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Water Summary Update: 2015 in review

DES MOINES—2015 started as the driest in the state since 1988, but frequent precipitation in April and May gradually eliminated drought worries by the end of the spring. Precipitation was much more evenly spread out during the year, resulting in frequent, but less pronounced flooding than in other wet years. 

Almost every location in the state experienced record stream flows for December. More than 20 stream gages exceeded the National Weather Service (NWS) Flood Stage in Iowa in December. Streams remained ice-free at the end of December going into 2016. 

Statewide precipitation in November and December provided abundant recharge to Iowa’s shallow aquifers. This additional recharge has replenished groundwater storage for 2016, especially in the shallow alluvial aquifers of northwest Iowa. 

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

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

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