Mandatory water cutbacks may be employed this summer in some parts of Iowa if the drought lingers.
Tim Hall is bureau chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' geology and water survey staff and he told a legislative panel on Thursday that the situation was worst in northwest Iowa.
The state has the power to prioritize water use based on a system developed in the 1950s. Hall says the system has never been used and won't be used this summer either. He says conservation decisions are best left to local communities because situations vary so widely from one county or part of the state to the next.
The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says nearly a quarter of Iowa remains in severe or extreme drought.