water

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

President Donald Trump issued an executive order Tuesday directing the Environmental Protection Agency to revise a controversial environmental rule opposed by many Midwest farm groups.

Trump ordered new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to formally revise the Obama Administration’s 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the U.S. Rule, which was meant to explain which rivers, streams and creeks are subject to regulation by the EPA.

Luke Runyon, file photo / Harvest Public Media

A federal court has sided with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and against environmental groups in a case the groups had hoped would hasten water clean-up efforts.

The Gulf Restoration Network and environmental groups from Mississippi River watershed states argued the EPA needs to enforce more specific water quality standards. But, on appeal, a U.S. District Court ruled the Clean Water Act leaves that authority to the states.

Iowa Environmental Council’s Susan Heathcote says that’s going to put more pressure on local efforts.

Fred Knapp / Harvest Public Media

A proposal that would jumpstart the chicken business in Nebraska has some residents concerned about the potential impact on the environment and are trying to block or delay its construction.

Costco, the warehouse retailer and grocery chain, plans to build a giant $300 million chicken slaughterhouse on the south side of the town of Fremont in eastern Nebraska.

Joscarfas / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita residents and businesses can expect to see a slight increase in their water and sewer rates next year.

The Wichita City Council approved a water rate increase of 4 percent, and a sewer rate increase of 5 percent for a combined 4.4 percent increase. It’s less than the rate increase approved last year.

mcdarius, flickr Creative Commons

A task force seeking a way to fund Gov. Brownback’s 50-year water plan appears close to recommending that a small percentage of state sales tax revenue be earmarked for up to $55 million a year in conservation projects.

Rep. Tom Sloan is a Lawrence Republican and a member of the task force. He agrees with the goal but fears the state’s budget problems will make any plan that diverts revenue a tough sell.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

When heavy rains wash through farm country, chemicals from agricultural fields spill into small tributaries and eventually make their way to the Gulf of Mexico. That’s created an environmental disaster. For Harvest Public Media’s special series “Watching Our Water,” Kristofor Husted reports on new research into combating the problem.

Farming in the fertile Midwest is tied to an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But scientists are studying new ways to lessen the Midwest’s environmental impact and improve water quality.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Agriculture is often blamed for the pollution in Midwestern rivers and streams. But there are other culprits for our dirty waters. Today, in the fourth installation of our series “Watching Our Water,” Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe looks at how cities respond to that pollution – and create some of it, too.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Excess fertilizer and pesticides have flowed from farm fields into our waterways for years. While federal regulations have successfully cut back some water pollution, they have little muscle in combating one of the Midwest’s biggest environmental problems.

On a gray day, just as the rain begins to fall, Roger Zylstra stops his red GMC Sierra pick-up truck on the side of the road and hops down into a ditch in Jasper County, Iowa. It takes two such stops before he unearths amid the tall weeds and grasses what he’s looking for.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Contaminated drinking water isn’t just a problem for Flint, Michigan. Many towns and cities across the Midwest and Great Plains face pollution seeping into their water supplies. A big part of the problem: farming and ranching.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Kansas’ main water resource is depleting faster than it can be refilled—but we as consumers have a significant stake in conserving what’s there. That’s the takeaway of a new Exploration Place exhibit that looks at the High Plains aquifer, and our relationship to it. KMUW’s Nadya Faulx takes us along on a tour.

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