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Water Summary Update: Dry end to 2017 offsets wet start to year

DES MOINES — Iowa received a statewide annual precipitation of 33 inches in 2017, more than two inches less than normal, according to the latest Water Summary Update from the Iowa DNR. 

The year began with a wetter than normal spring, followed by drier than normal summer and fall months, with the exception of a very wet October. 

“The distribution of rainfall was uneven this year, with some areas of southeastern Iowa ending the year more than 10 inches short on rainfall,” said Tim Hall, the DNR's Hydrology Resources Coordinator. “Good spring rainfall will help to restore soil moisture and shallow groundwater in those areas."

Streamflow has been generally normal for the second half of the year. Southeastern Iowa remains an area of concern after two consecutive years of drier than normal conditions. 

Meanwhile, 2017 was an unusually warm year with a statewide average temperature of 49.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.8 degrees above normal. This ranks as the eighth warmest year on record. 

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.  

The report is prepared by technical staff from Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department. 

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