Iowa can't take water security for granted
December 1, 2010

The Iowa Geological and Water Survey has just produced a report on the available groundwater in the West Nishnabotna Aquifer, which serves a number of western Iowa communities, including Manning, Oakland, Harlan, and Avoca. The report concludes that, although the water supply in the region appears adequate for now, contingency plans should be made in case of a future drought because some portions of the aquifer aren't recharging as quickly as they're being pumped down. Iowa has a comparatively abundant supply of groundwater, which is generally replenished (at least as best we can tell) rather well by natural rainfall. But Iowa's population is also becoming more concentrated in urban areas, and as a result, demands are growing in those places where the population is aggregating. The state really doesn't have comprehensive data nor a comprehensive plan on how the water supply is being managed statewide, and without a better grasp on that information, it will probably be quite hard to persuade the voting public and lawmakers to invest the resources necessary to ensure that we don't run out of an abundant supply of water in the future.

December 2010
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last revised December 2010