College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Iowa State University to study benefits of farm water storage

Researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) are joining seven other university research teams to study the benefits to crops and waterways from storing water from farm draining systems, they announced this month.

This project is funded with a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Research will involve collecting current and historical data from 40 sites within the Corn Belt.

Mathew Helmers is an ISU professor in agriculture and biosystems engineering, and he and several others are in the finishing stages of another USDA-NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP), which studied methods of resiliency measures against cases of extreme weather.

“Our CAP water workgroup and colleagues at other universities want to transform agricultural drainage to include water storage,” Helmers said. “We’ve all worked on research that has shown some promise in this area. But the CAP really laid the foundation for this new project.”

Purdue University is leading the project alongside ISU, Ohio State University, North Dakota State University, University of Missouri, North Carolina State University, South Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota.

Research will also study three practices that are utilized in water storage: drainage water control structures, reservoirs and saturated buffers.

For the original Crop Protection News story, click here.