Water is perhaps the most important thing in the world.
Life centers around it. Our bodies are three-fourths water. We can't exist without it. Water defines and redefines landscapes and sustains ecosystems. It fuels social and economic development. It is a source of energy and recreation. It carries and moves other objects -- natural and manmade. Yet our relationship with it is complex. Sometimes there isn't enough, we struggle to protect it or we pollute it. Other times we fail to understand its power and impacts. We fight to control it. The decisions we make today can take decades to seep into our wells and groundwater. We expend huge energy to treat it and extract it, yet other areas lack it.
In this installment of Iowa Ideas In-Depth Week, we'll look at water quality from an array of perspectives -- from drinking water to treatment. We'll also hear from experts about the economic potential, efforts -- or lack thereof -- at controlling pollution and runoff, as well as ideas about policies and practices needed to protect water for future generations.