Iowa Watershed Approach Projects

Iowa Watershed Approach Projects


WHKS assisted the Middle Cedar Watershed to complete survey, design, and implementation of water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Projects included agricultural (including work in drainage districts) and urban BMPs which will reduce flooding and improve water quality on both public and private lands. The process is highly competitive and the number of BMPs installed is dependent on the type of cost of projects identified in the sub-watersheds.

Agricultural BMPs follow NRCS specifications and included:

  • Saturated buffers
  • Bioreactors
  • Grassed waterways
  • Water and sediment control basins (WASCOBS)
  • Nitrate removal wetlands
  • Grade stabilization structures
  • Streambank stabilization
  • Wetlands
  • Water control structures
  • Oxbow restoration
  • Floodplain restoration
  • Terraces

Urban Storm water BMPs were designed according to the Iowa Storm water Management Manual and included:

  • Saturated Buffers
  • Bioreactors
  • Bioretention cells
  • Bioswales
  • Stormwater retention/detention basins
  • Stormwater wetlands
  • Permeable pavement, rain gardens, and other pertinent storm water practices


  • Survey
  • Planning and project prioritization
  • BMP design
  • Construction observation and administration


WHKS has designed over 130 conservation practices, primarily consisting of dams, ponds, wetlands, and sediment basins. In addition, we have designed six structures large enough to be classified as regulated dams. One of these structures is over 30 feet in height and controls over 1,200 acres.