Minimizing the Impact of Flooding

Iowa Flood Center selects four watersheds for Iowa Watersheds Project

UI News Service, May 9, 2012

Agricultural Drainage _ Watershed

The Iowa Flood Center will work with four watersheds in Iowa on projects that help minimize the impact of flooding. UI News Service file photo by Tom Jorgensen.

The Iowa Flood Center and IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR) at the University of Iowa have announced the selection of four watersheds for the initial phase of the Iowa Watersheds Project.

The selected entities and respective watersheds include:

–Clayton County for the Turkey River.
–Dallas County for the Middle/South Raccoon River.
–Davis County for Soap Creek and Chequest Creek.
–Floyd County for the Upper Cedar River.

The selected watersheds will partner with the Iowa Flood Center and IIHR on a multi-year project to monitor, plan, and implement watershed projects aimed at reducing the adverse impacts of flooding in Iowa. Specific goals of the watershed projects include:

–Maximizing soil water holding capacity from precipitation.
–Minimizing severe soil erosion and sand deposition during floods.
–Managing water runoff in uplands under saturated soil moisture conditions.
–Reducing and mitigating structural and nonstructural flood damage.

In the initial phase of the project, researchers at the Iowa Flood Center and IIHR will work with local entities to complete a detailed hydrologic assessment of each watershed that will identify areas where the implementation of flood mitigation projects is most likely to reduce downstream flood damages. Funds will be available during the second phase of the project for the design and construction of watershed projects in identified areas of the watersheds.

Specific watershed mitigation projects for this study will be determined in the second phase. Potential projects may include water storage structures, flood plain restoration, buffer strip installation and enhancement, advanced tile drainage systems, and flood easement acquisition.

The constructed watershed improvement projects will be monitored by researchers throughout the study and evaluated at completion to demonstrate their impact and effectiveness. The results from the Iowa Watershed Projects will provide critical information to guide the implementation and design of additional watershed projects across the state of Iowa.

Funding for the Iowa Watershed Projects is provided through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Relief allocation and is available only to the 85 counties (or cities within those counties) declared federal disaster areas during the 2008 flood.

Visit the Iowa Watersheds Project page for additional information and to view a map of the selected watersheds.

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