The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa provides Iowans with accurate, state-of-the-art, science–based information to help individuals and communities better understand and reduce their flood risks. The IFC’s overarching objective is to improve flood monitoring and prediction capabilities in Iowa, while studying and developing strategies to mitigate flood impacts.
The FY24 funds will be used to provide support for faculty, staff, researchers, and graduate students who dedicate their time to the mission and work of the Iowa Flood Center. The IFC will use the FY24 appropriation, along with additional grant funding from other sponsors, to support projects that include:
- Hosting and continuing to refine and add new tools to the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS)—an easy-to-use online application that communicates real-time flood alerts and forecasts, precipitation and hydrologic conditions, and stream levels across Iowa.
- Continuing to maintain instrumentation and data plans for about 260 stream stage sensors across the state and provide necessary technology upgrades.
- Continuing development of high-resolution, web-based community flood inundation maps.
- Providing engineering services and developing preliminary flood assessments for small, under-resourced communities in Iowa to help them better understand local flood challenges and provide recommendations to mitigate flood impacts.
- Continuing watershed-scale research to understand how small-scale mitigation projects can reduce flood damage in a watershed.
- Educating graduate students.
- Organizing public outreach programs (STEM festivals for K-12, public presentations, press releases, updated online information, social media, and other activities to share IFC tools and information with the public and key stakeholders).
- Developing K-12 Curriculum with a PhD student in the UI College of Education to work on curriculum development for K-12 that lines up with Iowa science education standards. Once finished and vetted, the new curriculum will be made available statewide via the IFC website.
- Maintaining and building new relationships with federal, state, and local partners to ensure effective communication and coordination.
- Building on IFC’s expertise to support the new $360 million Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH) housed at the University of Alabama and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Working with CIROH collaborators, IFC will serve as a key partner to help improve the country’s ability to predict and manage water-related hazards.
- Leveraging IFC’s experience and technical capabilities to expand a uniform hydrostation network across Eastern Iowa that will help to improve flood- and drought- monitoring and forecasting.