In spring 2014, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans to eliminate the Iowa Geological & Water Survey (IGWS). This organization is the only part of IDNR set for elimination. Those in the GIS and water-monitoring sections can move to Des Moines or lose their jobs. Those in the geology and groundwater section were given the “opportunity” to apply for jobs elsewhere.
These folks are losing jobs even though numerous employees in IDNR have much less seniority, expertise and experience. It is unclear why IGWS was singled out for elimination.
This decision will cost taxpayers financially and environmentally. These folks were some of the brightest, hardest-working and most innovative people in IDNR. IGWS’s mission to acquire information about the quality and quantity of mineral and water resources in Iowa began in 1855, and will end this spring.
The immediate impact of the loss of IGWS may be hard to discern, but longer term, the loss will be catastrophic. When you fill a glass of water, fish or swim in a lake or stream, or drive down a gravel road or highway in Iowa, keep in mind that the Iowa Survey was involved in finding these valuable water and mineral resources, and was trying to sustain and protect them.
Please contact your legislators and the director of IDNR and let them know you are concerned about the ongoing lack of advocacy and support for IGWS. It is too late for IGWS, but maybe we can prevent further losses of science-based groups within IDNR.
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