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Water Summary Update - 2016 in review

  • 1/12/2017 2:39:00 PM
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DES MOINES - Iowa started 2016 with dry conditions but extensive rains in August and September ranked this as the 19th wettest year on record.  

Stream flow levels were high to start the year from a wet fall in 2015, but fell to normal, or just above normal by summer. Rain became abundant statewide the second week of July and the wet pattern continued through late September, causing major flooding in north central and northeast Iowa.

Drought conditions occurred in late June, but improved throughout the summer and fall. Current conditions show 14 percent of Iowa is abnormally dry.

Adequate spring rainfall in 2017 will be critical across south central and southeast Iowa to recharge the shallow aquifers and prevent drought conditions from reoccurring.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to

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.