Iowa uses advanced risk assessment practices and holistic community engagement, led by the Iowa Flood Center. The Flood Center monitors riverine flooding across the state and provides flood alerts and forecasts to communities. In concert, the Iowa Flood Mitigation Board funds localities that submit proposals for flood mitigation projects.
- The Iowa Flood Center identified and implemented upstream efforts focused on reducing downstream flooding and minimizing environmental impact through the Iowa Watershed Approach. To better understand flood concerns and challenges, planners engaged with landowners and residents.
- Iowa helped organize Watershed Management Authorities to oversee water management across jurisdictional boundaries, taking a significant step toward building regional governance structures for home-rule states. While these bodies lack the regulatory power of local jurisdictions, they do provide locally tailored but consistent approaches to flood management for areas where they exist.
What to watch
- The state government tasks the Iowa Flood Center to produce regulatory maps to submit for approval to FEMA. In addition to these maps, the Flood Center developed a more detailed predictive flood model, creating probabilistic flood maps for 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, 200-, and 500-year floods. The Flood Center’s data and tools, which are more advanced than FEMA’s mapping resources, support Iowa’s communities as they develop their own flood plans.