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Judge: Its Time to Act on Water Quality

John Pemble
Fmr. Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge in Iowa Public Radio's Des Moines studio

The Democratic candidate for U. S. Senate says efforts to improve Iowa’s water quality have been put off too long. Former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge owns a cow-calf operation in Monroe County. 725 Iowa waterways are classified as “impaired,” according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Judge says it’s a huge issue.

"We are a heavily tilled state. We are a state that does have a lot of run-off. I think it's time we have to own that, own that fact. We've got to start developing serious programs to curb the water runoff off of our farm fields and start to clean up our water," she says. 

Judge says any solution will involve landowners and the state and federal government. She says the next farm bill must include strong components for conservation and water quality. 

Judget once served on the board of the Iowa Partnership for Clean Water, a group opposing the lawsuit filed by Des Moines Waterworks against upstream draining districts for the cost of removing nitrates from the city's water supply. 

During this hour of River to River, Judge talks with host Ben Kieffer. During the show Thursday he also spoke with Dr. Terry Wahls of the University of Iowa about a new research grant and study she's conducting to evaluate how lifestyle and diet modifications can be used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk