Drought Continues Into Winter - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Drought Continues Into Winter

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By Lisa Martone

LMartone@myabc5.com

POLK CITY-- Every week the levels at Big Creek Lake are dropping, and not just a few centimeters. This water is dropping half a foot per week.

"Big Creek Lake is experiencing what is happening with many bodies of whatever across most of the state," said Ajay Winter of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "We have had a record drought this summer and it has continued into the fall…and into the first part of December."

Big Creek's neighbor Saylorville Lake is also seeing record lows. In fact the level it's at now is the 4th lowest it has been since it began operation in 1977.

"Saylorville is down, our rivers are way down…is that going to affect the fish populations? In some bodies, yes," said Winter.

Not just the fish are at risk. The low levels are beginning to expose dangerous areas and watermains, once hidden in the lakes. Boaters are asked to be cautious and careful when maneuvering around any body of water in Central Iowa.

The only hope for the drought situation, is more rain or snow, but unfortunately the outlook for the weather is still dry.

"The updated winter outlook definitely does not hold much hope for a wetter than normal winter across the state," said Jeff Zogg of the National Weather Service. "Not a strong signal for a really wet winter."

We are not at risk of running out of drinking water. However, if the drought continues and the water levels keep dropping there is a risk of water quality being affected.

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