The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

June 24, 2013

Experts say Iowa should act to stymie flooding

DES MOINES — Iowa could do more to avoid flooding by limiting how much rainfall runs off into the state’s rivers and streams, including addressing climate change and expanding grasslands and wetlands to absorb rain where it falls, experts said.

Despite devastating floods in 1993 and 2008, calls by environmentalists and scientists for the state to act to address flooding have often been ignored, The Des Moines Register reported Saturday.

Figures show that Iowa’s participation in the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to keep some land in native grasses and out of crop production, has dropped sharply as corn prices have risen over the years.

In 1993, Iowa peaked with 2.2 million acres in the CRP. By 2008, acreage had dipped to 1.8 million. This spring, it stood at just 1.5 million.

“Sadly, it looks as if things are going in the wrong direction right now,” Craig Cox, the Environmental Working Group’s Iowa-based senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, told the Register. “Landowners can’t do much about how hard it rains, but they can do a lot to keep that water from rushing into streams and triggering flooding downstream.”

Conservation practices like no-till, grass buffers and wetlands to keep water on the land just a bit longer can help more than many people realize, Cox said.

He said that “cutting a few inches off a flood peak can keep a damaging flood from becoming a devastating flood.”

Experts predict the threat of flooding will only grow.

Iowa State University scientist Eugene Takle and colleagues predict a 50 percent increase in Iowa’s stream flows by the 2040s as rainfall increases because of climate change.

1
Text Only
AP story section
  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

  • Panel OKs ban on remote abortion pill distribution DES MOINES -- A legislative panel approved a measure Wednesday that would ban the remote distribution of abortion pills, a proposal the bill's sponsor said is intended to delay the procedure and give women more time to change their minds. The subcomm

    February 6, 2014

  • Sioux City gambling group halts local grants SIOUX CITY -- The nonprofit that holds the gambling license for the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino has voted to temporarily stop sending grants to local charities and government agencies. A legal dispute with the operator of the casino, Penn Nati

    January 15, 2014

  • Davenport pays, apologizes to hearing impaired man DAVENPORT (AP) -- The city of Davenport has issued an unusual apology to a former alderman after a police employee was caught on tape saying that he intentionally knocked softly on the hearing-impaired man's door when responding to a service call. Th

    January 15, 2014

  • Budget Branstad presents budget for next fiscal year DES MOINES -- Gov. Terry Branstad offered a budget proposal Tuesday that includes a tax break for veterans, a tuition freeze for college students and incentives to encourage Internet expansion in rural Iowa, a more modest list of priorities one year

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. restores more felons' voting rights IOWA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad restored voting rights to more felons in 2013 than the prior two years combined, but thousands of others remain disenfranchised under a 2011 policy change. Data released by the governor's office to The Associated

    January 15, 2014

  • Man fatally shot at Fla. theater over texting WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) -- A 71-year-old retired police officer accused of shooting a man dead in a Florida movie theater told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during Monday's confrontation. Curtis Reeves is charged with second-de

    January 15, 2014

  • Iowa Senator: Congress must confirm election board DES MOINES -- An Iowa senator asked a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday to confirm appointees to a federal election commission so a decision can be made about whether Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is properly using money for voter-fraud investig

    January 9, 2014

  • School Discipline Gov't: End overly zealous discipline in schools WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama administration is urging schools to abandon overly zealous discipline policies that civil rights advocates have long said lead to a school-to-prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students. The wide-ranging

    January 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Governor, lawmakers set modest goals for 2014 DES MOINES -- After reaching bipartisan agreements on several major policy initiatives last year, Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday that he is setting more modest expectations for the 2014 legislative session. Speaking at The Associated Press' annua

    January 9, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News