In October, the Greater Des Moines Partnership appointed Larry James, counsel in Faegre Baker Daniels’ real estate practice, to co-chair a water quality task force. Recent articles in The Des Moines Register and the Des Moines Business Record detailed the efforts of James and co-chair Steve Bruere—president of the Peoples Co., a land brokerage and farm management firm—to address the most pressing water quality problem: farm field drainage that sends nitrates and phosphorus downstream into the Raccoon River and the drinking water supply. James told the Register there’s “no dispute” that the issue needs to be addressed, and that leaders in both the urban and rural communities are willing to work towards solutions.
"What’s holding us back is: How do we pay for that?" James said. "How do we pay for the practices that we know work to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in the water and retain the soil that’s the basis for our entire economy? How do we incentivize this—not in small increments, but a big change?"
James stressed to the Record that they hoped to find solutions by facilitating conversation among a number of voices.
"Steve and I don't have all the answers," James said. "We are getting people into the room together looking at this issue. Experts in the field from all across this country. Environmentalists, and the agriculture community, and the cities."
The Business Record article is available for subscribers.