Water series wades into flooding of 2011

The Water Seminar Series continues March 7 with a discussion about flooding along the Missouri River in 2011. The talk, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Hardin Hall auditorium, will be led by Kevin Grode of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is the ninth presentation out of 16 scheduled for 2012.

Lectures in the series are free and open to the public. The series is sponsored by UNL's School of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Water Center, a part of the Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

The flood of 2011 marked the largest runoff in the Missouri River basin in last 114 years of recorded history. Since records have been kept, dating back to the late 1800’s, the estimated 61.2 million acre-feet of runoff above Sioux City, Iowa will exceed the previous record of 49.0 MAF (set in 1997), by almost 25 percent. The runoff during March-July was approximately 48.7 MAF, exceeding the 1881 flood control design storm of 40 MAF, by more than 20 percent.

The record runoff was a result of significant plains snowpack, very high and late arriving mountain snowpack, and much higher than normal spring and summer rainfall.

During this flood, record releases were made from the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System, which are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Basin Water Management Division in Omaha, Nebraska.

This presentation will focus on lesson learned from the regulation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System, including assessment of basin and runoff conditions prior to, and during the flood, runoff forecasting procedures, as well as the regulation decisions made in response to the record runoff.

Grode holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He has been with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 1986. Most of his tenure with the Corps has been in area of water management. He worked in the Omaha District Water Control and Water Quality Section (1991–2003) as a reservoir regulator and has been in the Missouri Basin Water Management office since 2003.

In his current position, Grode leads a team of hydraulic engineers and computer specialists to conduct studies and forecasts pertaining to the regulation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System. This includes the update of System water control manuals and various technical studies, as well as producing short-term and long-term Missouri River basin forecasts to ensure compatibility with the system’s authorized purposes.

For more information, go to http://watercenter.unl.edu.