many lakes are likely to entail significant economic costs. These costs can be public, such as when state resources are used to fund cleanup efforts, or private, such as altering land uses or farming practices, expanding municipal treatment facilities, or other investments. Before scarce funds are invested in cleaner water, it is imperative to know how much Iowans value cleaner water.