UI Launches New Flood Prediction Research Facility

Iowa City, Iowa — The University of Iowa is launching a new research center to improve flood prediction.

Engineering professor Ibrahim Demir says the country has a lot to learn from Iowa, as he says the UI stands out for its emphasis on projects that help residents better understand their flood risk locally. As an example, The Iowa Flood Information System, or IFIS, can be used by homebuyers to better understand a property’s potential for flood damage.

Prior to 2009, there was a flood gauge in Cedar Falls and another in Cedar Rapids. This offered relatively little data for predicting floods like the one in 2008 that rocked the region. Fast-forward to 2023, there’s a network of sensors all along Iowa’s rivers and streams. Larry Weber is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the UI.

The Center for Hydrologic Development joins a cooperative of other research institutes sharing approaches like this with its peer institutions. Iowa will receive $21 million from the collaboration.

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