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DES MOINES AND RACCOON RIVER WATERSHEDS

Des Moines Headwaters
Acres: 790,000
Percent Row Crop: 78
Sample Sites: 0
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: Not currently measured - 3.2 mg/L in 2009

West Fork Des Moines
Acres: 703,000
Percent Row Crop: 81
Sample Sites: 1
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: 5.6 mg/L

East Fork Des Moines
Acres: 843,000
Percent Row Crop: 86
Sample Sites: 1
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: 8.6 mg/L

Boone
Acres: 583,000
Percent Row Crop: 88
Sample Sites: 30
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: 9.0 mg/L

Middle Des Moines
Acres: 1,091,000
Percent Row Crop: 76
Sample Sites: 27
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: 6.5 mg/L

North Raccoon
Acres: 1,594,000
Percent Row Crop: 81
Sample Sites: 33
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: 7.2 mg/L

South Raccoon
Acres: 727,000
Percent Row Crop: 67
Sample Sites: 15
2011 Average Nitrate Concentration at Outlet: 5.9 mg/L


Every year, Des Moines Water Works treats about 15 billion gallons of water from the Raccoon River and the shallow groundwater wells heavily influenced by it.

Water sourced from the Raccoon is consumed by approximately 500,000 people ??? around 17% of Iowa's population. In the Upper Midwest, only Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River, and the Missouri River supply water to more people from a surface water resource.

It is a critical water resource.