Author: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Eastern Iowa NASA project may sharpen flood predictions

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration plans to collect Iowa precipitation data this spring that could launch a new era of timely and accurate flood predictions. The data will help scientists understand how satellite radar images relate to actual rainfall so they can more accurately predict rainfall amounts and flood events, said Vitold Krajewski, director of the Iowa Flood Center, which is partnering with NASA on the Iowa Flood Study project. Sara Steussy, a research support coordinator at the flood center, said most of the instruments will be deployed in a line running roughly from Waterloo to Iowa City, with the most powerful portable radar unit situated southwest of Waterloo. That radar unit will fill a gap in coverage of the four National Weather Service radars operating in Iowa, Petersen said. A second cluster of about 20 rain gauges with soil moisture sensors and two smaller portable radars will be deployed in the Turkey River Valley, Steussy said.

$1.5M Grant to Benefit Residents of Turkey River Watershed

The Iowa Flood Center has announced that the Soap and Chequest Creek, Turkey River, and Upper Cedar River watersheds will each receive a $1.5 million grant for construction of watershed improvement projects to support flood mitigation, such as farm ponds, wetlands, and floodplain easements in a targeted area of the watershed. The grant, provided with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is part of the Iowa Watersheds Project, an effort of the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa.… Read more ›

Identifying Subwatersheds within the TRW

Turkey River Watershed HUC 12 WatershedsAs our comprehensive watershed planning process begins in the Turkey River Watershed and the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) looks to implement a Watershed Demonstration project, it has become apparent that we need to start identifying sub-watershed projects in the Turkey River Watershed for both the comprehensive watershed plan and the IFC watershed demonstration project.

We will know on February 19th whether the Iowa Watershed Advisory Council has selected the Turkey River Watershed for funding a HUC 12 watershed project in partnership with the Iowa Flood Center, and we plan to operate on the assumption that the Turkey River Watershed is one of the 3 out of 4 watersheds that is selected.… Read more ›

Iowa flood planning goes high-tech

Innovative research on northeast Iowa’s Turkey River may herald a breakthrough in state efforts to mitigate future flood damage.

“This really is the first time that hydro modeling has been done in advance of project implementation to get the highest value for the investment,” said Larry Weber, director of IIHR — Hydroscience & Engineering, the parent organization of the Iowa Flood Center.… Read more ›

New ‘Sponsored Projects’ program of Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF)

A brand new program, the “Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects” will help cities, watershed organizations, landowners and others address local water quality problems.  A total of $15 million will be available per year for watershed protection practices such as stream buffers, wetland restoration and green infrastructure.

The Iowa General Assembly initiated the effort in 2009 when lawmakers authorized a new funding mechanism. … Read more ›

Turkey River Streamflow in 2012

The USGS Iowa Water Science Center measures streamflow at six gages within the Turkey River Watershed. The graphs below show water flow in cubic feet per second (cfs) at the gage nearest the mouth of the river, at Garber.

The lowest recorded streamflow at Garber in 2012 was 187 cfs on October 5th (pending USGS certification). Average streamflow in the state for the 2012 water year (Oct.… Read more ›

Driftless Waters

Dave Vetrano, retired Wisconsin DNR fisheries biologist, has more than 32 years of cold water stream management in the Driftless Region. His presentation, given to our neighbors, the Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota (BALMM), gives a short history of land use changes in the Driftless Area since the time of European settlement, and then discusses the effect those changes have had on the coldwater streams.
“In well managed grazing systems, soil erosion, manure, pesticide and herbicide runoff is reduced to almost zero.”

Clean Water Starts with Us

In the December Issue of Clean Water Starts With Us, read about beginning farmers and sustainability, a new study on how farmers make conservation decisions, new outreach tools available, working with schools on conservation practices, and more. View the December issue here (PDF) or past issues here.

Clean Water Starts With Us is a quarterly electronic newsletter from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Division of Soil Conservation (DSC) and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).… Read more ›

Elkader Whitewater Feature

News
  • September 13, 2012 (Des Moines) – The Vision Iowa Board, through the RECAT program, awarded $62,000 to a Turkey River project that includes developing a whitewater feature at the low-head dam in Elkader. The smaller of the two dams in Elkader will be modified with special placement of large and small habitat boulders and a wave catalyst structure.
Read more ›

Turkey River Rocks! A Big Success in Clayton County

Report by Larry Stone:

More than 60 adults and youth gained a greater appreciation of the Turkey River last Saturday at Turkey River Rocks! sponsored by Iowa Rivers Revival and a great group of local hosts and supporters. IRR board members Jerry Peckumn and Susan Heathcote were part of the crew for this special day of river activities that began in Elkader with a welcome by Elkader’s Mayor Robert C.… Read more ›

Turkey River Watershed Management Authority Established

On June 29th, thirty five cities, counties, and SWCDs in the Turkey River Watershed voluntarily agreed to work together to:

  • assess and reduce the flood risks,
  • assess and improve water quality,
  • monitor the federal flood risk planning and activities,
  • offer education to residents of the watershed regarding flood risks and water quality, and
  • allocate moneys made available for purposes of water quality and flood mitigation in the watershed.
Read more ›

On the Home Stretch: Forming the Turkey River Watershed Management Authority

POSTVILLE, Iowa – June 7, 2012 – On May 31st, 40 community leaders met to discuss the final steps in forming the Turkey River Watershed Management Authority. This authority will seek to assess and reduce flood risk; assess and improve water quality; monitor federal flood risk planning and activities; educate residents of the watershed regarding flood risks and water quality; and allocate moneys made available to the authority for purposes of water quality and flood mitigation.… Read more ›

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