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Hello&and Welcome to History in the Making!

This is the first long-awaited official newsletter for IOWATER, Iowas citizen water quality monitoring network! What an exciting time to live in Iowa and take active roles in opportunities that will make our state a better place to live! Welcome, and thank you, for your dedication to a cleaner environment.


A Brief History Lesson

The IOWATER program has grown in scope and direction from humble beginnings in May of 1998. At that time, individuals who had long been striving for a statewide program gathered together to begin laying the framework for how such a program would work.

These initial individuals represented IOWATER's first advisory committee and include: Iowa DNR, Natural Resources Conservation Service,

Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Division of the Izaak Walton League,

Iowa Farm Bureau, and University of Iowa Water Hygienic Laboratory.

Original financial support for IOWATER, through the Iowa DNR, came from two sources. These start-up funds came from Federal Nonpoint Source management funds (U.S. EPA) and Sportfish Restoration fund (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa Fish & Wildlife Trust Fund).

First year activities resulted in hiring IOWATER's first coordinator, Todd Campbell, and development of the original IOWATER manual. During the 1999 season, the first IOWATER workshops were held at the Springbrook Conservation Education Center. For a more complete and detailed history, please visit the NEW IOWATER web site at: IOWATER.net

Rolling with the Changes&

Because of overwhelming public interest and the early success of the original IOWATER coalition, the program took on a major facelift in October of this last year. Iowa's overall water quality monitoring plan, under the direction of the Geological Survey Bureau, had gained the favorable attention of Governor Tom Vilsack and Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources Director Paul Johnson.

This is also when Rich Leopold was brought on as the new IOWATER coordinator, filling the position vacated by Todd Campbell's move to Texas. Logistical changes included moving IOWATER's "headquarters" to within the Geological Survey Bureau in Des Moines and adding many program partners to IOWATER's advisory committee (see partner list elsewhere in this publication).

Philosophical changes were perhaps even more dramatic in scope. IOWATER's mission, "To protect and improve Iowas water quality by establishing and supporting a statewide volunteer water monitoring program," took on the beliefs that:

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   IOWATER is a citizen-based program, directed by volunteers needs within local communities.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     IOWATER focuses on solutions not just documenting problems.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     IOWATER is interested in results, not regulation.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)    IOWATER is flexible, allowing local groups to design their own monitoring and action plans.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     IOWATER is committed to partnerships, developing local working partners and sharing information and resources within state and federal agencies.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     IOWATER will concentrate on a watershed approach, integrating land use, soil concerns, and the water bodies involved.


Plan ® Action

How are we going to do it?

With the scope of the program changed, and with new partners and the enthusiastic interest of citizen volunteers and organizations, IOWATER is now setting sights on how this is going to work in the "real-world." Here's the plan:

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   On-Site Training Workshops. There are eighteen IOWATER workshops (so far) scheduled this year throughout the state. Of these workshops, six are open, eight are "targeted," and four are "refresher" for those already trained in IOWATER. For more info, refer to the IOWATER 2000 Workshops table.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Testing Equipment. IOWATER will supply trained individuals and groups with all testing equipment necessary to do the monitoring.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Levels of monitoring. There are levels of training and commitment for the monitors, accommodating everyone from a group of fifth graders testing once a year to retired professionals testing once a week!

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Written support materials. A revised IOWATER manual will be used alongside the Adopt-a-Stream Foundation's publication Streamkeepers Field Guide.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Public Database Development. Citizens will have the ability to input and withdraw data via the Internet. There will also be available tools to interpret the data (graphs, charts, etc.) for local land-use / water-use decision making.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Advocacy. Local groups will be given the tools they need, including media relations and data interpretation training, to encourage advocacy on local water quality issues.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Ongoing Technical Assistance. IOWATER will provide ongoing technical assistance and statewide networking through additional training workshops, periodic newsletters, and annual conferences.

blueball.gif (924 bytes)   The Future. IOWATER is here to stay! Although currently focused on running water, the program will be expanded to include lake, wetland, and additional soil monitoring in the near future.



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IOWATER 2000 Workshop Schedule

To register for any of the IOWATER workshops listed below, or for more specific registration information, please contact the individuals listed below.  All workshops, unless otherwise noted, are Level 1 training for streams.

