The Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed Management Authority (WMA) was created in 2015 as a partnership of cities, counties, and soil and water conservation districts who signed a 28E agreement to work together in their shared watershed to reduce flooding and improve water quality. Today, WMA membership includes 15 communities, 8 County Board of Supervisors, and 9 SWCDs.


Formation of the WMA was made possible through action taken by the State of Iowa Legislature in April 2010 in response to extensive flooding that had occurred in Iowa in 2008, including in Cedar Rapids. A portion of the federal funding that had been awarded to Iowa was utilized and allocated to projects through provisions added to Iowa Code 466B, the Surface Water Protection and Flood Mitigation Act, which authorized the development of a State Watershed Advisory Committee and implementation of the Iowa Watershed Approach, which included development of the first Watershed Management Authorities in Iowa and implementation of hydrologic analysis and pilot projects through the Iowa Flood Center. The Iowa Watersheds Approach, which is focused on increasing disaster resiliency by reducing flooding and advancing water quality, was subsequently funded by a Disaster Resilience Grant from U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funding was awarded to the State of Iowa’s Economic Development Authority Development and ultimately focused on nine Iowa watersheds. Each of the nine watersheds, including the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed, have developed or are developing watershed resiliency plans and began implementation of targeted practices to achieve the goals of the Iowa Watershed Approach Project (IWAP). The IWAP goals are to reduce flood risk, improve water quality, increase resilience, engage stakeholders, improve quality of life and health and develop a model program for other state.


Each WMA member entity appoints a representative to serve on the Upper Wapsi WMA Board of Directors, as well as an alternate representative. The representative who is appointed may be an employee, elected official, an agricultural producer or other citizen who the member entity feels will fairly represent the interests of the member and who will communicate regularly with the member entity’s board. When the WMA Board is making decisions, each member entity may cast one vote through either their representative or their alternate representative.

  • City of Aurora: Dave Young
  • City of Central City: Thomas Eiben
  • City of Dunkerton: Sheila Steffen, Alt. Michael Schares
  • City of Elma: Shannon Gebel, Alt. Garald Haar
  • City of Fredericksburg: James N Ehr, Alt. Brian O’Day
  • City of Frederika: Duane Meihost, Alt. Sylvan Mutschler
  • City of Hazleton: Gerald VandeVorde, Alt. Lisa Baych
  • City of Independence: John Kertz
  • City of New Hampton: Bob Martin, Alt. Jill Eicke
  • City of Quasqueton: Chad Staton
  • City of Readlyn: Dan Wedemeier
  • City of Riceville: Jordan Oulman
  • City of Sumner: Curtis Behrens
  • City of Tripoli: Greg Eschweiler
  • City of Winthrop: Gerald Dennie, Alt. Mary Ryan
  • Black Hawk County: Dan Trelka
  • Bremer County: Kip Ladage, Alt. David Lehman
  • Buchanan County: Don Shonka (Chair), Alt. Gary Gissel
  • Chickasaw County: Matthew Kuhn, Alt. Jacob Hackman
  • Fayette County: Jeanine Tellin
  • Howard County: Dean Eastman, Alt. Pat Murray
  • Linn County: Dennis Goemaat, Alt. Chuck Ungs
  • Mitchell County: Steve Smolik
  • Black Hawk Soil & Water Conservation District: Jennifer Trent
  • Bremer Soil & Water Conservation District: Ron Lenth, Alt. Kip Ladage
  • Buchanan Soil & Water Conservation District: Sean Dolan, Alt. Julie Althaus
  • Chickasaw Soil & Water Conservation District: Randy Miller, Alt. Kim Leichtman
  • Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District: Chris Eibey
  • Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Howard Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Linn Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Mitchell Soil & Water Conservation District


The mission of the Upper Wapsi WMA is to engage, educate, and encourage implementation of strategic efforts to improve the health, stewardship, and resiliency of watershed resources in the Upper Wapsi River Watershed.”


The primary purposes for formation of the  Upper Wapsi River WMA were to reduce the risk of flooding, to improve water quality, and to conduct planning on a watershed scale, which has greater benefits for water quality improvement and flood risk reduction. The WMA was also formed to foster multi-jurisdictional partnership and cooperation, leverage resources, such as funding and technical expertise, and to facilitate stakeholder involvement in watershed management.


The duties of the WMA Board of Directors are detailed in the Iowa Code, which states that the WMA may undertake the following activities.

  • Assess and reduced flood risk;
  • Assess and improve water quality;
  • Monitor Federal flood risk planning and activities;
  • Educate residents of the Watershed regarding flood risks and water quality;
  • Allocate monies made available to the WMA for purposes of water quality and flood mitigation.

WMA Goals

  1. Develop a comprehensive plan to address flooding and water quality concerns. Encourage a comprehensive, multi-objective planning approach to watershed management that fosters understanding and use of SMART Planning Principles, and adds value to watershed management.
  2. Promote and communicate the mission and goals of the Watershed Authority. This should be directed to potential Watershed Authority partners (cities, counties, and SWCDs), groups with specific interest in flood control and water quality, state political leaders, and the general public.
  3. Implement a Comprehensive Program of targeted activities designed to reduce flood risk and improve water quality in the Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed. Absent a Comprehensive Plan, these activities have yet to be identified.
  4. Evaluate the Watershed Authority’s effectiveness.

Additional information about the goals, objectives, and actions adopted by the Upper Wapsi WMA Board can be found in the Upper Wapsi WMA Watershed Resiliency Plan here.

Meeting Information

Next Meeting

August 24th, 2021

Location: TBD

Meeting Minutes


Public Relations/Communications Committee (includes education) – 2017

Gary Gissel, John Kurtz, Don Shonka, Ashley Sherrets, Chuck Ungs and Greg Eschweiler

Technical Committee – 2017

Brian Keierleber, Ron Lenth, Dan Cohen, Mary Beth Stevenson and Don Shonka, Abby Beltz, Brian Moore, Dennis Goemaat, and a University of Iowa contact (Ashley Kittle)

Project Coordinator Committee – 2017

Mike Lenius, Frank Magnesman, Mary Beth Stevenson, Felicia Campbell, Bob Muchmore, Abby Beltz and Don Shonka

28E Agreement

Upper Wapsipinicon River Watershed Management Authority 28E Agreement (2017 Revision) (PDF)