The IFC maintains a network of nearly 250 stream-stage sensors across the state. Support for sensor deployment has come from IDNR, IDOT, and research projects at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.
With support from the state of Iowa, the IFC has been able to maintain and expand the stream sensor network to provide resources for smaller communities in Iowa. The information available on IFIS helps small communities respond to and prepare for flood events more quickly, allowing
them to protect people and infrastructure. Locations for new sensors are selected in consultation with local governments (emergency management, engineers), watershed management authorities, state agencies, and the National Weather Service.
The sensors were originally developed as a student project to design an affordable, yet effective way to measure stream and river heights. The solar-powered sensors are attached to the sides of bridges. The sensors emit a sonar signal to measure the distance from the water surface to the sensor. The data are transmitted via cell modem to IFIS, where the information is publicly available.
Iowa Flood Center
The University of Iowa
100 Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory
Iowa City, IA 52242