IOWATER 2000 Workshops
Date Town County Contact
Contact Person's Phone # Contact Person's Email
FULL April 24, 2000* Bettendorf Scott (309)765-7512 [email protected]
May 5-6, 2000 Ames Story (515)232-8538 [email protected]
May 17-18, 2000 Cedar Falls Black Hawk (319)277-2187 [email protected]
May 25-26, 2000 Forest City Winnebago Bob Schwartz (515)565-3390
June 1, 2000 Oakland Pottawattamie Greg Mathus (712)482-6408
June 2-3, 2000 Burlington Des Moines (319)753-5808 [email protected]
FULL June 8-9, 2000 Decorah Winneshiek (319)864-7112 [email protected]
June 16-17, 2000 Guthrie Center Guthrie   (515)747-8383 [email protected]
June 21, 2000** Guthrie Center Guthrie Project WILD -
(515)747-2200 [email protected]
June 23-24, 2000 Clarion Wright Bruce Voights (515)532-3185
July 21-22, 2000 Centerville Wayne (515)872-1350 [email protected]
August 11-12, 2000 Sioux City Woodbury (712)258-0838 [email protected]
August 18-19, 2000 Peosta Dubuque Bob Walton (319)556-6745
August 21-22, 2000***




[email protected]

* This workshop will be targeted toward secondary school instructors.
** This workshop is part of a 3-day "Awareness to Action" Project WILD conference.
*** This workshop will be targeted toward lake/reservoir monitoring.

To register for any of the above IOWATER workshops, or for more specific registration information, please contact the individuals listed.


IOWATER workshops
&to learn, share and prepare

... for ACTION!

What goes on at an IOWATER workshop? A variety of session settings, indoors and outdoors, will contain topics such as starting a monitoring plan, networking with others in your area concerned with water quality, and some muddy fun! Agenda items include:

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     Finding Your Watershed Address

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     The "Why-To" and "How-To" of Water Monitoring

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     Field Exercises The Wet Session

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     What to DO with the Data

blueball.gif (924 bytes)     The Big Picture: Where Do You Go From Here?

Some workshops were planned to cover the state equally while others have specific "targets" in mind, such as a newly forming coalitions or historically successful models. Regardless of this, ALL workshops are open to any individual or group that is interested. Upon completion of the workshop, you will be a certified Level 1 IOWATER citizen monitor.

All workshops are based on ten hours training, usually set-up comfortably over two days. The hours of each may vary depending on location. Contact the listed individuals for actual times. Workshop registration fee is $25, which covers all program fees, meals, and testing equipment. Get involved - make a difference!

Jumping On-Board

An exciting coalition has been made with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Iowa Environmental Council, and the Iowa Dept. of Ag. & Land Stewardship's Div. of Soil Conservation. The Boddy Media Group will present sessions at IOWATER workshops dealing with team building, working with volunteers, building local partnerships, and working with the media. IOWATER welcomes you!

Free Equipment!

All IOWATER monitors will receive:

blueball.gif (924 bytes) CHEMetrics Dissolved Oxygen Kit
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Test Strips - Nitrate, Phosphate, pH
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Transparency / Turbidity Tube
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Benthic Dip Net
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Benthic Tub and Forceps
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Magnifying Box
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Aquatic Thermometer
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Open Reel Measuring Tape
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Laminated Benthic Guides
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  Streamkeeper's Field Guide
blueball.gif (924 bytes)  And more!


Extra - TESTING!

Expanded Testing Parameters

In response to public feedback, additional testing parameters have been added to Level 1 training. Here's the list...


blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Benthic Macroinvertebrates


blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Watershed Analysis
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Habitat Assessment
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Turbidity
blueball.gif (924 bytes)    Water Temperature
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Stream Flow
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Soil Infiltration (if possible)


blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Dissolved Oxygen
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   pH
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Nitrate
blueball.gif (924 bytes)   Phosphate

Future levels of monitoring may include other parameters such as; ammonia, alkalinity, coliforms, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), chloride, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and others as deemed necessary depending on locality.


IOWATER On-line!  

The old IOWATER internet site, within the Environmental Protection Division of the Iowa DNR, was difficult for many to find. IOWATER now has a new site, which will be updated on a regular basis. Soon IOWATER monitors will be able to make contact with others sampling in Iowa, input and withdraw information from the IOWATER database, and access IOWATER's support materials such as benthic keys and newsletters. Stay tuned!


Our Sponsors:

Our diversity is our strength! It is only through mutual respect and voluntary cooperation the dreams of this program are becoming a reality. The IOWATER Advisory Committee is a partnership effort of:

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Divisions of:

Fish & Wildlife
Environmental Protection
Information & Education
State Parks
Geological Survey Bureau

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Area Education Agencies

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Association of Naturalists

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Conservation Education Council

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Environmental Council

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Resource Conservation & Development

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa State University Extension

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Iowa Student Environmental Council

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Natural Resources Conservation Service

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) Trees Forever

yellowba.gif (933 bytes) University of Iowa Water Hygienic Laboratory


Waves of Difference Across

In closing, thank you again for being an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in this "history in the making." IOWATER is a vital component of the statewide monitoring program and will receive ongoing support. Iowa's citizens involved in the monitoring process will receive many benefits. We will become actively involved in local water-quality issues. We will make progress in attempting to restore Iowas natural water wonders. And we'll have a little fun and muddy exercise to boot! We are making a change on the land, for the better, for our childre and our children's children.

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
From the "Great Law" of the Hodinonhshioni (League of the Iroquois)


IOWATER Coordinator
Wallace Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515.281.3252, fax: 515.281.8895
[email protected]