The month of July has created an impact on the water in Clarke County.
According to a report from Osceola Water Superintendent Brandon Patterson, West Lake, the water source for Osceola and Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA), is 9 inches below the spillway.
Patterson wasn’t available for additional comment.
Even though there have been sporadic showers and storms across southern Iowa throughout July, it still has been a hot, dry month.
According to the online U.S. Drought Monitor, on July 23, Clarke County was listed as “D0-Abnormally Dry” on the drought-condition scale.
The majority of southern and northwestern Iowa was listed as abnormally dry. Northeastern Iowa was not listed on the drought-condition scale.
However, in terms of the drought of 2012 across Iowa, 9 inches below the spillway is a relatively small number for Clarke County.
With the drought last summer, the water department started monitoring the situation at West Lake a year ago in July. At that time, the water level was at 22 inches below the spillway.
From that point until the middle of January, water levels at West Lake were steadily decreasing. Water-conservation tactics were made known to the public.
On Feb. 14, the water level was 65 inches below the spillway.
Then, the spring rains came. By late April, Patterson reported West Lake was full and water levels were up to the spillway.
While conditions may have been dry lately, including the water level below the spillway, it’s still not as bad as last year.