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Fourth wettest October on record improves groundwater, drought conditions in Iowa

  • 11/2/2017 11:59:00 AM
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DES MOINES — Following a wet October, shallow groundwater and drought conditions in Iowa improved, according to the latest Water Summary Update from the Iowa DNR. 

Despite the wet month, little flooding occurred across the state. 

"There are some dry areas in southeastern Iowa, and subsoil moisture has not fully recovered in that part of the state,” says Tim Hall, the DNR's Hydrology Resources Coordinator. “However, hydrologic conditions across most of Iowa are pretty good headed into the winter.” 

Iowa recorded the fourth wettest October among 145 years of records with a statewide average precipitation of 5.35 inches, a little more than double the monthly normal of 2.74 inches. 

Streamflow conditions are above normal for several basins in the state, and flows are much above normal in parts of the Des Moines, and Boyer Rivers. The Rock River basin remains in the much above normal range. 

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

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.