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Water Summary Update: April 2023 - Another dry month

  • 5/4/2023 2:25:00 PM
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DES MOINES — Rainfall in April was just over two inches but 1.5 inches below normal for the month.  This comes after a drier than normal March.  As a result, streamflows are down across much of the state, and conditions are generally deteriorating in the eastern two-thirds of Iowa.  While all of the Drought Regions of Iowa are rated as “normal, " downward trends are shown in the state's central, northeastern, and southeastern parts. The US Drought Monitor introduced a small area of moderate drought in southeast Iowa, reflecting the drying trend in that part of the state.  May should provide nearly five inches of rainfall, so conditions could improve with normal precipitation.   

“It is discouraging to see below-normal rainfall as we enter the normally wet spring months.  Normal rainfall in May and June will help to alleviate drought conditions in much of the state. Still, the dry April was not helpful,” said Tim Hall, Iowa Department of Natural Resources coordinator of hydrology resources. “The Iowa Drought Plan notes a downward trend in Drought Regions 2, 3, and 5, which are currently shown as ‘Normal,’ but could get worse in the months ahead if normal rainfall amounts don’t occur.” 

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

The report is prepared by technical staff from Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.