Iowa Agriculture Bill North­­ey last week urged farmers in Calhoun, Sac and Buena Vista counties to continue implementing practices to improve water quality and to resist being distracted by the potential of a lawsuit coming from the Des Moines Water Works.

"We know it’s the right thing to do, and we are learning more and adding new technologies to help us become more efficient and reduce our off-farm impact," Northey said at a meeting in Rockwell City. "This is a long-term process, but the trends are moving in the right direction."

Iowa’s top ag official held gatherings in each of the three counties identified in an intent-to-sue letter filed by the Des Moines water supplier earlier this month. The Des Moines Water Works takes much of its water from the Raccoon River, which flows through portions of northwest Iowa.

Northey said a cooperative approach, in which farmers and communities work together to...