Work continues throughout Iowa under the DU-IDNR Living Lakes Engineering Feasibility Agreement, as well as new partnerships to enhance wetlands throughout the Big River Initiative area. DU engineers are continuing to design improved water management systems for a number of DNR-owned wildlife areas.
The 440-acre Runnels project was completed in March 2014. This project constructed a new water diversion structure and berm to provide dependable fall habitat for waterfowl on the upper end of Red Rock Reservoir. The project site is within the flood pool for the reservoir and adjacent to the Des Moines River, resulting in regular and dramatic flooding. Iowa DNR drew on DU's engineering experience to deliver water management infrastructure that can withstand these impressive floods. The system was severely tested last summer when the reservoir over-topped the site on two occasions.
We are happy to report that the structures functioned as designed and survived these events with no ill effects. This type of design will mean less operation and maintenance costs for DNR and better waterfowl hunting opportunities in the future.