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Water Summary Update shows improvement in conditions across much of Iowa

Iowa rainfall

DES MOINES – Recent rains have improved conditions across most of the state, but 2 percent of Iowa is still experiencing extreme drought conditions, mostly in Clarke and Wapello counties.

The latest monthly Water Summary Update released this week shows dry areas extending from northwest to southeast Iowa, including significant areas of moderate drought. Through the first three weeks of August, rain totals were as high as 9.51 inches at Guthrie Center, with totals of 6 inches or more widespread over much of northwest, west central and southwest Iowa. This was also the coolest start to August since 2004.

“Recent rainfall has helped to alleviate concerns in some areas of Iowa, but drought conditions still remain across parts of south-central Iowa,” said Tim Hall, who coordinates DNR’s hydrology resources.

Substantial rainfall in the southwestern two-thirds of Iowa in the last two weeks has improved shallow groundwater conditions in northwest, central, and parts of southeast Iowa. Shallow groundwater conditions in the Skunk and lower Des Moines River watersheds are still in a moderate drought classification, and parts of Buena Vista, Clay, O’Brien and Cherokee counties are still in slight drought.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to

The report is prepared by technical staff from Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.

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