Two watershed planning tools (ACPF and PTMApp) were brought together as the ‘IAPA’ to improve targeting outreach and implementation based on the estimated cost and water quality improvement of practices.

Watershed planning is a key means of bringing local stakeholders together to identify resource concerns, set goals and establish a path forward to achieve those goals. Numerous watershed plans have been developed in Iowa, but the need for additional watershed planning vastly exceeds what has been accomplished to date. Moreover, previous watershed planning tools have not provided estimates of the relative cost and water quality performance for individual conservation practices which could be used to maximize the impact of limited resources. The IAPA (Integrated ACPF and PTMApp Application) was developed with funding support from NRCS to meet this need.

To increase the accessibility of IAPA, the following 4 webinars were developed and are provided in the links below. (Note that these webinars assume some familiarity with ARCGIS tools and databases.)

The approach was piloted in the Middle Cedar HUC-8 watershed, with development of additional detail for a smaller subwatershed in the same region, but could be readily adapted to other parts of Iowa. The tools allow establishing lists of priority practices based on specific goals for nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment reduction, along with estimated cost effectiveness of these practices.

IAWA partnered with Houston Engineering, Inc. to develop the approach, with additional support from the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn, the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center, Agren, and NRCS. As a result of this effort, IAPA is now a publicly available and supported component of PTMApp.

More information about IAPA can be found on the Prioritize, Target, Measure Application documentation page at This includes the technical memorandum about the IAPA methodology as well as the attribute catalog that describes the information with the databases.  Information about the ACPF can be found at

NRCS/SWCS photo by Lynn Betts