Could western states short on water soon get help via H20 from the Hawkeye State? That's something the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently considering.

Pattison Sand Company, a Clayton County company that does sand mining, wants to sell and ship over two billion gallons of water each year to other states battling long-term droughts. The water would come from the Jordan Aquifer that runs through the property the company owns. There's no word on which states would get the water, which would be transported via railroad tanker cars.

The Iowa DNR says Polk County, Iowa's most-populated county, uses a total of about 2.2 billion gallons of water each year.

Iowa DNR spokesperson Alex Murphy told Iowa Capital Dispatch,

The DNR has not had a proposal of this scope or magnitude before this. No major out-of-state transfers have been proposed. (before this)

State Sen. Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, is concerned by the prospect of Iowa's groundwater being exported:

I am concerned that we are not adequately tracking and assessing use of our deep groundwater resources. We urgently need to restore funding so that our state can provide proper management and supervision of our water resources.

Courtney Severson, the human resources director for Pattison, told Iowa Capital Dispatch the project was only being considered. Emails to her and the founder of the company over the last two days received no response.

Currently, only a fraction of Iowa's water leaves its borders, via rural water system customers just across state lines. A decision on the Pattison Sand Company request is expected soon from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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