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Iowa Water Plan

Important water planning issues have been addressed in the following documents. Documents will be added and updated as new water uses emerge and as knowledge of our water resources changes. Click on the titles below to access the documents and web pages.

iowa's water planning history

This document highlights significant events and efforts intended to address water issues comprehensively.

Comprehensive Water Planning in Iowa: Past Efforts

Past efforts to address all aspects of water planning or a major water issue such as water quality are conveyed in this report. More details are provided than the highlights document above.

Water Planning: Law and Government (2008)

Topics explored are regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to water planning; constitutional powers the federal government and state and  local governments have to carry out water policy; federal water laws, policies and programs; and Iowa's state and local water programs.

management strategy for iowa's water resources (2007) 
This document outlines strategies, priorities, budget and resource needs to accomplish three goals: 1) The development of a comprehensive data system; 2) Improved water use planning and decision making; and 3) Full implementation of required water resource programs.

Recommendations and Funding Options to Mitigate Flood Risk (2009)

Authored by a subcommittee of the Water Resources Coordinating Council, this document recommends regulatory, planning and projects to mitigate flood risk, and research and educations needs to better equip Iowans to reduce flood damages and implement mitigation strategies. Also cites options for funding the recommendations.

Water Rights and Allocation (2010)

Eleven recommendations to prevent future problems for the regulated community, the Iowa DNR and all water users as the state moves toward a sustainable future. Recommendations go along with the assessment of important groundwater resources.

Iowa's Non-point Source Management Plan (2012)

This document reflects the collective efforts and intents of core partners and stakeholder groups. It is Iowa's vision, goals, objectives and potential action steps to reduce nonpoint source pollution and improve water quality over the next five to ten years.

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (2013)
This framework developed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences proposes strategies to assess and reduce nutrients to Iowa's surface waters and the Gulf of Mexico.

State Water Trails: Connecting People with Water and Resources (2010)

This plan includes three primary documents that respond to Iowa's increasing demand for safer water-based recreation and contributes to conserving aquatic resources. 1. A manual is provided for water trail developers with planning guidance, standard signage design, stream restoration and stormwater management concepts in access construction 2. Strategies are given for adding value to Iowa's navigable waters. 3. It provides design templates for mitigating hazards and improving fish passage at low head dams, criteria and priorities for dam removals and modification, and a statewide strategy and action steps to improve river connectivity.

WaterWise: Water Efficiency Planning and Capacity Development for Water  and Wastewater Utilities, 2013
This handbook, prepared by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, provides an introduction to water efficiency and conservation planning as part of overall system management. The planning process and methods of saving water and associated energy includes system improvements and end-user conservation programs and technologies.

Iowa's Water Monitoring Plan (2000)

All surface water and groundwater resources would be monitored over the next decade in this plan.

Lake Restoration Program
Progress with priority lake restoration projects is reported each year by the DNR on this webpage. 

River Restoration Strategy
A significant number of DNR programs relate to rivers, river corridors, watersheds, and water quality. A strategy to align and coordinate these programs in support of river restoration grew from a week-long planning session in 2015, which included partners such as IDALS, NRCS, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and County Conservation Boards.