Water and milk groups to work together on watershed improvement

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2014 - The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to promote increased cooperation and communication between the organizations in their efforts to make watershedlevel water quality improvements.

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The agreement marks a milestone in efforts to strengthen ties between urban and rural sectors on conservation activities to improve local water quality and the environment. The goal of the agreement is to encourage clean water agencies and nearby dairy farms to work together on these endeavors.

Potential projects include cooperation on building anaerobic digesters, which can use manure to generate electricity and reduce methane emissions, and increasing production of water quality benefits through the use of nutrient separation technologies and land management practices such as planting grass buffers near streams and using notill planting in fields.


Ken Kirk, NACWA executive director, (left) and
Jim Melhern, NMPF president and CEO (right)

“Forty-two years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, we have reached a point where we must look upstream in our watersheds to realize further water quality improvements,” says Ken Kirk, executive director of NACWA “This MOU will help to align the clean water and dairy communities around common and costeffective approaches to meet the future water quality and energy needs of this country while sustaining two critical industries.”

“It's more cost effective to produce water quality benefits upstream than downstream, which is why we're collaborating with others like NACWA who share the goal of encouraging best practices in order to maintain a quality water supply,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. 

In addition to encouraging partnerships at the watershed level, both national organizations have committed to working together to educate policy makers and regulators on the environmental and economic impacts of such collaborative efforts.

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