Watershed Overview

The Walnut Creek Watershed is located in western Polk and eastern Dallas counties in central Iowa. The 53,000 acre landscape is rapidly changing, with over 400 acres being developed each year. The creek confluences with the Raccoon River, which is a primary source for the metro area drinking water supply.

A Watershed Management Authority (WMA) was developed to address environmental and flooding concerns seen throughout the watershed and in the creek. A watershed management plan was developed by the WMA to showcase ways the urban and rural communities can overcome these concerns and increase the overall quality of the watershed.

Get Involved

To address the numerous issue of the Walnut Creek Watershed, a watershed management plan was completed in 2016. The goal of this plan is to improve water quality and prevent increases in flooding. To achieve this, the plan outlines the process to restore the watershed’s ability to slow, absorb and store rainfall. As residents within the watershed, there are many ways you can help!


On the rural landscape, implementing conservation practices improve water quality and reduce downstream flooding. These practices include but are not limited to bioreactors, cover crops, stream buffers, grassed waterways, and wetlands.


On the urban landscape, work must focus on improving stormwater management and stabilizing eroding streams, resulting in improved water quality, reduced runoff, and more flood resilient communities. Developers, cities, and homeowners can create landscapes that treat rainfall as a resource rather than a waste product.


Policy guides stormwater management techniques that mitigate the impacts of urban development. It also helps by altering development standards for effective stormwater management

Walnut Creek Stories

Below are some of our latest stories and projects.

There are 9 communities located in the Walnut Creek Watershed