14 04, 2017

Water Sampling Season Begins

Ross Evelsizer of Northeast Iowa RC&D measures water temperature & pH at Silver Creek. It's spring in Northeast Iowa--time again to begin collecting samples for water quality analysis. Since 2004, volunteers have been going out once a month from April to November to collect samples at 30 locations along the Upper Iowa River and its tributaries. Sample collectors measure water temperature, pH, and transparency in the field. The samples are then sent to Coe College where they are tested for concentrations of e. coli, nitrogen, chloride, and phosphorus. The data is made available on the Upper Iowa River [...]

28 03, 2017

In the News: Watershed Planning Underway

The Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority recently kicked-off a process to develop a 20-year plan for increasing resiliency to flooding along the Upper Iowa River and its tributaries. The planning process, led by Northeast Iowa RC&D, is part of a $96.9 million state-wide Iowa Watershed Approach project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Record-setting floods in recent years prompted new approaches to flood risk reduction. The Iowa Watershed Approach gives communities an opportunity to evaluate past and future flood impacts and invest in strategic solutions at the watershed level. “Developing a watershed resiliency [...]

21 03, 2017

Online Tools: The Daily Erosion Project

The Daily Erosion Project (DEP) estimates precipitation, runoff, sheet and rill erosion, and hillslope delivery in near real time, on over 2000 watersheds in the Midwest (Figure 1). It does this by running the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model with a combination of remotely-sensed precipitation weather stations, remotely-sensed crop and residue cover, remotely-sensed topography, and soils databases. It is an update and expansion to the Iowa Daily Erosion Project (Cruse et al., 2006) that is designed to further investigate large scale erosion dynamics while maintaining hillslope level input resolution. The DEP has a climate database extending from 2007  to [...]

24 02, 2017

$96.9 million Iowa Watershed Approach shifts into high gear

Cities, counties, and other groups are organizing regional watershed management authorities (WMAs) and hiring project coordinators as the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA), a $96.9 million program, enters its first official year and kicks off work to reduce flood risks and improve water quality across the state. It was roughly a year ago that the governor’s office announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Iowa’s proposal, The Iowa Watershed Approach for Urban and Rural Resilience, received the fourth largest award, coming in behind New Orleans, New York, and Virginia. A key player behind the grant win [...]

10 11, 2016

Prairie: The Ultimate Sandbag

Laura Jackson, Director - Tallgrass Prairie Center, University of Northern Iowa From the Fall 2016 Issue of the Tallgrass Prairie Center Newsletter. Recent floods this fall remind us that our region is shockingly vulnerable—but we are responding by getting good at filling sandbags. There is no doubt that the innovations are something to be proud of. The City of Cedar Rapids was able to deploy large containers of sand called HESCO barriers to serve as a temporary levee system. Another company has figured out a technology to process the tens of thousands of heavy, wet sandbags after use so the clean-up [...]

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