Julia Poska| April 26, 2019
The Flood Recovery Advisory Board, formed by Governor Reynolds to coordinate statewide recovery and rebuilding following this year’s devastating floods, will gain expertise from Larry Weber, a co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center.
Dr. Weber can offer valuable experience and insights in several areas related to flooding. He is a former director of IIHR Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa, conducting research in areas including river hydraulics, hydropower, ice mechanics, water quality and watershed processes.
Weber also conducts research for the UI Public Policy Center and worked with the state legislature in 2013 to implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. He and his wife have won several awards for conservation work on their own property.
Recently, he wrote an op-ed about his vision as leader of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $96 million Iowa Watershed Approach. This program addresses factors that contribute to Iowa’s increasing flood risk in nine distinct watersheds, with the ultimate goals of reducing risk, improving water quality and increasing resilience.
In the piece, Weber said he aims to restore natural resiliency through conservation measures like farm ponds, wetlands and terraces. Floodplain restoration is another important piece of his plan.
“We need to allow our rivers room to flood,” he said. “The floodplain is an integral, natural part of the river. They also keep people safe and remove us from the heartbreaking cycle that so many Iowans know all too well: Lose everything to a flood.”
His expertise in all-things-flooding, from hydraulics to conservation to policy, will surely prove valuable as Iowa begins to move forward from this year’s floods and better prepare for flooding to come.