IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering Work plan (2021-2022)

Date: 
Aug 2021

Issue

The state’s economic and environmental resilience is dependent upon sustaining and maintaining its natural resources, a goal that requires reducing soil and nutrient loss in ways that are not burdensome to the Iowa economy and the Iowa farmer. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, released in May 2013 by Iowa State University and partnering governmental agencies, outlined a roadmap to assess and reduce the consequences of nutrient loss to Iowa’s surface and groundwater resources and the Mississippi Basin. Implementing robust voluntary adoption of practices and strategies designed to stem nutrient loss is a challenge unlike any Iowa has addressed. Emerging and as yet undiscovered practices, scientific strategies and a more in-depth understanding of controlling biological, chemical and hydrological processes are required to stem the loss of nutrients from Iowa’s farm fields. Merging our understanding of fertilizer and manure management to the patterns and processes of Iowa’s waters and landscape is critical to deliver a systems-based approach that can help meet the objectives of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Objective

The IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering 2021-2022 Work Plan for the Iowa Nutrient Research Center has two primary objectives:

  1. continued development and aggregation of the Iowa nutrient database to be used by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and others in support of scientific understanding and enhanced nutrient management; and 
  2. continued characterization of the state's water quality to inform practice effectiveness by generating data with sensors funded through INRC and other partners.

Approach

To achieve these objectives, IIHR will

  • interpret water quality, hydrologic and weather data necessary to follow trends linked to INRS implementation and other factors;
  • generate, collect and aggregate water quality, hydrologic, weather and land-use data necessary to implement the INRS and to create tools that can be used to manage this data; and
  • verify and document at multiple scales the nutrient mitigation effectiveness of best management practices for both point and non-point sources.
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