EPA agrees to help fund changes to Iowa City's Burlington Street dam
July 2, 2012

The dam goes beneath a major arterial road -- which, by the way, has a design that can be dangerous (even deadly) to pedestrians on the bridge who might not realize it forms a "Y" with a dangerous gap in the middle. The dam is a low-head dam, which is a design that was widely used in the past but which has fallen out of favor because they can be deceptively dangerous to anyone who gets caught in one. Changing the design of the dam could make the river more useful for recreation. The EPA's share of the change will come in the form of a $60,000 urban waters grant.

Fire burns nearly 75,000 acres in north-central Nebraska
July 27, 2012

It was already going to be a tough year for the cattle ranchers of the region, with drought burning up much of the hay and making cattle feed more expensive. But a fire has torched more than 72,000 acres of land near Norden. A big wildfire back in 2006 burned about a dozen homes in nearby Valentine.

Related products: portable fire pumps

Still rebuilding from flooding in South Sioux City
July 30, 2012

It's really hard to comprehend the vast difference between last year and this year in the Missouri River region. Last year, levees were being built in the middle of streets in places like South Sioux City to protect homes and businesses (the ones on the dry sides of those levees, at least) from record flows down the river. This year...the river is 17 feet below flood stage -- and 22' below last year's crest. As ironic as it may sound, there's probably no more important time to examine what can be done to prevent future flooding than right now, when the floods of last year are still in memory.

Irrigation in Iowa
July 31, 2012

The drought has been so long-lasting and so deep in Iowa that some farmers are starting to irrigate their crops. This practice wouldn't seem unusual in the western half of our territory -- Nebraska is the most-heavily-irrigated state in the nation. Iowa, by contrast, is almost entirely non-irrigated -- less than 1% of the land is irrigated. So to hear even some anecdotal evidence that Iowa farmers are turning to irrigation is a big change.

Related items: portable pumps for irrigationvertical-turbine pumpscanal gates for gravity irrigation

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