Tailored to communities impacted by the spring floods of 2019 and those interested in improving water quality, the Iowa Watershed Resource Library was unveiled Jan. 27 by the Center for Rural Affairs.
The webpage contains materials to help guide long-term watershed planning and steps for creating a watershed management authority, among other guidance. The online library is intended to help the managers and others involved in watersheds across Iowa to inform, assist and empower the people who live with the watershed boundaries.
“We believe empowering communities to improve water quality and reduce flood risk is a key strategy to build a more resilient future for rural Iowa,” says Cody Smith, policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs. “Whether it’s reviewing fundraising strategies of other communities or starting a watershed management authority, Iowans deliver when they’re put in the driver’s seat on these issues.”
Website lists funding sources
The resource library includes links to the 14 existing watershed management plans that lie within one of the state’s 26 watershed management authorities, which are cooperative agreements between cities, counties, and soil and water conservation districts. In addition, the library includes a staff directory and fact sheets to help communities identify funding sources for watershed improvement projects.
“These materials are intended to help Iowans take action to reduce flood risk and invest in water quality, improving the quality of life in their communities,” Smith says. “While the state is debating allocating tax dollars to the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, also known as IWILL, Iowans don’t have to wait for the state investment on these issues.”
Other resources include outlining components of a strong, long-term watershed management plan and updates on legislative activities during the 2020 Iowa legislative session. You can view the materials at the Center for Rural Affairs.