ACWA (Agriculture's Clean Water Alliance) is a group of leading ag retailers in west-central Iowa. The issue that brought ACWA together was water quality in the Raccoon River watershed. Similar concerns in the adjacent Des Moines River watershed led to our including it in our network.
The Public looks to agriculture to feed a growing world population from a static land resource base. But it's also become clear that people expect environmental performance from the business of agriculture.
ACWA is about finding the balance as we move forward.
Our primary mission as ag suppliers has historically been to help farmers improve agronomic performance by creating ACWA, we have made an agreement across the industry to internalize and implement a dual mission: blending optimal crop yield and profitability with the best environmental performance possible.
We can do this.
Farmers trust us as suppliers and consultants — we have strong relationships with them and can help inform their decision-making process.
And we know that many of the answers to our environmental challenges rest in science. The best way to start working is to collect of water quality data and find out what is really going on in the water.
The data will point to both challenges and solutions.
After several years of gathering and analyzing water monitoring data from our local streams, rivers and lakes, we began working with partners to implement, evaluate and demonstrate solutions.
Our water monitoring work continues, informing the selection and placement of solutions, evaluating and documenting their effectiveness, and making the case for applying public and private resources to implement water quality solutions.
It has taken a long time to recognize and understand these problems, but we do. It's also going to take us a long time to address them, but we can — and we will.