Legislation was passed in 2010 by Iowa lawmakers allowing the creation of Watershed Management Authorities (WMAs). WMAs were seen as a way for various stakeholders to cooperatively work together on watershed planning and management. A WMA was created in 2014 for the Walnut Creek Watershed in order to address environmental concerns and undertake the following activities:
- Assess and reduce flood risk
- Assess and improve water quality
- Monitor federal flood risk planning and activities
- Educate residents of the watershed regarding flood risks and water quality
- Allocate moneys made available to the Authority for purposes of water quality and flood mitigation
The newly formed entity received a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to develop a comprehensive watershed plan to highlight solutions for the environmental issues. This Watershed Management Plan was completed in 2016 by RDG Planning & Design after a multi-year assessment of the Walnut Creek Watershed. Local Soil & Water Conservation Districts assisted with the completion of a comprehensive stream and land use assessment to aid in the future installation of conservation practices outlines in the management plan. Significant input was also gathered from local stakeholders and watershed residents in the creation of the management plan.
Below is a link to the management plan overview. To download the full plan please visit the WMA Plan page.
To manage the WMA and the implementation of the management plan a board was created composed of community leaders within the watershed.
Walnut Creek Watershed Management Authority Board Members
Des Moines, Clive, Dallas Center, Dallas County SWCD, Grimes, Johnston, Polk County, Polk County SWCD, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights
The Des Moines Metropolitan Planning Organization was instrumental in the formation of the Walnut Creek WMA. Their early leadership and guidance has played a pivotal role in the completion of the watershed management plan.