Water & Climate Change

Municipal, industrial, energy and agricultural interests in Iowa and beyond have competing water demands that are likely to grow in the future in the face of changing climate and economic factors. Yet the available water in the upper Midwest also offers tremendous economic opportunity, if water is optimally exploited to satisfy competing concerns. We are developing a program combining research and community team-building whose overarching goal is to produce sustainable water-management planning that achieves these economic benefits for our region and, by extension of the methods developed, for the rest of the world.

Our initial focus is to  develop a leading-edge, proof-of-concept program of the local Squaw Creek watershed that:

  • integrates existing models of economic, hydrologic and climate systems across different time and space scales;
  • involves decision-makers, stakeholders and researchers in an evolving discussion of the relevance, credibility and legitimacy of the integrated models’ behavior; and
  • provides a basis for assimilating the large, rich volume of data arising from changing economic, hydrologic and climatic factors into sustainable water-resources planning.

Thanks for your interest in our work.  For more information, contact Bill Gutowski (gutowski@iastate.edu).

Project Team

Principal Investigator: William J. Gutowski, Jr., Professor, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Overall coordination, climate modeling integrating the land and atmospheric components of coupled water processes.

Other investigators

Kristie Franz, Associate Professor, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Modeling of surface water processes.

Jean Goodwin, Professor, Department of English, Program in Speech Communication. Communication between scientists and stakeholders.

Chris R. Rehmann, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Environmental fluid mechanics and water resources engineering.

William W. Simpkins, Professor, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Modeling of groundwater processes.

Leigh Tesfatsion, Professor, Department of Economics. Economic policies and incentives governing water use, agent-based modeling.

Alan Wanamaker, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Paleoclimate analysis of water-cycle behavior.

Research Assistants

David Dziubanski, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Hydrological modeling.

Yu Jie, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Agent-based modeling.

Juliana Nnoko. Department of Sociology. Stakeholder engagement.