The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is launching a new online resource for information about the state’s waterways. Chris Ensminger, head of the DNR’s Geographic Information Systems section, says the Iowa Water Web is still a work in progress.

"The point of this, eventually, is to support customer needs," Ensminger says, "whether it’s internally, like prioritizing water bodies for restoration, or if just a person wondering where’s the best place to catch a catfish."

The Iowa Water Web will contain information about watershed improvement and detailed scientific data, but Ensminger believes most people will use it to learn about recreation opportunities.

"Moms will want to take the kids swimming and want to know what bacteria levels are at the beach," and Ensminger says they’ll be able to find that out at www.IowaDNR.gov . Iowa has more than 71,600 miles of streams and rivers and over 161,000 acres of lakes, ponds, and wetlands.