Letter to the editor: Finally, a water study in Solon

Looking north at Lake Macbride from Macbride Nature Recreation Area. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By Antonia Russo, Solon

Finally … a water study.

On May 26, 2022, Johnson County Supervisors approved the Joint Funding Agreement for Water Resource Investigations with U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey, Agreement No. 22NEJFA 138, in the amount of $310,700. Financial discussions for inclusion continue with Linn, Cedar, and Washington Counties. The U.S. Geological Survey will look at the Silurian Aquifer to ensure there’s enough water for community development needs — water availability and development requirements.

The explosive development in our area, failures of elected officials to address water concerns, and recognition of water pressures worldwide have frustrated many people. As we learned that obtaining potable water is now an obstacle for rural development, Solon residents were told to be “good neighbors” and “Iowa nice.” Tax dollars and Federal Clean Water Act funds were used to subsidize development. Our Supervisors issued building permits (and collected property taxes) in areas with known water problems and illegal septic system discharge into area watersheds. The DNR and EPA enabled everything. No one addressed the proposed massive development projects’ impact on our water.

The Supervisors’ vote to initiate a water study is a game changer. The last water study in Johnson County was done in 2005. We move into professional analysis of our water resources and developments’ impact on them. Water concerns are now a legitimate issue. Most importantly — newly available information will enable responsible decision making.

This is an important step forward for water protection.

This letter was originally published in Little Village issue 311.