Rain gardens utilize good soil and deep-rooted plants to infiltrate runoff from a smaller area, such as a roof, driveway, or a section of street or parking lot. Often rain gardens are beautifully landscaped with brightly colored flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators. Properly constructed rain gardens are in the natural path of runoff and are slightly depressed, but designed to infiltrate ponded water in under 24 hours. Check out Rainscaping Iowa’s rain garden resources to learn more!
Rain gardens are another urban stormwater best management practice (BMP) you may want to consider using at home, at your business, or in your community! To learn more about urban stormwater BMPs check out Rainscaping Iowa, a project of the Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership.
Areas of the Upper Wapsi Watershed experienced severe flash flooding in July, prompting a presidential disaster declaration. Check out the video, shared by Bremer County Emergency Management, of flooding in the community of Sumner.
Elaine Hughes prepares to draw samples from Buffalo Creek near Quasqueton.
A couple of times a month, volunteers collect water samples from streams, creeks and the Wapsipinicon River. Samples are sent to Coe College, where they are tested for nitrates, phosphorous, chlorine, sulfate and total suspended solids.
Monitoring is a critical component of improving water quality. As the Upper Wapsi WMA sets improvement goals, the data collected can help them identify the most critical problems in the watershed and prioritize effective solutions.
The Plum Creek Bike & Nature Trail was under water on Easter Sunday.
Heavy spring rains contributed to sodden fields, washed-out bridges and overflowing creeks in the Upper Wapsipinicon watershed over the weekend.
Together the partners in the Upper Wapsi WMA are creating a plan to reduce the risk of flooding in the watershed.
The Daily Erosion Project (DEP) estimates precipitation, runoff, sheet and rill erosion, and hillslope delivery in near real time, on over 2000 watersheds in the Midwest (Figure 1). It does this by running the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model with a combination of remotely-sensed precipitation weather stations, remotely-sensed crop and residue cover, remotely-sensed topography, and soils databases.
It is an update and expansion to the Iowa Daily Erosion Project (Cruse et al., 2006) that is designed to further investigate large scale erosion dynamics while maintaining hillslope level input resolution. The DEP has a climate database extending from 2007 to the present day, enabling investigation of single event and single year runoff and soil erosion dynamics over a large time range and spatial extent.
The Upper Wapsi Watershed Management Authority is currently signing up entities that would like to join. Watershed Management Authorities form under a 28E agreement authorized by Iowa code. Entities eligible to join a WMA are County boards of supervisors, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and communities that lie on or within the watershed boundary. There is no membership cost to the member entities. For more information about WMA’s visit the Iowa DNR website regarding Watershed Management Authorities