Central Iowans with concerns about fresh water and flooding are invited to attend a series of meetings that start next month, focusing on ways to improve the Squaw Creek Watershed. It covers 150,000 square acres in Boone, Hamilton and Story counties.
Pat Conrad is the environmental coordinator for a study of the watershed, which stretches from the Stratford and Stanhope areas southward to Ames. “The Watershed Management Authority is made up of members of each of the communities as well as the counties,” Conrad says. “They’re really looking at opportunities to manage water resources in an effort to improve water quality and to reduce flood impacts.”
Flooding that hit Ames and Iowa State University in 2010 was severe and affected many residents, students and businesses. Conrad explains the big-picture purpose to the study. “To look at the watershed that drains down into a flood-prone area and look for opportunities to change land use practices, to basically store more water up in these watersheds to prevent that water from rushing down and flooding these low-lying areas,” he says.
The study has been ten years in the making. The results will be shared at meetings set for March and early April. Learn more at the Prairie Rivers of Iowa website: www.prrcd.org
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)