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Water Summary Update: Near-average April rains help drought conditions improve

DES MOINES — Precipitation for April averaged 3.20 inches, about a half inch below normal. The near-normal rainfall helped to continue improvement of drought conditions in Iowa, according to the latest Water Summary Update. 

However, at the start of May, more than half of Iowa is free from dryness or drought. Concern, however, continues for water resources in parts of northwest Iowa. 

"April was close to normal for rain, and for the year to date the state is only about a half inch below normal,” said Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources. “However, some areas of northwest and western Iowa received two inches below normal rain for the month, and that is of concern. If we can get above normal rainfall in May and June, we should see continued improvement."

Soil moisture and groundwater levels are near normal across much of Iowa, but northwest Iowa remains drier.  

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to

The report is prepared by technical staff from Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.