Flooding impacts and climate change: An uncertain future for Iowa

Iowa is becoming hotter and wetter because of climate change, putting a policy response in the hands of leaders who already are dealing with problems of more frequent flooding that may become more extreme events as our climate changes. “Science is giving us warnings,” said James E. Boulter, a professor of Chemistry in the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire.
“Even those who have not lived it have seen the pictures, of rooftops surrounded by floodwaters, breached levees, destroyed grain bins and impassable roads. Flooding is getting worse, and we have public policy options that can lessen the impact in the coming years.” Boulter’s new report for the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project notes total statewide damage estimates from the 2019 flooding are staggering and likely to rise.