U-I flood experts join national effort to improve predictions

https://www.radioiowa.com/2022/04/11/u-i-flood-experts-join-national-effort-to-improve-predictions/?fbclid=IwAR1KWZl-Hp69zsXQyyTn42ZPQ2yiq72QQ09a924DwtnrZ9VXO9pArXxne3wRadio Iowa,Published on: April 11th, 2022

University of Iowa part of $360 million national flood consortium

https://www.thegazette.com/higher-education/university-of-iowa-part-of-360-million-national-flood-consortium/The Gazette,Published on: April 7th, 2022

University of Iowa study shows comprehensive assessment of flood risk for cropland in the State

https://www.kcrg.com/2022/04/06/university-iowa-study-shows-comprehensive-assessment-flood-risk-cropland-state/KCRG,Published on: April 6th, 2022

University of Alabama to lead NOAA institute to advance water and flood prediction

https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/university-of-alabama-to-lead-noaa-institute-to-advance-water-and-flood-predictionNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),Published on: April 6th, 2022
stream sensor

University of Iowa key partner in $360M national water consortium

https://now.uiowa.edu/2022/04/university-iowa-key-partner-360m-national-water-consortiumIowa Now ,Published on: April 6th, 2022

UI researchers create map showing flood risk for Iowa farmland

https://now.uiowa.edu/2022/04/ui-researchers-create-map-showing-flood-risk-iowa-farmlandIowa Now,Published on: April 5th, 2022

Without State Help, IA Loses Local Flood-Prevention Staff

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2022-03-28/water/without-state-help-ia-loses-local-flood-prevention-staff/a78444-1Public News Service,Published on: March 28th, 2022

Unprecedented Flooding Spurs Hydrology Office in Missouri

https://www.govtech.com/em/preparedness/unprecedented-flooding-spurs-hydrology-office-in-missouriGovernment Technology,Published on: February 25th, 2022
Elliot crouches by the Yellow River to collect a water sample

Peaking Your Interest

Elliot crouched by a round machine holding empty collection bottles at the side of a stream

Anderson crouches down to set up the ISCO sampler in the Yellow River in Northeast Iowa.

Elliot Anderson works between rainstorms, gathering data from collection bottles left in the water. Each storm is an opportunity to learn more about the peak flow conditions and nutrient concentrations of rivers across Iowa.

Anderson is a PhD student at IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and was born in Geneva, Ill., a town just outside Chicago. When he was deciding on colleges, he knew he wanted to stay in the Midwest and eventually settled on Purdue University. There, he received an undergraduate degree before attending the University of Illinois at Chicago for a master’s degree, both in civil engineering. After that, Anderson worked as a consultant for five years at Civiltech Engineering in Chicago before returning to Iowa.

“After I did my undergrad and was kind of over doing consulting work, [I] wanted to try my hand at research. So I was looking for a PhD, looking to stay in the Midwest, and looking to do something water-related,” Anderson says. “Iowa was a pretty natural choice for those three things.”

Today, he is a member of Larry Weber’s Iowa Watershed Approach research team, studying phosphorus contamination of streams and rivers during peak flow conditions. Though there is an abundance of research for the waterways at base flow, increased flow conditions are infrequent and tough to predict, and thus can be difficult to measure.

Anderson says the data collected thus far matches the expected results for peak flow conditions based on their previous base flow data.

“If it was something different, or things do turn out to be different, that’s still really informative and there’s still an interesting story to tell about how you describe phosphorous at the higher flows apart from the lower ones,” Anderson says.

Anderson crouches far from the camera near the edge of a river that takes up most of the frame

Anderson collects water from the Yellow River.

The team is still in preliminary stages of its research, so while the data currently follow a familiar trend, that may change as they collect more information.

Water content studies help Anderson and his team understand how the phosphorus concentration in the water changes with flow variance. Phosphorus acts as the limiting reactant in fresh water; it provides nutrients to algae, which can cause algal blooms in Iowa waterways. These blooms contribute to a decline in health of lentic environments.

Another aspect of the team’s research is to determine if current mitigation processes are reaching the pre-determined nutrient reduction benchmarks set by the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The goals aim to improve the overall ecosystem health in Iowa and all the way downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.

Anderson says audio books keep him entertained as he crisscrosses Iowa collecting data from bottle-filling stations installed across the state. When he’s home, Anderson says he likes to keep up with Chicago sports teams. He was still in Chicago when the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in over 100 years back in 2016, and since he started at the University of Iowa, he has enjoyed attending Iowa football games.

An Iowa Watershed Approach project taken from above

Iowa Watershed Approach marks five years of success

https://stories.uiowa.edu/iowa-watershed-approach-marks-five-years-successThe University of Iowa,Published on: February 24th, 2022