DES MOINES — For the second month in a row Iowa’s had above normal precipitation, but streamflow conditions are worse and shallow groundwater levels across most of Iowa are at or near seasonal and historic lows. Sioux, Palo Alto, Osceola and Crawford counties are especially hard hit by low levels of shallow groundwater.
Concrete frost exists across northern Iowa, especially north of U.S. Highway 20. The rainfall in December and January resulted in the top layer of ground frozen nearly solid. Until the ground thaws in that region, more runoff than normal will occur from snowmelt or rainfall. River flooding or even flash flooding could result.
A positive note is that the predicted fish kills in natural lakes and farm ponds due to low water conditions and lack of drainage tile flow did not happen. Conditions are better than expected.
For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends Feb. 7 through Mar. 6 go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate
The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the USGS, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.