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Iowa Watershed Projects

Larry Weber’s research interests also include the multi-year Iowa Flood Center project to monitor, plan, and implement watershed projects designed to reduce the adverse impacts of flooding in Iowa. The Iowa Watershed Projects are supported by an $8.8M contract from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The projects seek to:

  • Maximize soil water holding capacity from precipitation;
  • Minimize severe soil erosion and sand deposition during floods;
  • Manage water runoff in uplands under saturated soil moisture conditions; and
  • Reduce and mitigate structural and nonstructural flood damage.
The four watersheds selected to complete a hydrologic assessment in the project's initial phase.

The four watersheds selected to complete a hydrologic assessment in the project's initial phase.

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

As the project gets underway, researchers will partner with local organizations to develop a detailed hydrologic assessment of each watershed. This will enable researchers to identify areas where flood mitigation projects are most likely to reduce damage from flooding downstream.

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.

Researchers will monitor the constructed watershed improvement projects throughout the study, and then evaluated at completion to determine 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.

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Last modified on September 26th, 2012
Posted on May 10th, 2012