Map showing drought conditions in the western United States in 2020

Does Less Pollution Mean Less Precipitation?

IIHR researchers Wei Zhang and Gabriele Villarini (IIHR director) have published research linking urban sprawl to an increase in rainfall and flooding during Hurricane Harvey.
Jerry Schnoor stands at an ASME podium
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Schnoor Receives ASME Dixy Lee Ray Award

Jerry Schnoor of IIHR received the ASME Dixy Lee Ray Award
A topographic map, with high points around a river
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IFC Completes Statewide Floodplain Maps

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) recently celebrated the completion of a six-year project to develop updated floodplain maps for the 85 Iowa counties that were declared Presidential Disaster Areas after the 2008 Iowa floods.
Matthew Streeter on a dirt road
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Water-quality Project Underway in Buchanan County

A new project funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center aims to understand the nutrient reduction benefits of roadside ditches.
The IIHR team stands in front of the St. Louis models
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IIHR Models Sewer System for St. Louis

Researchers at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering are among the world’s leaders when it comes to modeling and design of sewer and stormwater conveyance systems.
A hand holds a trout
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Solving Urban Runoff Water-Quality Problems

IIHR, and the Cedar Rapids Public Works department installed real-time water-quality sensors on a stormwater outfall on McLoud Run
A screenshot of IFIS with flood alerts visible
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IFC Offers Online Tools to Prepare for Flooding

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa provides online tools and resources for Iowans to help them prepare and respond quickly to flood events. The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) online tool is a user-friendly, interactive web application that allows anyone access to flood information, including current stream and river level data, weather conditions, and flood alerts and forecasts for more than 1,000 Iowa communities.
A machine harvests soybeans
Tatsuaki Nakato holds mussels in the Mississippi River
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In Memoriam: Tatsuaki Nakato

It is with great sorrow that we share the news of Tatsuaki Nakato’s death on Saturday, Sept. 3, surrounded by his family. He was 74 years old.
Ibrahim Demir demonstrates IFIS for onlookers
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IFC Hosts Open House in Honor of Pres. Harreld

The IFC hosted UI President Bruce Harreld at the Wind Tunnel Annex
Marian Muste and Haowen Xu stand together in front of a building
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IoWaDSS Wins National Recognition

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Institute for Water Resources funded the Iowa Watershed Decision Support System (IoWaDSS) project to assemble data, tools, and models in one geoportal, which has since won national recognition
Ching-Long Lin gives a speech at a podium
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Lin Named Mielnik and Harding Professor

Ching-Long Lin of IIHR was named the Mielnik and Harding Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
An agricultural tile empties water into an Iowa Stream
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Surprising Phosphorus Trends

We now know that total phosphorus concentrations have significantly decreased at a dozen sites on Iowa’s rivers. Phosphorus, along with nitrate, is commonly used as fertilizer; both contribute to nutrients in Iowa’s rivers and streams and ultimately all the way downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.
Tom Stoeffler speaks with Dan Mahoney standing in a river. The water-quality sensor can be seen behind them
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IIHR’s Water-quality Network Grows

Thanks to a network of water-quality sensors deployed and maintained by IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, water-quality data is now readily available for many sites in Iowa.
Gabriele Villarini poses in front of the Iowa River
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Villarini to Receive AGU’s Macelwane Medal

Gabriele Villarini was chosen to receive the American Geophysical Union's James B. Macelwane Medal
Students stand in a large cave with a LiDAR scanner
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Exploring Unseen Iowa City

Beneath downtown Iowa City’s Brewery Square lies a network of man-made tunnels and caves that dates from the city’s earliest days
Iowa Watershed Approach logo
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New Video Focuses on Iowa Watersheds Approach

This video talks about the Iowa Watersheds Approach (IWA). The IWA will address issues associated with the devastating and dangerous floods Iowa communities experience year after year.
Dave Loebsack and Witold Krajewski shake hands while Larry Weber looks on
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Loebsack Proposes National Flood Center

Congressman Dave Loebsack, along with staff from the Iowa Flood Center, hosted a press conference to discuss legislation he will be introducing to establish a National Flood Center. 
Marian Muste in front of self-cleaning Culverts
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‘Squeaky Clean’ Culvert Design Wins Award

IIHR Research Engineer Marian Muste’s innovative self-cleaning culvert design has received a national award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Research Advisory Council (RAC).
Corn plants stretching as far as you can see on the left, and soybeans going just as far on the right
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Understanding Changes in Raccoon River Nitrate

As Iowa farmers have planted more acres of corn to meet the demand driven by the corn-based ethanol industry, many models predicted that nitrate concentrations in Iowa streams would increase accordingly. However, recent IIHR research based on water monitoring and published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation casts doubt on these predictions.
A seated man near the Iowa River in fall
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What’s in the Water?

Greg LeFevre, who joined IIHR in January as an assistant research scientist, is particularly interested in what becomes of certain contaminants as they move through the final stages of the water cycle. LeFevre studies biotransformation—or the chemical alteration—of contaminants in aquatic environments.