Watershed Plan

7 Appendices

By |2021-01-11T11:31:29-05:00December 26th, 2019|

County Hazard Mitigation Plans Bremer County Black Hawk County Buchanan County Chickasaw County Delaware County Fayette County Howard County Linn County City Plans Independence Flood Mitigation Element Report Guide: Upper Wapsi Upper Wapsipinicon Education and Outreach Matrix Strategies Survey Results Reference Materials 2012 Ag Census Web Maps, Overview | USDA/NASS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: [...]

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3.5 Sourcewater

By |2021-05-14T13:39:17-05:00July 30th, 2019|

What is Source Water? Source Water is the term that is used to define the source or origin of drinking water. Source water can be derived from surface water, such as a river, stream, lake, or reservoir, or it can be from groundwater. The quality of Source Water can be influenced by many natural and [...]

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3.2 Flood Forecasting

By |2019-11-19T13:45:44-05:00July 23rd, 2019|

Given the size and scale of the UWR Watershed and the river, where rain falls on the landscape within the watersheds greatly impacts how, or if, river levels are influenced at any particular site along the river. There are many methods utilized by various agencies to gather and monitor past and current weather, river flow and [...]

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6 Objectives, Strategies, and Actions

By |2021-01-11T11:27:28-05:00June 11th, 2019|

Goals Improve and Protect Ground and Surface Water Quality Reduce the risk and impact of flooding to social, economic and ecological systems Build Human and Landscape Resiliency Objectives, Strategies, and Actions Objectives, Strategies, and Actions were adopted by the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed WMA Board to help them reach their goals and achieve their [...]

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2.1 Communities

By |2023-02-10T10:22:46-05:00June 11th, 2019|

Communities in the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed Although there are no large urban areas within the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed, the watershed does encompass all or portions of 27 incorporated communities that range in size from just over 100 people to over 6,000 residents. There are also 36 unincorporated communities [...]

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5 Analysis, Research, and Modeling

By |2022-10-04T15:10:31-05:00June 11th, 2019|

The ability to analyze various characteristics of any landscape, including the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed, using LiDAR, satellite imagery, innovative analytical computer software, and modeling programs has escalated in recent years. The capacity has not only increased in terms of the tools, but also in the availability, time commitment, and ease of analysis, making it [...]

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3.7 Nutrient Transport

By |2019-08-01T13:39:36-05:00June 11th, 2019|

Non-Point Source Pollution Non-point source pollution is caused by rain or runoff carrying pollutants into surface or groundwater. Iowa’s primary pollutants are plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous from commercial fertilizers used in rural and urban areas. Because much of Iowa is rural, especially the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed, the primary sources of nutrients [...]

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3.6 Water Quality

By |2023-12-01T15:52:30-05:00June 11th, 2019|

The high percentage of agricultural land use in the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed intensifies ground and surface water quality issues in the watershed. The interactions between surface and groundwater and the vulnerability of groundwater is demonstrated in a survey of state well test results associated with thousands of private wells in Iowa. Data is provided by [...]

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3.4 Impacts of Flooding

By |2021-01-11T11:26:02-05:00June 11th, 2019|

The impact of any individual flood event in the Upper Wapsi River Watershed is dynamic and complicated. It can include loss of life, direct and indirect economic loss and stressors, social, psychological, and cultural impacts, public and private physical infrastructure degradation or loss, property damage or loss, and business loss. The ecological impacts, including water [...]

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The Wapsipinicon River

The Wapsipinicon River stretches over 290 miles from the Iowa/Minnesota border all the way to the Mississippi River near Clinton, Iowa. Although it only extends two miles into Minnesota, the Wapsipinicon River is the fifth largest Iowa tributary of the Mississippi, being surpassed in length only by the Des Moines, Cedar, Iowa, and Skunk rivers. It is a long narrow watershed that for 180 miles averages barely more than 15 miles wide and thus it has no major tributary.


Even though it is narrow, this watershed covers 4.5% of Iowa. The Wapsipinicon River boasts the longest, continuous stretch of natural and scenic river corridor in the Iowan Surface Region of Iowa. Much of that river corridor is in public ownership and dominated by wooded wetlands and riparian forests that provide habitat for birds, reptiles and other animal species, as well as birders, boaters, paddlers and anglers.

The Upper Wapsi

The Upper Wapsipinicon River, or Upper Wapsi, is a section that includes the 270 miles of river above Anamosa, Iowa. The Upper Wapsi Watershed drains over 1 million acres and encompasses all or portions of 11 counties, 27 communities, 17 unincorporated villages, 120 lakes and 8 major rivers and streams totaling over 2,000 river miles.

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