Stormwater Program

Thanks for visiting our site! To learn more about stormwater and how you can help the environment, you can watch this video that was put together by Metro Vancouver.

Stormwater graphicAs you may know, our land cover has dramatically changed in Iowa, which has resulted in being one of the areas in the world that is more ecologically altered. We are on the bottom of the list of publicly owned land (by percentage), compared to the other States. This is why what you do on your land has such a large potential and relevance for ecological restoration. According to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), about 80% of our state used to be covered in prairie but we only have 0.1% of that prairie left (for more information visit their website).  Prairie plants have large and dense roots that help the soil infiltrate (take in) water. We have changed that largely for crops and urban lands that have a much lower infiltration capacity. This has resulted in an altered hydrology so that every time it rains we generate a large amount of stormwater runoff. There are many problems that arise with that increased runoff, and decrease infiltration capacity, including water pollution (as the water picks up pollutants where it travels), increased erosion of our streams and rivers (as more water runs faster and has more erosion potential), increased flooding probability and decreased quality of our land and aquatic ecosystems. The good news is that you can help reverse this by incorporating stormwater BMPs (including native plants!) in your property. Please visit our Residents and Businesses page to learn more about things you can do!

If you are a builder, you have a greater role in conserving our water resources. The US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) reports that sediment runoff rates from construction sites are typically 10 to 20 times greater than that of agricultural lands and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forest lands. Because of this, there are special rules that you need to follow when you are going to build. Please visit our Stormwater Regulations and Construction Links pages to learn more. You also have the best opportunity to incorporate Green Infrastructure Practices in your developments, making them more attractive, environmentally friendly and resilient. To learn more, visit the Iowa Stormwater Manual website. Please contact us to find out how we can help you get technical and financial support and visit our Conservation Opportunities page

No matter if you are a resident, business owner or builder, you can learn more about Stormwater in the following brochures.

Stormwater Brochures

Use the links to the left to find information relevant to your situation.