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Iowa DNR partnering on solutions for lower Missouri River flood risk management

  • 6/25/2020 1:13:00 PM
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DES MOINES -- The Iowa DNR is working with stakeholders and agencies from across the Missouri River basin to identify problem areas and potential solutions for flood impacts along the lower Missouri River. 

The study will use existing data and hydraulic models, along with stakeholder input, to define existing conditions and develop conceptual-level solutions for identified problem areas, and to develop a flood risk management plan. 

In 2019, runoff from the Missouri river basin was at near-historic levels all year. This unprecedented amount of runoff resulted in the lower Missouri River staying above flood stage at multiple locations for nearly nine months, causing billions of dollars of damage to homes, businesses, agricultural production, levees and natural resources across five states, including Iowa.    

The historic nature of the 2019 flood, in addition to severe flooding over the past decade, served as a catalyst for the governors of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri to come together to discuss solutions for improving the resiliency of the lower Missouri River basin.  

Once problem areas have been identified by state partners and stakeholders, a set of criteria will be developed to rank and prioritize them. That prioritized list, along with any other relevant background information and ideas for potential solutions, will be provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further analysis.  

The information gathered and analysis completed will be documented in a flood risk management plan for the entire lower Missouri River, which can be used at the state and local level to help inform flood risk management decisions moving forward.

To kick off the first phase of the study, the Iowa DNR is releasing a short introductory video to introduce the study in further detail and outline the schedule for seeking stakeholder input on additional problem areas. A series of virtual meetings is anticipated for late July. 

For more information, contact Tim Hall, Iowa DNR’s Hydrology Resources Coordinator, at

The project is a partnership between the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Kansas Water Office, and the Kansas City and Omaha districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.