A watershed is a geographic region separated by ridges of high land where the water in the given area flows and drains to a common location, which is typically the nearest downhill body of water, which may include streams, rivers, or lakes. We all live in watersheds of various sizes. One of the largest watersheds in United States is the Mississippi River that covers a region of 33 states. This area also includes smaller streams and rivers that flow into the Mississippi, which may have their own watershed. The City of Pleasant Hill resides in 3 local watersheds of the Fourmile Creek, Spring Creek, and Yeader Creek.
Watershed Management Authorities
A Watershed Management Authority (WMA)
is a mechanism for cities, counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and stakeholders to cooperatively engage in watershed planning and management to monitor, access, and educate residents on flood risks and water quality as well as initiate activities to improve water quality and reduce flood risks. The City of Pleasant Hill is an active member of two different WMAs in the central Iowa region - The Fourmile Creek WMA and The Mud, Camp, and Spring Creek WMA.
Fourmile Creek is a 76,000-acre watershed consisting of urban and agricultural communities predominately located in Polk County. The creek and its tributaries run for over 40 miles, beginning in northern Polk County and eventually joining with the Des Moines River in southern Polk County. The Fourmile Creek Management Plan
was completed in 2015 as a guide to improve the watershed and address environmental concerns.
This WMA consists of three bordering watersheds that encompass 64,511-acres of land within central Iowa. The creeks and their tributaries traverse over 50-miles before entering the Des Moines River. The land use is predominately agricultural but the growing municipalities of Altoona and Pleasant Hill has increased stormwater runoff in these watersheds. In 2016, the Mud, Camp, and Spring Creek Watershed Management Plan
was created to discuss the concerns and challenges facing the watersheds.