On The Radio – Iowa Flood Center helps bring grant to Iowa

The Iowa Flood Center is based in the ?? which sits on the banks of the Iowa River in Iowa City. (University of Iowa)
The Iowa Flood Center is based in the C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory located on the banks of the Iowa River in Iowa City. (University of Iowa)
Nick Fetty | February 29, 2016

This week’s On The Radio segment looks at a national grant that will provide funding for flood infrastructure and a statewide watershed improvement program in Iowa.

Transcript: Iowa Flood Center helps bring grant to Iowa

Iowa will receive almost $100 million dollars for flood infrastructure and a statewide watershed improvement program, thanks in large part to researchers at the Iowa Flood Center.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded a $96.9 million grant  for the Iowa Watersheds Approach, or I.W.A.,  a program developed by the Iowa Flood Center, the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and numerous other partners. The I.W.A. will work in nine Iowa watersheds to develop strategies aimed at flood risk reduction, water quality improvement, and increased community resilience with the goal of creating a program that can be replicated throughout the Midwest and the United States.

Under the I.W.A., these nine watersheds will develop Watershed Management Authorities, which will help implement conservation practices that can reduce downstream flooding and improve water quality. Volunteer landowners in the watersheds will receive up to a 75% financial assistance to implement practices such as farm ponds, wetlands, terraces, bioreactors, and perennial crops; conservation practices that have already been tested in the Turkey River watershed with impressive results. These investments will help improve the landscape’s natural resilience, while also demonstrating Iowans’ commitment to agricultural stewardship and the environment. That’s according to Iowa Flood Center Director Witold Krajewski:

KRAJEWSKI: “This grant builds on the efforts of the Iowa Flood Center. I give a lot of credit to the Iowa legislators for having the wisdom and the vision to establish the center in the aftermath of the 2008 flood. The center has brought a lot of expertise to the forefront of reducing flood risk and today through the HUD grant, flood mitigation and improving water quality go hand-in-hand following a holistic watershed approach.”

For more information about the IWA, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

Video: Krajewski describes Iowa Flood Center’s resources

Nick Thomas, a PhD student who works with the Iowa Flood Center, using IFIS. Photo by Joe Bolkcom.

The Iowa Flood Center has released a video of their director Witold Krajewski presenting the flood center’s current resources.

In the presentation, Krajewski describes their online Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), and how anyone can use it to track water levels in nearby watersheds. He also discusses the flood center’s development and deployment of stream stage sensors in watersheds, and how these sensors collect data for IFIS.

Watch the presentation here.

Iowa Flood Center unveils new online flood mapping system


Witold Krajewki, Iowa Flood Center director, unveils the center's new online flood information system to reporters at the State Capitol on March 23, 2011. Photo by Jim Malewitz.

On Wednesday – when fears of record flooding brought the all-too-familiar site of sandbags back to Davenport – the Iowa Flood Center unveiled an online system that will help Iowans to better understand the risks and the impacts of future floods. Continue reading

From the archives: State lawmakers open ears to CGRER, Flood Center researchers

A row of researchers wait to present their research to lawmakers. From left to right: student Mohamed Habib, researcher Dr. Nathan Young and students Jesse Piotrowski, Dan Gilles, Kyutae Lee and Bongchul Seo.

DES MOINES – It’s not often that students can directly affect public policy, but researchers at CGRER and the Iowa Flood Center had that chance during a legislative breakfast on March 10 in Iowa State Capitol Room 116.

Colorful maps on computer screens and poster boards filled the room’s plush confines and open-eared legislators chowed down on pastries as researchers provided updates on the Centers’ progress in curbing future flood damage in the state.

Standing alongside an illustration of an affordable river stage censor he helped develop, University of Iowa engineering student Ben Peiffer said he was excited to present his recommendations directly to legislators.

And lawmakers said they were impressed with the projects and considered them quite timely on a day in which Raccoon River ice jams in Polk and Dallas Counties prompted flash flood warnings in the Des Moines metro area.

Continue reading