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Iowa's streams, lakes and rivers need improvement. But where do we start?
Water quality improvement plans investigate streams and lakes on Iowa's impaired waters list. The ultimate goal is to improve water quality and remove streams and lakes from the impaired list. The plans, developed by the DNR, use research results and the public's input to help reduce the amount of pollutants reaching our water.
Water quality improvement plans identify and locate water quality problems in a stream or lake, and suggest ways that communities can improve their stream or lake to meet Iowa's water quality standards.
Schedule of future improvement plans
No meetings currently scheduled.
Eldred Sherwood Lake
Comments due by Oct. 31 to Jeff Berckes at:
502 E. Ninth St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
A TMDL is a calculation that determines how much of a pollutant can enter a specific stream or lake in one day and still allow the lake or stream to meet the state's water quality standards. This calculation is just one part of the larger water quality improvement plan.
The Federal Clean Water Act created the TMDL process, which requires developing a TMDL for pollutants that cause a stream or lake to be placed on Iowa's impaired waters list. In Iowa, the process goes far beyond a calculation and becomes a plan for improving water quality that relies on the support and participation of Iowans in the watershed.
1. Stream or lake placed on impaired waters list.
2. The DNR meets with Iowans to learn about problems and possible causes of those problems in a watershed of an impaired stream or lake.
3. DNR drafts a water quality improvement plan, which includes:
4. The DNR asks Iowans to review the draft water quality improvement plan.
5. The DNR meets again with Iowans to gather their comments on the plan and discuss how locals can use the plan to create a local watershed improvement group and project.
6. Locals use information in the water quality improvement plan to form a local watershed group and apply for grant funding to get the project started. Learn more about creating a watershed group.
Jeff BerckesWater Quality Improvement Plan (TMDL) Program Coordinator515-725-8391