Des Moines Water Works

The Raccoon River in the Des Moines area is among the most-polluted in the state.

After rains, D.M. Water Works suspends voluntary lawn-watering restrictions

BY: - July 15, 2021

Des Moines Water Works has suspended its call for voluntary cutbacks on lawn-watering after rains eased local drought conditions. Utility officials said the request that property owners reduce lawn watering by 25% is not needed now, but could be repeated if conditions deteriorate later. Demand had exceeded 90% of capacity during a recent period of […]


Green water is costing Iowans millions of greenbacks

BY: - July 12, 2021

When I think of Iowa, I think green. Driving across the state a few weeks ago, I was struck all over again by how, even as drought threatened, the landscape rushing by the car windows was a sea of verdant crops, grassy hills, prairie plants and leafy pockets of forest. What’s not as apparent from […]

The Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines serves as a water supply and a growing recreational draw.

Water Works pays for Saylorville water too polluted to use, eyes $50M plant expansion

BY: - July 6, 2021

Des Moines Water Works is spending as much as $250,000 a year for Saylorville Lake water that often is too polluted to use, the utility’s CEO said. That is one reason Water Works is studying a $50 million water-supply expansion, Water Works chief Ted Corrigan added. New wells and plant improvements would help the utility […]

Demand drops at Des Moines Water Works, but conservation effort remains

BY: - July 2, 2021

Recent rain dropped demand for water considerably, but a hot streak next week could mean more strain on Des Moines Water Works, the utility’s CEO said.  “This coming week will be pretty telling,” Ted Corrigan said.  A voluntary conservation program on June 14  brought demand down about 5 million gallons a day after it closed […]

Experts: Fixing Iowa waterways will take legislation, legal action and $5B

BY: - June 18, 2021

Fixing Iowa’s significant water-quality problems will take a brew of legal action and legislation and $5 billion, two experts told Iowa PBS Friday. Des Moines Water Works CEO Ted Corrigan and Iowa Flood Center co-founder Larry Weber said on “Iowa Press” that Friday’s decision by the Iowa Supreme Court to dismiss environmental groups’ lawsuit seeking […]

Supreme Court dismisses case demanding state do more to protect Raccoon River

BY: - June 18, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit by environmental groups contending the state doesn’t properly protect the Raccoon River, a major drinking water source and recreational river. The seven justices, with three dissents, ruled that Food & Water Action and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement didn’t have standing to file the lawsuit and […]

Des Moines water utility pushes customers to conserve as drought worsens

BY: - June 14, 2021

A challenging mixture of drought, heat and near-record demand for water has Des Moines Water Works asking customers to conserve voluntarily.  Specifically, the utility on Monday asked metro residents to cut their lawn watering by 25%. It’s still OK to water gardens and to fill pools, etc. If it doesn’t rain soon, there’s a good […]

Panel: Farm policy changes needed as climate change worsens runoff pollution

BY: - May 26, 2021

Climate change is making Iowa’s water quality problems worse, including nitrate pollution and toxic algae, a panel of experts told the nonprofit Iowa Environmental Council Wednesday.  That means the federal government needs to change crop insurance rules and other programs that support we’ve-always-done-it-this-way agriculture in Iowa, they added. A return to more natural river flows […]

Environmental group: Iowa needs more tests for algae toxins

BY: - May 5, 2021

A national environmental nonprofit is calling on Iowa to ramp up testing of algae toxins in lakes after a study turned up a dozen large algae blooms in areas that weren’t tested.  The Environmental Working Group analyzed state test results in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and checked news reports in an annual assessment. The verdict: […]

Tap water in Des Moines area, Quad-Cities had traces of toxic ‘forever chemicals’

BY: - March 26, 2021

Tap water in the Des Moines area and in parts of eastern Iowa has had traces of toxic “forever chemicals” associated with cancer and other illnesses in the past couple of years, records show.  The concentrations were far below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current voluntary health advisory for the so-called PFAS chemicals. That means, […]

Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments over water quality in Raccoon River

BY: - December 16, 2020

Environmental groups that want the state to regulate farm pollution running into waterways took their arguments to the Iowa Supreme Court on Wednesday. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food & Water Action sued the state over pollution in the Raccoon River. They argued that the voluntary Nutrient Reduction Strategy the state employs to fight […]

D.M. water utility pleads for conservation during near-record demand, hopes to avoid restrictions

BY: - August 28, 2020

One of Iowa’s largest water utilities is scrambling to find enough water for taps and may eventually have to consider forcing residents and businesses to conserve, the general manager said. Ted Corrigan, CEO and general manager of the 500,000-customer Des Moines Water Works, said that in addition to fighting water quality issues, the utility is […]