What is a Watershed?
A watershed is an area of land that drains to one major body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean. Dubuque's watersheds include the Catfish Creek Watershed and the Bee Branch Watershed which both flow to the Mississippi River.
Catfish Creek Watershed
The Catfish Creek Watershed is a 57 square-mile watershed that includes industrial centers, residential neighborhoods, rolling cropland steep bluffs and rock, outcrops, and dense forests. About half of the city of Dubuque lies in the watershed as well as parts of Asbury, Peosta, and Centralia. Much of the water in the Catfish Creek Watershed drains to the Catfish Creek which flows generally northeast, beginning near the City of Peosta, and enters the Mississippi River on Dubuque's south side in the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.
Catfish Creek Watershed Management Authority The Catfish Creek Watershed Management Authority is an organization assembled to tackle concerns with water quality and flooding on a watershed level. This means crossing jurisdictional boundaries and working together to solve problems within the entire Catfish Watershed. The governing body of the authority is a board of directors and administration is co-coordinated by the Dubuque Soil and Water Conservation District's Urban Conservationist and a member of the City of Dubuque's engineering staff as appointed by the City Manager. Click here to learn more.
Bee Branch Watershed
The Bee Branch Watershed is approximately 6.5 square miles of located entirely within the city limits. It stretches from the Mississippi River west past John F. Kennedy Rd., north to the Northwest Arterial, and south to W. 5th St. Over half of Dubuque residents either live or work in the Bee Branch Watershed. All water in the Bee Branch Watershed drains to the Bee Branch Creek which then enters into the Mississippi River at the 16th St. Detention Basin.
Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project
The Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project is a multi-phased, fiscally responsible investment to mitigate flooding, improve water quality, stimulate investment, and enhance quality of life within the Bee Branch Watershed. Over 50% of Dubuque residents either live or work in the watershed which encompasses historic neighborhoods offering some of the community's most affordable workforce housing. It is hit hardest by flash flooding during significant rain events with more than "just a little water in the basement." The project consists of several infrastructure improvements that will reduce the volume stormwater, slow the rate of stormwater, and increase safe conveyance of stormwater through the flood-prone area.