September 16, 2010
On September 15, the participants in The Johnson Foundation’s Freshwater Summit issued a report entitled Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges. Participants in the Summit held earlier this year included businesses, environmental non-profit organizations, a Western farming organization, and government officials, who reviewed the findings of numerous earlier meetings convened by The Johnson Freshwater Forum over the last two years. NSAC participated in these earlier deliberations.
The Call to Action cites evidence for a looming freshwater crisis that could affect the nation’s economy, the livability of our communities and health of our ecosystems. The report represents the consensus of Summit participants on principles and recommendations for actions to protect the nation’s freshwater resources from this crisis. In addition, many Summit participants made commitments to help achieve the goals of the Call to Action.
Recommendations for action with regard to agriculture included strong support for the Mississippi River Basin Initiative implemented by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, with a goal of reducing agricultural nutrient and sediment loading in the Basin. The Initiative includes projects that increase water quality monitoring and involve diverse stakeholders in local watershed improvements.
The Report also calls for continuation of the NRCS Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), an initiative which attempts to measure the outcomes of conservation systems and practices established with conservation program resources. It recommends that the next Farm Bill increase the resources for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, the Conservation Innovation Grant Program, and the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program.
Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment