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 their flood risks. The IFC’s overarching objective is to improve flood monitoring and prediction capabilities in Iowa, while studying and developing strategies to reduce and manage floods.
The FY 2020 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 FY 2020 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 to provide real-time information on precipitation, soil temperature and moisture, and stream levels across Iowa. In FY 2020 we will work on a new version of IFIS (“IFIS lite”) that is especially user friendly for the general public;
- Continuing to maintain instrumentation and data plans for over 250 stream stage sensors across the state. This year we need to visit all of the sensors to replace their modems, which will no longer be supported by our provider (Verizon) after 12/31/2019;
- Continuing to improve upon, add, and maintain rain gauge and soil moisture/temperature monitoring platforms deployed in watersheds across the state in partnership with other IIHR projects (i.e. the Iowa Watershed Approach) and with other external partners;
- Continuing development of high-resolution, web-based flood inundation maps if possible;
- Continuing watershed-scale research to understand how small-scale mitigation projects can reduce flood damage in a watershed (in conjunction with the Iowa Watershed Approach);
- Educating graduate students; and
- 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 general public).