The Water Trails and Low-head Dam Mitigation (DNR River Program) is under threat of being zeroed out…again.
- Dam Mitigation serves communities and state interests for safer, ecologically sound approaches.
- Water Trials serves recreational river and lake users.
- Team has grown abilities in stable channel design/river restoration.
We need your help to fund important projects in Iowa!
Iowa has 177 low-head dams in 57 of the state’s 99 counties. “Low-head” dams span the river and are less than 20 feet high (many just 2-5 feet high). The dams often are deceptively dangerous “drowning machines.” Since 1900, at least 163 people have been killed in the deadly recirculating currents that form below these dams — 31 since 1998.
Most of these dams were constructed in the 1930’s and are in need of repair. Modification projects provide the opportunity to engage the community and reconnect citizens to the resource in a meaningful way. Whitewater courses, fish passage and improved angling opportunities, expanded water trails and access points, handicap accessibility and native plantings for improved habitat provide multiple benefits but most importantly-these projects provide economic development to revitalize Iowa towns and cities.
~Ryan Wicks, Manchester Good to Great River and Recreation Committee Chair
within the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF)
Clive is a western suburb of Des Moines, population about 17,500. Clive is about a mile wide and eight or nine miles long, with a major stream – Walnut Creek – running through the center of much of the community. [Click here for map of Clive.]
“Walnut Creek is a defining element of the community,” said Molly Hanson, Iowa Rivers Revival Executive Director. “Like other Iowa river cities we have recognized – from Dubuque to Council Bluffs, Charles City to Clinton – Clive is celebrating its past, present and future with Walnut Creek.
“From its beginning, in the 1950s and ‘60s, Clive recognized that the Walnut Creek greenbelt had great potential for recreation, parks, green space, and natural beauty. Greenbelt Park was established early on and became the dominant feature running through the middle of Clive,” Hanson said.
“Today, the Greenbelt’s bike trail and walkways, parks and playgrounds are highly popular and well-used by Clive residents and visitors.
“But Clive still has an eye on the future – and on Walnut Creek itself, its waters and streambanks, not just on the Greenbelt and flood plain beside the Creek,” Hanson said.
Clive earned the River Town of the Year Award especially for its efforts to:
- Stabilize streambanks of Walnut Creek using state-of-the-art “bio-engineering” techniques instead of leaving steep, erodible banks, or “hard-armoring” banks with concrete “rip-rap”. [Click here for streambank stabilization Before and After photos.]
- Adopt a watershed-wide approach and planning with all its neighbor communities.
- Acquire more floodplain acres to ensure adequate stream buffers and flood flow capacities.
- Invest $80 million in public and private funds over 25 years in a Greenbelt Master Plan, more than half for environmental enhancements.
- Protect drinking water for 500,000 people – the Des Moines Water Works intake valve is located just a mile downstream from where Walnut Creek flows into the Raccoon River, not far below Clive.
- Lead the way in organizing technical training for communities on stream restoration strategies.
- Collaborate with resident volunteers who formed Green and Sustainable Clive to remove invasive species, plant trees, and clean up the Creek.
“Clive is leading the way in focusing on water quality as well as water quantity and flooding — on the Creek itself as well as the Greenbelt where it runs,” Robin Fortney, IRR board member said.
“In short, Clive is doing river restoration we think is so important in Iowa,” she said. “We are very pleased to recognize Clive as Iowa River Town of the Year.”
Contact your legislators TODAY and ask them to oppose HF 316!
TARGETS in the Iowa Senate:Zaun, Whitver, Schneider, Chapman + Democrats + Johnson = 25
According to the Des Moines Register, Despite opposition, Des Moines Water Works bill advances in Iowa Senate– Feb. 23, 2017
Legislation to dismantle the Des Moines Water Works, West Des Moines and Urbandale water boards was approved last Tuesday by the Iowa House Ag Committee.
Dane Schumann, a lobbyist for the Des Moines Water Works (as well as Iowa Rivers Revival), told lawmakers there are already provisions in Iowa law to permit the establishment of a regional water authority.
Linda Kinman of the Iowa Association of Water Agencies told lawmakers that regionalization of water facilities needs to be accomplished through partnership and cooperation, “not with a hammer coming down saying that you are forced into regionalization.”
Sen. Kevin Kinney, D-Oxford, has opposed the bill, saying lawmakers should create an interim committee to examine issues related to the proposal over the summer months.
We believe this bill is bad for the metro- rates will increase, economic development and safe drinking water will become politicized; additionally, this bill as written has NOTHING at all to do with a regional water utility (in fact, it’s not event mentioned).
The bill was introduced by Representative Jarad Klein- a hog farmer from Keota, Iowa (over 100 miles from Des Moines Water Works service area) who has no business dictating the utility services of central Iowans.
This bill represents centralized power in the city of Des Moines-not regionalization. Regionalization should be up to the region to decide- not rushed and done behind closed doors by special interests. Rates are almost guaranteed to rise for consumers—perhaps double.
Monday, March 6, 10:00-11:00 AM
Room 103, Iowa State Capitol
Contact your legislators TODAY and ask them to oppose HF 316!
An attempt is being made at the Iowa Legislature to “reorganize” Des Moines Water Works after 150 years of delivering safe and affordable drinking water to Iowans. House File 316 was introduced by Rep. Jarad Klein, a Farm Bureau member from Keota in SE Iowa, far from DMWW service area.
Today’s Des Moines Register editorial states: “Bill Stowe, the CEO and general manager of the Water Works, says the bill is payback. He says lawmakers are retaliating for the utility’s lawsuit against rural drainage districts that allegedly channel high levels of nitrates into the Raccoon River, forcing the Water Works to spend millions on cleanup so the water can be made safe to drink. A new board could drop the lawsuit.”
The lawsuit was filed to protect Iowa residents. Water quality is not a partisan issue and it does not care what your socio-economic status or your address is. This is a health and quality-of-life issue for Iowans.
10 parts per million (ppm) of Nitrates in drinking water is the MAXIMUM that the United States Environmental Protection Agency supports for human consumption and we drink close to it every day.
The Des Moines City Council voted behind closed doors last week in favor of the bill. Mayor Cownie justified his support for Klein’s bill by stating it was the “lesser of two evils” (in reference to a similar but even worse bill introduced last session).
In what world should Iowans have to choose a scenario that involves evil in our drinking water? This session, legislators were supposed to be talking about SOLUTIONS to complicated, state-wide water quality issues, not dismantling over 100 years of community investment that Des Moines Water Works has coordinated.
IRR Vision: clean, free-flowing Iowa rivers teaming with life, surrounded by diverse landscapes, and connecting vibrant communities.
We cannot turn our backs on Des Moines Water Works, the ONE entity that is willing to stand up and fight for cleaner water, the life source we require. The systemic pollution of our most precious natural resource must be stopped. We need you. We need your voice to be heard. We need our elected officials to understand that we will not stand for this attack on the environment. We do not want to be the next Flint, Michigan. We will fight for the health and safety of Iowans, and we expect our public officials to do so as well.