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Water Quantity

The issue of water quantity – how much water Iowa has available – has come to light with the recent increase in major industries that use water to power their operations.

While we are not facing an immediate shortage, there have not been resources at the state level to properly look at water quantity issues in recent years. We must plan in the long-term for future industry, drinking water and other water uses.

Iowa's Water Plan
Iowa’s comprehensive water plan hasn’t been updated since 1985. It summarizes what we know about Iowa’s water resources and how to address problems. A revised water plan would quantify what is currently available in aquifers, trends over time in water levels, current levels of use, and most importantly, projections for future water use in the state.

Reduced resources
Practically all funding for water supply issues comes from the state general fund. Reductions in general fund revenues over the last 20 years have resulted in outdated information on water uses and water levels.

Updating the Water Plan
Much has changed in the last 20 years, including the pattern of demand on water supplies. An updated plan is needed to avoid water shortages, crises and conflicts between water users in the future. The key is to update the plan regularly to account for new water uses as they emerge and changes in our knowledge of the resource.

Iowa groundwater resources by region

Water Wise

Water Wise Calculator

Water Wise
is a 64-page handbook on water conservation and efficiency measures, prepared by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities through grants from the Iowa Energy Center and Iowa Economic Development Authority, to promote water efficiency planning and capacity development by Iowa's Water and Wastewater Utilities.  The Water Wise Calculator is a spreadsheet for use in conjunction with the handbook to assist systems in developing their water conservation plans.

 

Additional resources:
2011 Groundwater Modeling Summary presentation
2011 Groundwater Management Concepts presentationWater Rights and Allocation - A Subset of the Iowa Water Plan (2010)
Jordan Aquifer Presentation
Water Resource Management: Dakota Aquifer
Strategy for Management of Water Resources (2007) 
Water Quantity Fact Sheet
Water Quantity Presentation
Water Law Presentation 10/9/07
Year One: Approach, Activities and Products 10/9/07

Technical resources:
Data Needed to Assess Resources
Comparison of Water Resource Management Programs
Water Use Permit Information
Iowa Groundwater Protection Strategy (1987)
1985 Water Plan

1978 Water Plan: Pages 1-74 (18.6 MB)
1978 Water Plan: Pages 75-155 (23.6 MB)
1978 Water Plan: Pages 156-226 (22.5 MB)


For more information, contact:
Bob Libra
State Geologist
(515) 725-3408
Robert.Libra@dnr.iowa.gov


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