Clear Creek Watershed Coalition seeks Stream Corridor and Floodplain Restoration Consultant Services

,

On behalf of the Clear Creek Watershed Coalition (CCWC) the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) has posted a request for qualifications that could lead to a consulting services contract for the Clear Creek Stream Corridor an Floodplain Restoration: Assessment and Conceptual Plan.  The assessment and conceptual plan will be incorporated into the Clear Creek Watershed Management Plan being prepared by ECICOG in coordination with the CCWC and funded, in part, through the Iowa Watershed Approach.

To review the Request for Qualifications, please click here. For further information, please contact Jennifer Fencl via email at jennifer.fencl@ecicog.org 

IFC Hydro Stations Provide Weather Data Farmers Need

, ,

For farmers, timely information is vital. The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa is deploying new hydrologic stations that provide real-time weather information that farmers can use. The stations measure rainfall, wind speed and direction, and soil moisture and temperature. A shallow groundwater well also provides information about the water table. And the IFC makes all the data publicly available on the internet.

Father and son Stewart and Jared Maas farm about 1,800 acres 25 miles west of Iowa City. Their home farm is the site of one of the new IFC hydrologic stations. “We try to do everything the right way,” Jared explains, and data collected by the IFC hydro station can help. As Stewart and Jared prepare for spring fieldwork, they can check the online sensor data to learn when the soil is ready to plant, the best time for field applications, and how to plan for changing weather conditions.

“It helps a lot,” Stewart says. One example is the application of fertilizer in the fall. Farmers are encouraged to wait until soil temperatures are 50 degrees F or colder to limit nitrogen loss. Stewart and Jared now have facts on which to base their decisions — a real advantage for big operations like theirs. For Stewart and Jared, the data provide peace of mind that they’re doing things “the right way.”

Stewart has been working with University of Iowa researchers for years. “The university has been really good to us here,” Stewart says. “I’ve got a lot of respect for the hydrology department.”

IIHR Research Engineer, Jim Niemeier, explains the data the hydro station collects

Besides providing vital information for agriculture, sensor data also support IFC activities for the $97M Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) statewide program focused on reducing flood risk in nine watersheds across Iowa. The Maas farm is in the Clear Creek Watershed, which is part of the IWA. John Rathbun, project coordinator for the Clear Creek Watershed, says that interest in the IWA is growing among landowners in the basin. “It’s really all about building relationships,” he explains. Participation in the IWA is entirely voluntary for landowners, and farmers get a 75% cost share if they choose to build a conservation practice such as a farm pond on their property.

With funding from the IWA, the IFC will deploy a network of 20 hydrologic stations this year. The new sensors represent an expansion of the IFC’s current network of nearly 50 similar rain gauge stations statewide. This growing network of hydrologic stations is helping the IFC reach its goal of 100 stations deployed in Iowa—one in each county. This network will help researchers and stakeholders better predict floods, assess droughts, and manage water resources. In addition, Iowa’s farmers can use the information to support their crop management systems and potentially boost yields.

The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) online tool provides real-time information on watersheds, precipitation, and stream levels for more than 1,000 Iowa communities. Data collected from the hydrologic stations can be accessed at ifis.iowafloodcenter.org/ifis/app.

“Farming doesn’t pay very well,” says Stewart. But, he adds, “It makes farming fun, getting involved in some of these things.”

Clear Creek running through woodlands in the Fall

Clear Creek Watershed Coalition Meeting

,

Iowa Watershed Approach partners will join the Clear Creek Watershed Coalition for their quarterly meeting on Wednesday, Ju 19 at 5 PM at the Coralville City Hall. The meeting will allow partners to share updates on recent news and activities of the Iowa Watershed Approach.

The WMA is an opportunity to stay involved in the activities of the IWA and ask questions about the program. Meetings are open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend!

For more information about the Clear Creek Watershed Coalition meeting, contact Breanna Shea (breanna-shea@uiowa.edu, 319-384-1729).

Clear Creek running through woodlands in the Fall

Request for Clear Creek Watershed-Based Community Assessment Services

,

Submit proposals in electronic form at the email address below by 4:00 pm on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Questions about this RFP or the project must be submitted in writing at the email address below by noon March 24th and all questions and responses will be sent to this distribution list.
Jennifer Fencl, jennifer.fencl@ecicog.org

For a full RFP description, view: CCWC Social Assessment RFP

Q&A regarding the RFP process: Social Assessment QA

Clear Creek Usage Survey: Clear Creek Watershed Usage Survey

Clear Creek running through woodlands in the Fall

Job Opening: Clear Creek Watershed Coalition Project Coordinator

, ,

Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District (JCSWCD), in partnership with the Iowa County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Clear Creek Watershed Coalition (CCWC), seek a self-motivated, experienced Watershed Project Coordinator to oversee development and execute implementation of the Clear Creek watershed management plan. The project coordinator will serve as the primary contact for the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) administered by Johnson County. Applications due March 1st!

Clear Creek running through woodlands in the Fall

Clear Creek Watershed Coalition Quarterly Meeting