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Drought concerns continue

September 12, 2012
By John Speer - Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

While some welcome rain has fallen recently, experts continue to warn about effects of the summer drought.

The USDA?has issued updates on programs available to help farmers while Tama County Emergency Management continues to urge care in fall harvest due to dry conditions.

An Iowa Drought Monitor Map issued on Sept. includes all of Tama County in "extreme drought" conditions.

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A band of counties suffering extreme drought begins across the entire western tier of counties in the state and extends eastward across the center to the Mississippi River. It also extends to the Minnesota border in counties in the center of the state.

Much of the rest of Iowa is listed in "severe drought" conditions with sections of some counties in far northwest Iowa in "exceptional drought" conditions.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources water summary also issued on Sept. 6 showed Tama County and roughly two thirds of the state at "near or at historic lows" for shallow groundwater. Groundwater levels for the western one-third of Iowa is classified as?"cannot meet water demand."

Other measurements of water in the state include the U.S. Geological stream flow which shows much of Tama county below normal. Stream flow across the top tier of townships in the county is listed as "much below normal."

The Environmental Protection Agency explains stream flow as "the volume of water that moves over a designated point over a fixed period of time. The flow of a stream is directly related to the amount of water moving off the watershed into the stream channel. It is affected by weather, increasing during rainstorms and decreasing during dry periods.



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