Many people might not know what a watershed is. A watershed is a basin-like landform defined by highpoints and ridgelines that descend into lower elevations and stream valleys. A watershed carries water "shed" from the land after rain falls and snow melts. Drop by drop, water is channeled into soils, groundwaters, creeks, and streams, making its way to larger rivers and eventually the sea.
Every drop of water that falls in Iowa and moves into our rivers, lakes, and streams eventually ends up in the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers and in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Mississippi River drains 41 percent of the continental U.S. and is the third-largest watershed in the world. Flooding along the river and its tributaries has closed roads and set crest records in New Madrid and Caruthersville, Missouri. Barge traffic stopped on the Ohio River, which drains into the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois, last week.
Iowa is part of the problem, but that also means we can be part of the solution! We are asking supporters to ask Iowa Governor Branstad, and Lt. Governor Reynolds, to support INCREASED funding for critical watershed protection programs like:
- Iowa's REAP Program
- Iowa's WIRB (Watershed Improvement Review Board)
- Soil Conservation Cost Share Programs
These critical programs will help slow and retain water where it falls and help reduce our impact downstream...helping PREVENT future flooding like we are seeing along the Mississippi River.