ARTICLE 32. SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION
Chapter 1. Legislative Policy
Sec. 1. The following are declared as a matter of legislative
(1) That the land and water resources of Indiana are among the
basic assets of Indiana and that the proper management of these
resources is necessary to protect and promote the health, safety,
and general welfare of the people of Indiana.
(2) That improper land use practices and failure to control and
use rainfall and runoff water cause and contribute to
deterioration and waste of these resources of Indiana.
(3) That the breaking of natural grass, plant, and forest cover
has interfered with the natural factors of soil stabilization,
causing loosening of soil and exhaustion of humus and
developing a soil condition that favors excessive runoff and
erosion, with the following results:
(A) The topsoil is being blown and washed out of the fields
(B) There has been an accelerated washing of sloping fields.
(C) These processes of erosion by wind and water speed up
with removal of the topsoil, exposing the less absorptive,
less protective, less productive, and more erosive subsoil.
(4) That valuable water resources are being lost causing
damages in watersheds.
(5) That failure by a land occupier to properly manage the soil
and water causes a washing and blowing of these resources onto
other land and makes the conservation of these resources on the
other land more difficult.
(6) That the consequences of soil erosion and failure to control
and use rainfall and runoff water are the following:
(A) The silting and sedimentation of stream channels,
reservoirs, dams, ditches, and harbors.
(B) The loss of fertile soil material.
(C) The piling up of soil on lower slopes and the deposit
over alluvial plains.
(D) The reduction in productivity or outright ruin of bottom
land by flooding and overwash of poor subsoil material,
sand, and gravel swept out of the hills.
(E) The deterioration of soil and the soil's fertility,
deterioration of crops grown, and reduction in crop yields.
(F) The loss of soil and water that causes destruction of food
and cover for wildlife.
(G) A blowing and washing of soil into streams and lakes
that silts over spawning beds and destroys water plants,
diminishing the food supply of fish.
(H) A diminishing of the underground water reserve and loss
of surplus rainfall runoff causing water shortages,
intensifying periods of drought, and causing crop failures.
(I) An increase in the speed and volume of rainfall runoff,
causing severe and increasing floods.
(J) Economic hardship for those attempting to farm land that
is eroded or subject to frequent flooding.
(K) Damage to roads, highways, railways, farm buildings,
and other property from floods and from dust storms.
(L) Losses in navigation, hydroelectric power, municipal
water supply, recreational water development, irrigation
developments, farming, and grazing.
(7) That to conserve soil and water resources, control and
prevent soil erosion, protect water quality, reduce flood
damage, and further the conservation development, use, and
disposal of water, it is necessary that:
(A) land use practices contributing to soil and water
wastage, water quality impairment, and soil erosion be
discouraged and discontinued; and
(B) appropriate soil and water conserving land use practices
and works of improvement for flood prevention or the
conservation development, use, and disposal of water be
adopted and carried out.
(8) That among the procedures necessary for widespread
adoption are the following:
(A) Carrying on of engineering operations such as the
construction of flood preventing reservoirs and channels,
terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, dikes, ponds, ditches,
and similar operations.
(B) The use of soil protecting agronomic practices, such as
strip cropping, contour cropping, and conservation tillage.
(C) Land irrigation.
(D) Seeding and planting of sloping, abandoned, or eroded
land to water-conserving and erosion-preventing plants,
trees, and grasses.
(E) Forestation and reforestation.
(F) Rotation of crops.
(G) Soil stabilization with trees, grasses, legumes, and other
thick-growing, soil-holding crops.
(H) Retardation of runoff by impounding the runoff water
behind structures, by increasing the absorption of rainfall,
and by retiring from cultivation all steep, highly erosive
areas and areas already badly eroded.
(I) The use of water quality protection practices, including
nutrient and pesticide management on all lands.
As added by P.L.1-1995, SEC.25. Amended by P.L.136-1997, SEC.7;
Sec. 2. In light of the determination set forth in section 1 of this
chapter, it is the policy of the general assembly to provide for the
proper management of soil and water resources, the control and
prevention of soil erosion, the prevention of flood water and
sediment damage, the prevention of water quality impairment, and
the conservation, development, use, and disposal of water in the
watersheds of Indiana to accomplish the following:
(1) Conserve the natural resources, including wildlife.
(2) Control floods.
(3) Prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs.
(4) Assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors.
(5) Protect the water quality of lakes and streams.
(6) Protect the tax base.
(7) Protect public land.
(8) Protect and promote the health, safety, and general welfare
of the people of Indiana.
(9) Protect a high quality water resource.
(10) Protect and improve soil quality.
As added by P.L.1-1995, SEC.25. Amended by P.L.136-1997, SEC.8;
P.L.175-2006, SEC.3; P.L.129-2011, SEC.1.