Univ. of Iowa, Iowa Flood Center expand research to a national level through new center

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:17 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Iowa College of Engineering is home to a new research center—the Center for Hydrologic Development (CHD)—that is designed to improve the country’s ability to predict and manage water-related hazards. It will work off of a lot of the research that’s already been done at the Iowa Flood Center.

Floods, droughts, and water quality are all topics that have been studied at the Iowa Flood Center since it’s creation in 2009. Now with CHD, researchers will continue their work in and out of the state.

“What we’re really excited about is this is really Iowa first, we’re showing the leadership here in the state of Iowa, funded by the state legislature and the Iowa Flood Center, now being able to benefit the rest of the nation,” said Larry Weber, director and co-founder of the new research center.

UI is one of many universities that is a part of this national group -- Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology or CIROH. Led by the University of Alabama, researchers across the country aim to improve flood prediction and water quality tracking.

“We’re looking to start with building a strong platform related to flood forecasting, flood inundation modeling and mapping, and then move into areas of other types of stream-flow forecasting applications,” said Executive Director of CIROH, Steven Burian.

$21 million of the $360 million of federal funding allocated for CIROH will go towards the University of Iowa.

Over the next five years, UI will expand on the many studies and developments like the the Iowa Flood Information System to fit a national scale.

“CHIRO will benefit from our expertise over the years,” said Director of the Iowa Flood Center, Prof. Witold Krajewski. “But also, and this is very important, that we and the people of Iowa will benefit from any other advances that CHIRO and other partners will make over time.”