Iowa Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Report

This report presents the findings of a pilot project initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work with stakeholders and governments in Iowa to investigate regional effects of climate change in hazard mitigation planning and other community planning processes. The primary findings and recommendations developed through this project are intended to inform federal and state agencies whose programs influence local land use and hazard mitigation planning, researchers that develop locally focused climate change information and tools, and communities trying to become more sustainable and resilient.

Iowa was chosen for the pilot as communities there have been experiencing floods that are growing more severe and frequent, as well as state and local planners have already been working to identify planning approaches that improve resilience. EPA's interest in conducting this pilot in Iowa also grew from a partnership between the state, EPA, and FEMA to provide smart growth technical assistance to communities hard hit by the floods of 2008. This partnership led to EPA and FEMA signing a Memorandum of Agreement to continue working on ways to incorporate smart growth and sustainable communities approaches into hazard mitigation planning and long-term community recovery.

The first stage of this project explored if and how climate change information should be considered in risk assessments and the implications this information may have for community planning options. The second stage focused on identifying adaptation solutions with mutual benefits across different planning requirements, and emphasized the need to work across agencies and levels of government to optimize results.

Appendix A provides specific adaptation strategies based on 'Smart Planning Principles' from the Iowa Smart Planning Act which was signed into law in 2010. 

Appendix H presents case studies focusing on two Iowa jurisdictions (City of Coralville and Story County) and with recently approved hazard mitigation plans, both of which experienced major flooding events in 1993 and 2008. These case studies review adopted planning initiatives and analyze the degree to which they are integrated and complementary efforts. In addition, this appendix discusses whether climate change and adaptation measures have been incorporated and implemented into the plans, and outlines recommendations for respective jurisdictions.


Publication Date: 2011

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  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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