Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement members celebrate the 26th county to call for changes to the factory farm industry

Waterloo, IA – This morning the Black Hawk county board of supervisors passed a resolution that petitions the Governor and Iowa legislature for a moratorium on new or expanding factory farms in the state. A moratorium would stop all construction of new or expanding factory farms.

Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement call this resolution a step in the right direction in the statewide fight for clean water.

“If we want clean water in Iowa we need a moratorium on factory farms. We have over 10,000 factory farms and hundreds more go up each year,” said Margaret Whiting a Iowa CCI member and Black Hawk resident. “It’s time to stop construction of factory farms and get serious about cleaning up our water.”

This makes Black Hawk county the 26th county to pass a resolution calling for change to industrial agriculture and specifically the factory farm industry.

“It’s time for even more counties to take a stand like Black Hawk county did this morning. We won’t get clean water by doing nothing,” said Ava Auen-Ryan, an organizer at Iowa CCI. “These resolutions show the Governor and elected state officials that Iowans have had enough, and we want them to take Iowa’s water crisis seriously. That means a moratorium.”

Don’t miss out out: learn about our lawsuit and how we turn the tide for clean water

At the end of March, we sued the state for failing to protect our right to clean water. Now we are heading out to connect with folks from across the state who are ready to turn the tide for clean water.

These are meetings you won’t want to miss!

At these community meetings, you’ll learn:

  • the history behind the lawsuit and how this ties into our existing moratorium campaign
  • the details about our game changing public trust doctrine lawsuit
  • ways to connect with others in your area to plug into the statewide movement saying YES to clean water and NO MORE factory farms!

Check out where we are hosting these meetings below and be sure to RSVP for the meeting nearest you.

Waterloo, April 23 @ 6:30 PM 
Waterloo Center for the Arts – Visual Arts Studio
225 Commercial Street Waterloo, IA 50701
RSVP for the Waterloo location here.

Nevada, April 25 @ 7 PM 
Nevada Public Library
631 K Ave. Nevada, IA 50201
RSVP for the Nevada location here.

Iowa City, May 1 @ 6:30 PM 
Catholic Worker House
1414 Sycamore St. Iowa City, IA 52240
RSVP for the Iowa City location here.

Davenport, May 8 @ 6:30 PM 
Location TBD
RSVP for the Davenport location here.

Sioux City, May 9 @ 6:30 PM
First Unitarian Church
2508 Jackson St. Sioux City, IA 51104
RSVP for the Sioux City location here.

Rockwell City, May 14 @ 6:30 PM 
Rockwell City Community Center
424 Main Street Rockwell City, IA 50579
RSVP for the Rockwell City location here.

Clear Lake, May 16 @ 6:30 PM
Clear Lake Public Library
200 N 4th St. Clear Lake, IA 50428
RSVP for the Clear Lake location here.

Decorah, May 21 @ 6:30 PM
The Lingonberry
218 W Water St. Decorah, IA 52101
RSVP for the Decorah location here.

We are hitting so many places because we want to talk to as many folks as possible about our clean water fight – we need everybody in.

RSVP for the roadshow closest to you and bring your friends!

Join, donate, chip in now to support this legal action – let’s turn the tide for clean water!



DMWW Lawsuit Not Only Protects Ratepayers But Protects Water Quality Across The State 

Des Moines, IA.  Today Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) members praised Bill Stowe and the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) for taking a big step forward in Iowa’s fight for clean water by voting to file a lawsuit against 3 Iowa counties that manage polluting drainage districts. By pursuing this lawsuit, DMWW is forcing the hand of the state and Iowa DNR to act to protect our waterways, rather than siding with corporate factory farm interests.

“We’re in this situation today because Farm Bureau and other commodity groups, many of our legislators, our Governor and the Iowa DNR fight back against any attempt to enforce the Clean Water Act for factory farm polluters,” said Larry Ginter, retired family farmer from Rhodes, Iowa. “Bravo to Bill Stowe and the Des Moines Water Works for taking this powerful step forward to begin cleaning up our water.”

“As a Des Moines Water Works ratepayer I’m very happy they have made the decision to make polluters pay to clean up their own mess.”  Said Cherie Mortice, Iowa CCI Board President, retired teacher and Des Moines resident.  “The people of Des Moines and surrounding areas should not have to pay increased water bills for factory farm pollution upstream.

Iowa had 630 polluted waterways in 2012 – the highest number of recorded polluted waterways since Iowa began keeping track in 1998.  This number has increased from a baseline of just 159 waterways in 1998, and has nearly doubled since 2006 alone. These numbers make it clear that Iowa’s voluntary nutrient reduction strategy isn’t working for Iowa.

Iowa’s impaired waters: year of listing

No. of waters impaired but do not need TMDL: (IR Category 4):

Number of waters impaired & need TMDL (IR Category 5):

Total number of impaired water:

2012 (draft)

























EPA did not require list

EPA did not require list

EPA did not require list


(prior to EPA’s Integrated Reporting format)

(prior to EPA’s Integrated Reporting format)


*Final approved numbers of impaired waterways for 2012 was 630 impaired waterways

CCI members say one of the leading causes of Iowa’s water pollution is Iowa’s 21.6 million hogs that produce an estimated ten billion gallons of toxic manure every year.  The toxic manure is spread untreated on Iowa farmland.  From there it can run off into tile lines and drainage ditches, feeding directly into waterways across the state. By targeting specific counties that are contributors to this problem in the Raccoon River Watershed, DMWW is not only fighting for ratepayers but fighting to protect water quality all across Iowa.

Iowa CCI is a statewide, grassroots people’s action group that uses community organizing to win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics, and polluters.

Learn more


Join the Fight

Factory farm proposing to build near you? Have concerns about an existing facility? We can work with you and your community to fight back and stand up for clean air and water and your quality of life.