The U.S. Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a biannual package that authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water resource projects. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, cemented several Iowa priorities into this package – including key measures to update Cedar Rapids’ flood system and a levee in the Des Moines area.
“Senator Ernst and I worked hard to ensure Iowa would benefit from this year’s Water Resources Development Act, and I’m glad that our priorities are included in the package that passed the Senate today. This includes authorizations that will help with additional flood control needs in both Cedar Rapids and Des Moines,” Grassley said.
“This important bipartisan bill will benefit Iowa communities while protecting taxpayer dollars. I appreciate Senator Grassley’s continued partnership in securing key priorities for our state and am glad to see it one step closer to becoming law,” Ernst said.
The key provisions Grassley and Ernst included in the WRDA package are:
Updating Cedar Rapids’ Flood System
This request authorizes modifications to the flood risk management project consistent with the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Cedar River Flood Control System Master Plan to enhance flood protections for Cedar Rapids.
Allowing Improvements to Go Through for a Des Moines Area Levee
This request makes a jurisdictional fix for a levee in the Des Moines area — the Southeast Des Moines (SEDM) levee — so that it can finally get the improvements it needs.
Studying Harmful Algal Blooms in the Upper Mississippi River
This request extends the scope of a study on harmful algal blooms – or HABs – so that the Upper Mississippi River and its tributaries are included in the study. HABs occur when colonies of algae grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish and birds.