Dry Run Creek

Dry Run Creek is a 15,177 acre watershed which flows from the agricultural lands of Black Hawk county through residential, industrial, and commercial areas including the city of Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa before it outlets into the Cedar River.  In 2002, a segment of the southwest branch was listed on Iowa’s 303(d) list of impaired waters due to a lack of diversity and abundance of aquatic life.  In 2008, the creek received a second impairment designation when it was placed on the 303(d) list for bacterial impairment. The sources of these impairments are multifaceted but are largely contributed to pollution from stormwater runoff and sedimentation due to soil erosion. Dry Run Creek is a dynamic watershed with varied land use. Currently about 44% of the watershed is designated as urban with the remaining 56% identified as rural. There has been a measured 1-2% increase in urban development throughout the watershed each year.

Since 2005, the Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project has utilized grant funds from the Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and private organizations to provide financial assistance for local landowners to install conservation and stormwater management practices. Over the last 15 years this has accumulated in over $2.5 million in cost share helping protect over 1,800 tons of sediment from impacting the stream and over 83,000,000 gallons of stormwater each year! Financial assistance varies from each funding source but can usually provide up to 75% reimbursement of the cost. FREE, no-obligation property assessments are available for all  residents, businesses, developers, producers, and landowners within the watersh1ed. For more information, please contact the office or feel free to check out our informational brochures (Residential/Business Financial Brochure and Contractor/Developer Financial Brochure).

For current activities and events related to the Project be sure to check out and “Like” our Facebook page: Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project

Detailed information on the Dry Run Creek Project:


DRCWIP Brochure 2020

DRC Infographic

DRCWIP Installed Conservation Practices 2007-2020

DRC Watershed Management Plan

Dry Run Creek TMDL (Pending)

DRC Stressor Identification

DRC/UNI Geomorphology Assessment


Information on urban conservation:

Rain Garden Brochure

Rain Garden Manual

Permeable Pavers Brochure

Bioretention Cell Brochure

Bioswales Brochure

Soil Quality Restoration Brochure

Rainwater Harvesting

Native Turf

Native Prairie

Green Roofs

Stormwater Wetlands

Interactive Dry Run Creek Best Management Practices map: http://www.geotree.uni.edu/web/bmp/

Want to know if you live within the Dry Run Creek watershed and are eligible for cost share dollars? Type in your address on this interactive map Dry Run Creek Google Map. This map was created in partnership with the Cedar Falls CAPS program.