Cover Crops

Jennifer Terry, External Affairs Manager with Des Moines Water Works (DMWW), collaborated with unlikely allies from municipalities and private industry in the joint purchase of a cover crop seeder. DMWW is the largest drinking water utility in the state and serves 600,000 Iowans. Nitrogen and phosphorus run-off from the watershed into the source water makes treatment challenging. The utility spends up to $10,000 per day operating a nitrate removal facility when nitrate levels reach high levels—often in the spring. Cover crops are one way to minimize this nitrate-laden runoff. Image courtesy of Des Moines Water Works.