The University of Iowa will be a key partner in a new $360 million center to improve the United States’ ability to predict water-related risks and better manage its water.
Iowa will receive $21 million over the next five years as a partner in the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH), funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The national center will be led by the Alabama Water Institute at the University of Alabama. Officials announced the new national center on April 6.
Iowa’s role in CIROH will be significant. Researchers from the Iowa Flood Center will contribute their expertise by supporting four major themes at the center: water resource forecasting capabilities; modeling of community water resources; hydroinformatics (use of data and computer technology to better manage water resources); and the application of social, economic and behavioral sciences to water resources forecasting.
Specifically, Iowa researchers, primarily through the IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering and the Iowa Flood Center (IFC), will bring years of expertise and research in hydrology and flooding to support the CIROH in:
- Develop and operate real-time flow forecasting models.
- Development and management of large sets of flood maps.
- Sharing expertise in flood monitoring, based on IFC’s award-winning network of over 260 flow monitoring sensors placed in Iowa.
- Design and operate a precipitation and soil moisture observation network, as well as provide expertise in radar remote sensing of precipitation.
- Leverage the Iowa Flood Information System, a Google Maps-based web-based platform that communicates real-time information on river levels, flood alerts and forecasts, and flood conditions. water for the entire state of Iowa.
“We are delighted to partner with colleagues at the Alabama Water Institute at the University of Alabama on this important initiative,” said Larry Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering and Edwin Chair B. Green in hydraulics at the IIHR, who will lead the CIROH. activities in Iowa. “This represents an important opportunity for NOAA to bring together academic expertise from across the country to address some of our country’s most pressing water issues.”
Five years after the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa helped the state win $97 million to fight chronic flooding, the results are in: Under the leadership of regional watershed agencies slopes, 800 structures have been built in Iowa to reduce flooding and improve water quality.
CIROH’s research and education initiatives led by IIHR will build on the groundbreaking work of IFC and the Iowa Watershed Approach, which organized the creation of regional bodies in Iowa to manage floods and build structures to reduce flooding and improve water quality.
“IIHR’s extensive experience in all aspects of water resources, including monitoring, modeling, visualization and prediction, will make Iowa a key player in virtually every aspect of CIROH,” says Witold. Krajewski, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the IFC. .
“This is a unique opportunity for us to share the innovative models and tools developed by the Iowa Flood Center with the rest of the nation,” adds Krajewski. “This is another way for Iowa to show leadership in the hydrology community.”
CIROH is made up of 28 academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government and industry partners across the United States and Canada.
“I am thrilled to have the University of Iowa as a key partner for CIROH,” said Steven Burian, CIROH Executive Director and Scientific Director of the Alabama Water Institute. “IIHR’s extensive experience in leading hydrological initiatives and IFC’s unique outreach tools and activities will go a long way in ensuring CIROH’s success.”