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From the USDA Agricultural Research Service:

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) today announced that it has established a Long Term Agro-ecosystem Research (LTAR) network from among its existing experimental watersheds and rangelands nationwide to address large-scale, multi-year research, environmental management testing and technology transfer related to the nation’s agricultural ecosystems. ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency.

“This national network of agro-ecosystem research will aid our understanding and forecasting of the nation’s capacity to provide agricultural and other ecosystem-related goods and services under changing environmental conditions, in addition to society’s changing demands on natural resources,” said USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics Ann Bartuska.


Category : News | Blog

From the Iowa Flood Center:

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 Watershed Projects.

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.

Read More:

Category : News | Blog

From the Des Moines Register:

The river that swamped this city now splits it in more ways than one.

The Cedar River cuts through the heart of Iowa’s second-largest metro, a 338-mile-long waterway that stretches from Minnesota and feeds into the Mississippi River. The sheer survival of Cedar Rapids was at stake nearly four years ago when this river swelled to a record 31-foot crest and inundated 10 square miles. Residents rallied and were united by the struggle to escape the floodwaters.

But the river today is seen as less the common enemy and more as a dividing line, while neighbors clash over how to complete recovery from the 2008 disaster and brace for the inevitable next flood.

Read more:|topnews|text|Frontpage

Category : News | Blog

From American Rivers:

Communities looking for the most cost-effective options for managing polluted runoff and protecting clean water should choose green infrastructure solutions, according to a report released today by American Rivers, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and ECONorthwest.

Read the report:

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

On February 23rd, Dr. Keith Schilling (Iowa DNR & Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa) gave an interesting talk about flooding in the Cedar River basin. Here is the summary of the talk from the flyer:

In 2008, flow in the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids reached 140,000 cubic feet per second, more than double the previous record set in 1961, and inundated over nine square miles of the downtown area. Likewise throughout the rest of Iowa, 85 of Iowa’s 99 counties were declared federal disaster areas by FEMA in 2008 due to historic floods. While precipitation patterns certainly deserve a large part of the blame, changing watershed characteristics, such as land use, tile drainage and urbanization, also played an important role in the occurrence and severity of flooding. In this talk, Dr. Keith Schilling presented the watershed factors contributing to changing streamflow patterns and flooding in Iowa. Results from recent watershed modeling were presented that suggest that land use changes have potential for reducing flood risk in basins dominated by agriculture.

The slides from Dr. Schilling’s talk are available for viewing here: Schilling Flood Talk @ Coe College.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog