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Watershed Policies

 

Regulate and Monitor Public and Private Land Use Activities

Watershed Policy, broadly speaking, is what regulates both public and private activities within watersheds.  This is accomplished primarily through the use of codes and ordinances, the establishment of minimum or maximum standards, establishment of budgets and appropriation of funds.

Effective watershed policy will provide many benefits including:  reduced flood damages and more resiliency, better water quality, improved green and open space for the community.

Included in these tools are both model ordinances, as well as existing ordinances from Iowa communities that protect natural resources and control stormwater runoff – select and implement the policy that suits local needs.

 

Policies that Protect Natural Resources

Plan to protect local natural resources before community development occurs.

Drinking Water Protection

  1. Groundwater - Source Water Interactions (Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC))
  2. Managing Groundwater to Protect Surface Water (Environmental Protection Agency)
  3. Groundwater Protection (Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
  4. Source Water Protection (Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
  5. Source Water Protection Map (Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
  6. Groundwater Protection Ordinance (Environmental Protection Agency)

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

  1. Black Hawk County (Natural Resources Protection and Preservation - Section VIII.)
  2. Johnson County (Sensitive Areas Ordinance)
  3. University Heights (Sensitive Areas Ordinance)
  4. Cedar County (Protecting Highly Productive Ag Land from Development: Agricultural District, Chapter 5 - A-1)

Floodplain Management

  1. Floodplain Management Ready Reference (Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
  2. National Flood Insurance Program (Iowa Department of Natural Resources)
  3. Community Rating System (CRS) (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Floodplain Ordinances

  1. Floodplain Development Permit (City of Cedar Falls, Section 29-34)
  2. Establishment of Floodplain Districts (City of Cedar Falls, Section 29-108)
  3. Establishment of Floodplain Boundaries (City of Cedar Falls, Section 29-109)
  4. Floodway Fringe Overlay District (City of Cedar Falls, Section 29-156)
  5. General Floodplain Overlay Districts (City of Cedar Falls, Section 29-157)

Stream Buffers

  1. Pleasant Hill (Stream Buffer Ordinance)
  2. Polk County (Stream Buffer Ordinance)
  3. Environmental Protection Agency (Acquatic [Stream] Buffer Model Ordinance)

 

Policies that Reduce Stormwater Runoff

Conservation Design (CD) is an approach to land development (or re-development) that mimics historical hydrology by utilizing natural systems to manage stormwater close to to where it is generated on the landscape. CD employs principles such as preserving and re-creating natural landscape features, minimizing effective imperviousness to create functional and appealing site drainage that treats stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product. Conservation Design incorporates Low Impact Development (LID) practices or Green Infrastructure (GI).

 

The Environmental Protection Agency has many resources related to CD / LID / GI:

  1. Fact Sheets
  2. Reports
  3. Design / Guidance Documents
  4. Information and Resource Centers
  5. Videos and Other Multi-Media

The following states have developed Conservation / Sustainable Design Model Ordinances:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Ohio
  3. Wisconsin

 

Policies that Control Stormwater Runoff

Erosion and Sediment Control Model Ordinances

  1. Model 1 - Construction Site Runoff Control (Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership)
  2. Model 2 - Construction Site Runoff Control Users Guide (Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership)
  3. Model 3 - Construction Site Runoff Control (Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership)

Erosion and Sediment Control Adopted Ordinances

  1. Cedar Rapids (Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance)
  2. Davenport (Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance)
  3. Des Moines (Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance)
  4. Dubuque County (Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance)
  5. LeClaire (Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance)
  6. Panora (Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance)

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Model Ordinances

  1. IDDE Model Ordinance (Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership)
  2. IDDE Model Ordinance Users Guide (Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership)

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Adopted Ordinances

  1. Bettendorf (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance)
  2. Cedar Falls (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance)
  3. Coralville (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance)
  4. Council Bluffs (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance)
  5. Des Moines (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance)
  6. Johnston (Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Ordinance)

Post Construction (Stormwater) Runoff Control

  1. Model Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance (Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership)
  2. Clive (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  3. Coralville (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  4. Des Moines (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  5. Johnson County (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  6. North Liberty (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  7. Okoboji (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  8. Robins (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  9. Spirit Lake (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)
  10. Windsor Heights (Post Construction Runoff Control Ordinance)