Podcast Ep. 29 - Chris Jones and Iowa's Water Quality Crisis

The "Real Population" map from his blog that put Chris Jones "on the map."

"I'm not against farming. I'm against pollution." ~Chris Jones

Chris Jones is a research engineer at the University of Iowa where he manages the state's water quality monitoring system. But he is probably best known for his blog, through which he describes the state's water quality crisis and its sources: mainly the industrial agricultural system. 

Over the years, Chris Jones has become one of the most outspoken champions for clean water in the state. He unabashedly calls out the ag industry, politicians, and lobbyists as being culpable in the pollution of our state's water bodies. 

And while he's sometimes considered a controversial or polarizing figure, I can't help but respect the David role he has assumed against the Goliath of Big Ag in our state. Someone this impassioned about improving our lands and waters is someone I just had to talk to. 

I've read most of his blog and listened to his podcast (titled "We All Want Clean Water") so I tried not to cover topics or recommendations that are easy enough to look up. Mostly, I wanted to know about him as a person and the process by which he became the "David" that he is today. That, and I wanted to dig in to some topics I just wanted to know more about like ethanol, pipelines, and field tile. 

I think this conversation took place at an inflection point for Chris. He just announced that he's discontinuing the blog on the university site (he's posting on his personal Blogspot site for now) and he has a book coming out in a couple weeks (titled The Swine Republic, find it here). I got the vibe there's more to the Chris Jones story than what we covered, but I guess we'll have to wait to see what's next. 

Until then, enjoy this conversation and thank you for all you do to improve our lands and waters.

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