The Code of Iowa, CH 418A, as created and signed by Governor Reynolds on June 1, 2023 established the Office of Levee Safety within the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This office is established as part of a larger levee improvement program designed to reduce and manage risks associated with a hazardous event caused by a levee’s inadequate design, structural performance, or operational control.
Key tasks for the Office of Levee Safety are to conduct a statewide analysis of the condition of the state’s levees and develop a rating scale to identify the most at-risk levees. The Iowa Geological Survey will survey nearly 900 miles of levees across the state over the next 4-5 years to provide an information baseline regarding the condition of Iowa’s levees. This information as well as inspection reports will be used to develop the rating system. The 2023 fall survey season will conduct geophysical surveys of a carefully selected sample of Iowa’s levees to provide information on a variety of factors such as levee age, levee location, and levee management practices. This initial survey information will be used to develop the initial rating system. Additional survey information gathered in years 2-5 will be used to refine and finalize the rating system.
The Office of Levee Safety will work with levee owners/sponsors to identify potential projects for funding consideration by the Flood Mitigation Board. See the Funding Opportunities section below for more information.
County Emergency Managers
A levee improvement fund has been established in the state treasury under the control of the Flood Mitigation Board. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, and for each fiscal year thereafter through the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2027, wagering tax receipts of up to $5 million shall be deposited into the levee improvement fund. These funds are appropriated to operate the Office of Levee Safety, conduct a statewide analysis of the condition of the state’s levees, and to award cost-share moneys to levee districts pursuant to the levee improvement program.
Cost-share moneys will be made available to districts whose levee(s) have been surveyed by the Iowa Geological Survey. The levee improvement fund will provide 50% of project costs related to addressing risks associated with inadequate design, structural performance, or operational control.
7900 Hickman Road,
Windsor Heights, IA 50324