Program funds will be targeting practices that retain water in the landscape during heavy rain events. These practices include:

  • Farm Ponds
  • Water and Sediment Control Basins
  • Grade Stabilization Structures
  • Wetland Creation
  • Constructed Wetlands
  • Wetland Enhancement

75% cost-share is being offered towards the installation of the above mentioned practices. Other promoted practices such as filter strips, contour buffer strips, terraces, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, riparian buffers and practices that improve soil health (no-till, cover crop, diverse crop rotations, etc.) also have huge impacts on the retention of water in the landscape. There are several cost-share programs that can be used to offset the cost of adopting these practices as well.

Some questions to ask yourself to determine if you would be a good candidate for this project are:

  • Does my land have the potential to build ponds, wetlands, or sediment control basins?
  • Do I have at least a 40-foot buffer around streams that run through my land?
  • Do I ever have erosion issues on my land?
  • Do I have areas in my cropland that frequently produce low yields or are unprofitable?
  • Do I have areas in my cropland that frequently flood out?
  • Do I want to build my soil's health?
  • Do I live in one of the four priority sub-watersheds?
  • Am I willing to contribute to making my community more resilient to flooding?

For more information contact Matt Frana, Project Coordinator, at 563-382-4352 x3 or More information may also be found at the following links:

This is a component of a road structure, which could either be a Water and Sediment Control Basin or a Grade Stabilization Structure.

The Winneshiek SWCD has an opening for a Conservation Technician for this project!

Within the Upper Iowa River Watershed, efforts will be focused on four sub-watersheds in order to maximize the effect of program funds. The four sub-watersheds are:

  • Canoe Creek
  • North Canoe Creek
  • Ten Mile Creek
  • Coon Creek

Farm Pond

Matt Frana, Project Coordinator

Components of a road structure

Upper Iowa River Watershed Project

Through the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA), Iowans will work together to address factors that contribute to floods and nutrient flows. Iowans will enjoy improvements in quality of life and health resulting from upstream watershed investments tied to community resilience activities. This adaptive model, supported by U.S. Housing & Urban Development dollars, will leverage the principles of Iowa's innovative Nutrient Reduction Strategy to make our communities more resilient to flooding and help improve water quality.

The IWA will accomplish six specific goals: 1) reduce flood risk; 2) improve water quality; 3) increase

resilience; 4) engage stakeholders through collaboration and outreach/education; 5) improve quality

of life and health, especially for vulnerable populations; and 6) develop a program that is scalable

and replicable throughout the Midwest and the United States.

The Upper Iowa River is one of nine distinct watersheds across Iowa which will serve as project sites

for the IWA. Each will leverage a watershed management authority, develop a hydrologic assessment

and watershed plan, and implement projects to reduce the magnitude of downstream flooding and to

improve water quality during and after flood events.                                            


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