Debate rages in Iowa over proposed rebuilding of Lake Delhi dam


The Maquoketa River. Photo by djblock99, Flickr

A debate is raging in Eastern Iowa over whether or not the Lake Delhi dam should be reconstructed. This dam was located on the Maquoketa River before heavy rain caused it to fail in 2010. As a result, many homes and other buildings were damaged, and the lake created by the dam was emptied.

Those opposed to rebuilding the dam cite the cost of the project – nearly $12 million – and how it would disrupt the natural flow of the Maquoketa River.

Environmental groups contend that a natural flowing river will lower the disturbances to fish migration, and water recreational groups argue that the natural flow will lead to better paddling, bird-watching and fishing.

Many of the residents that live along the former location of the lake want the dam back largely because their property value is much lower without the lake.

Read the Des Moines Register’s full article on this issue here.