Water Conservation

Our relationship with water is intimate and essential. Many people appreciate lakes and streams for what they are and what they are capable of doing; others take water for granted.

"Sources of abundance and destruction, life and death, creativity and imagination, rivers, and the fresh flowing waters, are at the heart of human existence. ...Although rivers are only 0.2 percent of all the fresh water on Earth, they are vital carriers of water and nutrients to where they are needed. Rivers drain nearly 75% of the earth’s land surface. They provide habitat, nourishment and means of transport to countless organisms, not just humans."

--From the film "Troubled Waters"

Water Quality Matters To Us All

Water Quality Matters To Us All provides insite into the attitudes and practices of agencies and stakeholders involved in protecting Iowa's water quality. Based on listening sessions between 2008-2011 with farmers, urban residents, Soil and WAter Conservartion District commissioners, and field staff from Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Iowa Department of Natural Resoures, the book details the institutional, community, and individual impediments towards water conservation and curtailing nonpoint source pollution.

Download a PDF of Water Quality Matters To Us All here, or to request a free copy of the book, email: ilf@iastate.edu.



ILF Water-related Videos

"Incredible Wetlands" (23:18) explores the biologically productive, and diverse, nature of wetlands and the vital role they play to life on Earth. The film highlights several Iowans who are involved in wetland restoration or construction in Iowa. It explores the wealth of biodiversity in wetlands, their importance for migratory birds and others who call wetlands their home. 

-- 2014 Iowa Motion Picture Association Award Winner:
    Award of Acheivement for Documentary

"Out to the Lakes" (43:22) encourages viewers to think about water quality and their personal relationship with their local lake or water body. It addresses water quality through the perspective of lakes and the water bodies that feed them and offers insight into what Iowans know, or don't know, about water and water quality. 

--2012 Iowa Motion Picture Association award winner:
    Award of Achievement in Documentary
    Award of Achievement in Educational Production
    Award of Excellence in Music

The Iowa Learning Farms film "Troubled Waters" (26:21) explores rivers and the human relationship with them. The film calls attention to human attitudes and treatment of rivers, both good and bad. 

The film can be viewed in segments on YouTube.

--2011 Motion Picture Association award winner:
    Award of Excellence in Educational Production
    Award of Achievement for Script

    Award of Acheivement for Original Music Score

View other ILF water-related videos:

The Water is Life (8:05) video reminds the audience how important clean water is to the body, the community and the Earth.

We All Have a Place in the Watershed (9:05) defines watersheds and how humans interact within them.

To view other ILF vidoes, see the Videos page on this web site. To request a DVD of any of the ILF videos, email: ilf@iastate.edu


Iowa Learning Farms' publication series "It Begins With You."

Iowa Watersheds
Water Quality and Conservation Practices


Northwest Loess Hills

Deep Loess Hills

Des Moines Lobe Till Plain

Western Deep Loess and Drift

Eastern Deep Loess and Drift

Eastern Till Prairies 

Northern Mississippi Valley Loess Hills

Southern Thin Loess and Till Plain



Other publications in this series include:
Economics of Residue
The Cost of Soil Erosion

Transition to No-till
Cellulosic Biofuels and Your Farm

Language of Conservation

Strip-tillage Crop Management

A Whole Farm Approach

Urban Conservation Practices
Economics of Cover Crops


To receive printed copies of these handouts, email Iowa Learning Farms: ilf@iastate.edu

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