IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering Work plan (2022-2023)
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.
The IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering 2022-2023 Work Plan for the Iowa Nutrient Research Center has two primary objectives:
- 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
- continued characterization of the state's water quality to inform practice effectiveness by generating data with sensors funded through INRC and other partners.
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.
Note: Project reports published on the INRC website are often revised from researchers' original reports to increase consistency.
Key Research questions
IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering activities are directed towards:
1) Tracking, evaluating, and documenting water quality, stream discharge, and weather data that will help document progress toward INRS goals and the effectiveness of the various component strategies of Iowa’s water quality policy. This will be achieved through the implementation of the INRS sensor network and the continued use and development of the Iowa Water Quality Information System (IWQIS) and the Upper Mississippi Information System (UMIS);
2) Collection and aggregation of scientifically usable data from the INRS network and other sources such as the AgriculturalResearch Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and individual researchers that will be critical for researchers and farmers as the state tracks progress toward its water quality objectives. These data will assist in enhancing existing strategies and in developing new ones that will inform decisions across scales and will focus on both point- and non-point-source nutrient origins; and
3) Leverage the sensor network, IWQIS, and UMIS in ways that help the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH) develop a water quality predictive model. This work was conducted in concert with researchers at the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) and other institutions.
To achieve these objectives, IIHR took the following approach: -Deployed and maintained 60 water quality sensors; -Operate and maintain the Iowa Water Quality Information System; -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; -Verify and document at multiple scales the nutrient mitigation effectiveness of best management practices for both point and non-point sources.
- 16 presentations
- 12 workshops
Publications / Journal Articles
Schilling, K. E., Isenhart, T. M., Wolter, C. F., Streeter, M. T., & Kovar, J. L., 2022. Contribution of streambanks to phosphorus export from Iowa. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 77(2), 103-112. • Schilling, K., Streeter, M., Pierce, S., Brennan, G., & Clair, M. S. (2022). Subsurface nitrate processing beneath drainageways: are they landscape opportunities for subsurface drainage remediation?. Journal of the ASABE, 0. • Streeter, M. T., Vogelgesang, J., Schilling, K. E., & Burras, C. L. (2022). Use of high-resolution ground conductivity measurements for denitrifying conservation practice placement. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 194(10), 1-14. • Schilling, K. E., Streeter, M. T., Jones, C. S., & Jacobson, P. J. (2023). Dissolved inorganic and organic carbon export from tile-drained midwestern agricultural systems. Science of The Total Environment, 163607.