Watershed Resources

Watershed Academy Resources, Presentations, and Handouts

The Iowa Watershed Academy features topics in the areas of phosphorus management, nutrient reduction strategy measurement, project management, communication and engagement strategies, and hands on tours and demonstrations for Iowa watershed project coordinators. On this page, you will find print resources, presentations, and other electronic copies of publications and materials that were presented at each Watershed Academy session.

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar Series

Iowa Learning farms provides a resource for the exchange of ideas and information on many topics including water quality and conservation practices.

Conservation Chat Podcast: Building a Culture of Conservation

Conservation Chat podcast provided by Iowa Learning Farms.

Watershed-Based Community Assessments

A community assessment is a description of a community and its people. The purpose is to identify the needs of a community in order to provide services appropriate to those needs. A watershed-based community assessment is a description of the people who live within a watershed. The goals of a watershed-based community assessment are to identify the water quality knowledge.

Iowa's Section 303(d) Impaired Waters Listings

Under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, states are required from "time to time" to submit a list of waters for which effluent limits will not be sufficient to meet all state water quality standards. EPA has defined "time to time" to mean April 1 of even numbered years. The failure to meet water quality standards might be due to an individual pollutant, multiple pollutants, "pollution," or an unknown cause of impairment. The 303(d) listing process includes waters impaired by point sources and non-point sources of pollutants.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship News

Various updates on agriculture and land stewardship in Iowa. 

Nitrogen Load Estimate Calculator

Nitrate-N load estimate calculator for watershed and field scale estimates.

Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator

This web site provides a process to calculate economic return to N application with different nitrogen and corn prices and to find profitable N rates directly from recent N rate research data. The method used follows a regional approach for determining corn N rate guidelines that is implemented in several Corn Belt states.

The Iowa Phosphorus Index Calculator

Iowa NRCS and Iowa State University have developed an Iowa Phosphorus Index (PI). The Iowa PI is an assessment tool for the purpose of evaluating the potential of off-site phosphorus movement. This Iowa PI is to be used when a NMP is being developed based on the 590 Standard and one of the following conditions exist: 1. When manure is applied. 2. Soil loss is above the tolerable level (T). 3. The planning area is within an identified nutrient impaired watershed. 4. The soil test phosphorus levels are above optimum.

Iowa Daily Erosion Project (Version 2)

The Daily Erosion Project (DEP) estimates soil erosion and water runoff occurring on hill slopes in Iowa and surrounding states. Estimates are based on hill slope conditions (e.g. topography, crop, precipitation) identified via remote sensing tools like satellites. The DEP team then posts daily estimates of average hill slope soil loss (and water runoff) occurring for each watershed in the DEP coverage area.

Iowa Source Water Protection Program

Source Water is a lake, stream, river, or aquifer where drinking water is obtained. Source Water Protection (SWP) is the act of preventing contaminants from entering public drinking water sources. SWP includes both groundwater (wellhead) protection and surface water protection. The IDNR SWP Program is a voluntary program and is divided into Targeted and Non-Targeted programs in order to provide better customer service to our Iowa Community Water Supplies (CWS).

USGS Iowa Continuous Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring

The "Real-time" map tracks short-term changes (over several hours) of water quality. Although the general appearance of the map changes very little from one hour to the next, individual sites may change rapidly in response to major rain events or to reservoir releases. The data used to produce this map are provisional.

Iowa's Beach Water Monitoring Program

Routine water quality monitoring is conducted at all of the State Park beaches and many locally managed beaches in Iowa. In order to help protect the health of those wishing to recreate at the beaches, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources works with various public health and management agencies throughout the state to inform the public of the most current water quality conditions. Outdoor recreation at beaches in Iowa is typically limited to the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Iowa's Stream Monitoring Program

Since October 1999, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has maintained a network of stations to monitor water quality in the state. A total of 91 sites have been part of this network. However, the total number of stations monitored varies each year. The most stations sampled was in 2003-2006 when a total of 84 stream sites and 1 spring were sampled. Currently, a total of 75 stream sites and 1 spring are sampled. Generally, the sites in this network are sampled monthly.

USGS Iowa Real-Time Streamflow Data

The Central Midwest Water Science Center offers information on streamflow, water quality, water-use, and groundwater data for Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

How's My Waterway?

Learn the condition of local streams, lakes, and other waters anywhere in the US... quickly and in plain language. See if your local waterway was checked for pollution, what was found, and what is being done. The source of this information is a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database of State water quality monitoring reports provided under the Clean Water Act.

Assessing your Well Condition and Maintenance: Iowa Farm*A*Syst

Comply with farm rules and regulations, using Farm Bureau’s regulatory backgrounders, Farm*A*Syst, and the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF). Information for private well owners to understand the type of well they have, assess the condition of the well and maintain the well to provide safe drinking water.

Private Well Testing FAQ

State Hygienic Lab - The University of Iowa Private wells are not subject to federal regulations that apply to public drinking water systems. Therefore, it is up to well owners to regularly monitor the safety of their drinking water to ensure it is safe for human consumption. Public drinking water systems are required by federal regulations to be tested for various contaminants at specific intervals.


For more information, check out our water quality extension publications.