This portion of the State Sustainability Index represents a snapshot of agricultural impacts on water quality for the ten states examined and provides a framework for more states to be included. In the future, other groups of SPEA students will expand this and other portions of the index to create a more complete representation of sustainability related topics for each state involved. Though the water portion of the index is not yet complete, the water quality metrics presented herein nevertheless will prove useful to policy makers who wish to know where Indiana stands in relation to its neighboring states.
Below we list the rank given to Indiana in each of the metrics presented except fertilizer and water withdrawal:
Choosing to focus on Indiana revealed that Indiana lags behind other Midwestern states in most measures. Moving forward, policy makers in this state should consider these measures and our recommendations where appropriate while developing water quality policy in order to help Indiana climb these rankings and improve water quality across the state.
Average rankings were determined by adding up the relative rankings from 7 of the 9 metrics and dividing by 7. The lowest average score indicates the achievement of high rankings in these metrics. Based on all 10 scores, the states were then given an overall rank with the lowest score receiving the 1st place ranking and the highest overall score receiving the 10th place ranking. Based on the average score from the metrics created to measure water quality related to agriculture, Washington is the best state and Indiana is the worst. Indiana scored 10th out of 10 states indicating water quality as it relates to agriculture is poor compared to other Midwestern states and improvements are needed.