KC McGinnis | February 18, 2015
In a meeting Tuesday, the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission approved a plan to look into new rules for using the Jordan Aquifer, an underground water source that supplies water to much of the state. Increased demand has strained the aquifer, leading to concerns that the state may need to take action to preserve it.
The proposed rules included new limits on cooling and geothermal use, as well as a new classification system that would arrange aquifer use into three tiers based on depth. Users pumping 300 feet below 1978 levels will be required to follow a water use reduction plan, while users pumping 400 feet below would have to minimize use altogether.
The proposed rules also included the creation of two “protected source areas” in Johnson/Linn Counties and Webster County. This would require that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources conduct all permitting for new well construction within those areas.
These recommendations will be open for public comment at meetings around the state in April. For the complete report from Tuesday’s meeting, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.