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Why the Spring Flooding Catastrophe in Iowa?

December 8, 2008

Ames, IA – Understanding why Iowa's spring flooding occurred and exploring what can be done to prevent it from happening again are part of the agenda today at a gathering in Ames. Jerry DeWitt, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, which is co-hosting the workshop, says it will cover three basic areas.

"It's to get together to talk about three things: What did we learn from the flood; what could we do better right now if we approached it differently; and what don't we know--what research is needed."

The event is also hosted by the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Experts in agriculture, urban planning, and water and land use will share their insights.

DeWitt says what sets the workshop apart is that will look at flooding causes from both urban and rural perspectives.

"We want our friends in the city to hear what farmers have to say. Likewise, we want our farmers and people who manage rivers to hear the other audience."

DeWitt says cities and rural areas deal with the impact of flooding differently, and this a unique opportunity for experts to consider the entire range of approaches to flood mitigation.

The workshop is called "Learning from the Floods of 2008: Practical Strategies for Resilience." The day-long event gets underway at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled to run until 4:30 p.m. at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, Ames.

Information is available at

Dick Layman/Steve Powers, Public News Service - IA