Ioway Creek Watershed Management Authority
Update: The name “Squaw Creek” was officially changed to “Ioway Creek” in February of 2021, to be more respectful to native peoples. Over the next year, expect to see some changes to the names of groups that have formed to protect the creek, as well as maps and signs.
Created in 2012, the mission of the Ioway Creek Watershed Management Authority (IWMA) is to engage, educate, and encourage all citizens to improve the health, stewardship, and resiliency of our watershed resources.
The Ioway Creek Watershed Management Board is comprised of the cities, counties, and soil and water conservation districts from the watershed and is formed under a Squaw-Creek-28E. This group works on improving and protecting water quality in the watershed by merging their resources and individual interests to achieve a common goal. This group has no taxing or regulatory authority; they are simply a coalition of government entities in the watershed working on promoting and implementing voluntary conservation to improve water quality.
A Watershed Management Plan was adopted in December 2014. The plan was created with help from the water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm EOR of Oakdale, MN. You can view the plan here.
A great deal of work has been conducted, and implementation of the 20-year management plan has been executed by Prairie Rivers of Iowa, beginning with a Water Quality Initiative Grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in 2015.
This included Prairie Rivers of Iowa helping farmers seed 3,532 acres of cover crops, transition 3,719 acres to no-till or strip-till, and install a denitrifying bioreactor through 2019.
Plans are continuing to develop new projects to implement the water quality, hydrology, outreach, recreation, and habitat goals of the 20-year watershed management plan.
The Ioway Creek Watershed Management Authority involves a team of people from large and small communities, rural and urban areas in the counties of Boone, Story, Hamilton, and Webster who share an interest in Squaw Creek.
At the Squaw Creek WMA Board of Directors meeting on May 15, 2014, the following points were highlighted. In details summaries may be accessed in the links below:
- The hydrology of Squaw Creek has been significantly altered. Flashy: Peak flow rates in the stream can be as much as 100x the base flow.
- Monitoring data indicates that there are very high levels of nutrients (P and N) and bacteria. Boom/Bust dissolved oxygen cycles.
- The manner in which past monitoring has been done makes it difficult to detect any trends. The recommendation is to focus effort at one or two sites along the creek and take more frequent baseflow and storm event samples.
- The stream is NOT healthy: unstable, degraded habitat, carries large sediment load (without flushing it downstream)
Water Quality Summary
CLICK HERE to view the presentation given by Pat Conrad at the listening sessions of the WMA.
CLICK HERE to view the presentation given by Pat Conrad with EOR to the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority.