• Sunset on the River

Iowa Watershed Approach

A Vision for Iowa’s Future

IWA Information SystemOverall IWA Program

Iowa Watershed Approach

HUD Disaster Resilience Grant to Iowa: $96.9 million

The Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) is a vision for Iowa’s future that voluntarily engages stakeholders throughout the watershed to achieve common goals, while moving toward a more resilient state. It is a replicable model for other communities where the landscape has lost its natural resilience to floods. This program is not only about Iowans helping Iowans, but also about demonstrating Iowans’ commitment to agricultural stewardship, to the environment, to their neighbors, and to the future. The goals of the IWA include the following:

  • Reduction of flood risk;
  • Improvement in water quality;
  • Increased resilience;
  • Engagement of stakeholders through collaboration, outreach, and education;
  • Improved quality of life and health for Iowans; and
  • Development of a replicable program.

“The Iowa Watershed Approach is about everyone coming in and lifting a little bit for the benefit of the greater all.” – Larry Weber, IWA Project Lead

A “win-win”: The impact of the

Iowa Watershed Approach

February 24, 2022 Video: Five years after the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa helped Iowa win $97 million to address chronic flooding, the results are in: Under the guidance of regional watershed management bodies, nearly 800 structures have been built across Iowa to reduce flooding and improve water quality.


Clear Creek


Dubuque/Bee Branch Creek


East Nishnabotna River


English River


Middle Cedar River


North Raccoon River


Upper Iowa River


Upper Wapsipinicon River


West Nishnabotna River


Construction equipment for building flood mitigation projects

Flood Mitigation Projects

The Iowa Watershed Approach will work with Watershed Management Authorities to select locations to construct and implement projects directed toward mitigating flood damage, improving water quality, and building community flood resilience.

Family playing in flooded park

Flood Resilience Program

The IWA Flood Resilience Team seeks to provide value to Iowa’s watershed communities through partnerships to develop the tools to measure and visualize flood resilience in ways that make future mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery planning actions more meaningful and useful. Together, we can make our watershed communities more flood resilient.

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