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Water Summary Update: July 2023 - Drought conditions intensify after another dry month

  • 8/3/2023 2:54:00 PM
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DES MOINES - The month of July ended in dry conditions, with Iowa receiving 3.10 inches of rain, more than an inch below normal. This marks the fifth month in a row of less than normal rainfall. According to the Iowa Drought Plan, 4 of the 5 regions of the state are in “drought watch”. The US Drought Monitor shows that nearly all of Iowa faces some dryness or drought, with over half the state facing moderate drought conditions.

Over the last five months, Iowa has received just over a foot of rain, which is only 67 percent of the expected 18 inches. Although July was below normal for rainfall for the state, southwest Iowa ended the month with normal rainfall of 4.45 inches.   

“After a dry spring and early summer the hope was for a return to normal rainfall in July, but that was not the case,” said Tim Hall, Iowa Department of Natural Resources coordinator of hydrology resources. “Normal monthly rainfall declines as we move through summer and into fall, so the opportunities for getting out of drought this year become more limited, but not impossible, as time passes.” 

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.