What is the Turkey River Watershed Management Authority?

The Turkey River Management Management Authority was established on June 29, 2012. Find meeting minutes and members listed here.

What is a Watershed Management Authority (WMA)?

Under Iowa law, a Watershed Management Authority is a formal Chapter 28E agreement, or partnership, created by two or more political subdivisions (e.g., cities, counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts) to accomplish the following:

  • 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; and Allocate moneys made available to the Authority for purposes of water quality and flood mitigation.

Why participate in a Watershed Management Authority?

  • Water management problems are greater than one community or city can handle.
  • Local citizens, county boards or cities request them.
  • They allow for uniform, effective actions or controls, to correct and prevent problems.
  • State & federal money available for work in WMAs.
  • Iowa Legislature passed legislation to encourage the formation of WMAs.
  • Iowa Economic Development Authority selected 6 watersheds, including the Turkey River Watershed as pilots for Iowa WMA development.

How we can set up a Watershed Management Authority:

  • All cities, counties, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) within a watershed must be invited.
  • A WMA must be created pursuant to a chapter 28e agreement between a minimum of two political subdivisions from the same watershed.
  • The WMA must be governed by a board of directors, made up of appointed representatives of the participating political subdivisions. The board shall adopt bylaws, elect a chairperson, vice chairperson and appoint a secretary.

What may a Watershed Management Authority do?

  • 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; and allocate moneys made available to the WMA for purposes of water quality and flood mitigation.
  • The WMA may enter into and execute contracts and agreements necessary to carry out their duties.
  • They shall not acquire property by eminent domain.
  • They may coordinate activities with the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Councils of Governments, public drinking water utilities, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The Turkey River Watershed Management Authority

  • Initiated by Clayton County Board of Supervisors on behalf of the Turkey River Watershed.
  • The TRWMA complements ongoing efforts of the Turkey River Watershed Alliance (an informal collaborative of nearly 20 public and private organizations).
  • No upfront cost to join the TRWMA.
  • Once TRWMA is formed it can apply to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for funding to develop a TRWMA Plan.
  • Once the TRWMA has a plan, they can apply to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for funding to implement that plan.
  • Future costs will be determined by the TRWMA Board.
  • TIMELINE
    • March 29: Initial Meeting of Cities, Counties, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts
    • Boards/Councils Discuss TRWMA and Appoint Representative
    • April 26: Draft 28E Agreement Presented/Discussed (held at Upper Iowa University in Fayette – Details & Agenda)
    • Boards/Councils Review Draft 28E Agreement
    • May 31: Meeting in Postville to Finalize 28E Agreement, take back to boards and councils for signature at May meeting
    • June: Boards/Councils Approve Final 28E Agreement and 28E Agreement is filed with the Iowa Secretary of State
    • Meetings held the last Thursday of each month  from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
  • Contact Northeast Iowa RC&D for more information. (563) 864-7112  or brad@northeastiowarcd.org

 

Attachments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Watershed Management Authority