Iowa DNR's Twitter Iowa DNR's Flicker Iowa DNR's YouTube Iowa DNR's Pinterest Iowa DNR's Facebook | Iowa Outdoors Magazine | News | Contact Us

Site Search  search button


EcoNews Wire

Environmental news about water quality, air quality, waste management, energy and related topics including Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) agenda and minutes. EcoNewsWire is published every Thursday and will be posted on our website as both news releases and below for archival purposes.

EcoNewsWire Article Archive

DNR Study Shows Future Water Supply Available in Des Moines Metro Area
Thursday, February 07, 2013 by Iowa DNR
IOWA CITY – The DNR’s Geological and Water Survey recently completed a detailed investigation of the sand and gravel aquifer associated with the lower reach of the Raccoon River near Des Moines.

The DNR used a predictive groundwater model to evaluate the aquifer for future water supply development. The evaluation indicates increased water supplies could be developed.

The lower reach of the Raccoon River aquifer is one of the most intensely used aquifers in the state. Current water use is approximately 14.6 billion gallons per year. More than half of that comes from the area studied by the DNR.

Staff estimated maximum sustainable pumping rates under severe drought conditions using a groundwater model. DNR hydrologists were able to identify the best areas for future wells based on aquifer permeability and recharge rates.

The modeling and geologic information  is a major step forward in developing and protecting water supplies, evaluating drought impacts, and addressing groundwater and stream water quality concerns. This study is important to assure the long-term sustainability of Iowa’s groundwater resources.

A full technical report is available at  

The study is the seventh in a series of water resource reports authorized by the legislature in 2007 because of concerns about the availability of water to existing users. Find other reports at