Drought response

City pump at Ada Hayden Lake

This pump on the south side of Ada Hayden Lake began pumping water from the lake to the South Skunk River channel July 27. After the weekend rains, the pump was temporarily turned off. Photo by Diana Pounds.

Ada Hayden Heritage Park on Ames’ north side is a favorite community recreation spot. Its tranquil lake is also part of the Ames aquifer system that provides the city’s water supply.

The 1.2 billion gallon lake provides an emergency water source during a drought, as evidenced by the pumping that started July 27. (After last weekend's rains, the pump was temporarily turned off.)

John Dunn, the city’s water and pollution control director, says that although the lake was designed to serve as a secondary water source, it’s rare to pump water from the lake into the South Skunk River channel to replenish the drinking water aquifer. This marks the first time the city has done so since assuming ownership of Ada Hayden lake a decade ago, although pumping has historically occurred in other unseasonably dry years, including 1977 and 1988.

The Ames Water Plant’s move to begin pumping is the first step in its drought management plan. The City of Ames hasn’t implemented mandatory water restrictions at this time, but is monitoring the situation and encourages all residents to conserve.

Iowa State’s conservation role

The university has both permanent and temporary water conservation measures in place, according to Dave Miller, associate vice president for facilities planning and management.

Long-term conservation efforts include the installation of rain barrels and hardy, low-maintenance plantings at Reiman Gardens; a rainwater harvest system to provide water for toilet flushing at the Biorenewables Research Laboratory; and Veenker Memorial Golf Course’s conversion to bent grass turf, which has reduced water and chemical use by 30 percent. ISU Dining for the past two years has reduced wash and disposal water waste through trayless dining and composting food waste.

Other conservation measures implemented this summer:

  • Transportation Services has suspended routine car washing until conditions improve. University vehicles will be washed only if they are extremely dirty.
  • CyRide has taken the same approach, said Rich Leners, assistant transit director, fleet and facilities. Rain is typically the reason buses need to be washed, Leners said. Dry weather makes for cleaner buses. CyRide has washed the fleet only four times this summer.
  • Fountains are off at Reiman Gardens, and turf areas are being watered every 10 days.
  • New tree and shrub planting on campus is being deferred to 2013. Existing young trees and shrubs are being watered with well water once a week.
  • Irrigation systems watering The Knoll, Campanile, Parks Library and Enrollment Services Center lawns, as well as the band practice field, are being used three days per week.
  • Pond water from Coldwater Golf Links in Ames is being used on Cyclone football practice fields.
  • The Southwest Athletic Complex irrigation has been turned off.
  • Veenker Memorial Golf Course is irrigating with well water. The course’s “gradual dry down” allows for tees and greens to be watered daily at 70 percent of the water loss for the previous day; and fairways to be watered daily at 50 percent of the water loss for the previous day. Rough areas are not being watered.
  • ISU’s Department of Residence will display posters and signs in residence halls to educate students about water conservation. The issue also will be discussed at house meetings and communicated via social media and dining center table tents.

What students and others can do to save water

It will be a couple of weeks before many Iowa State students return for the fall semester, but even the smallest efforts to use water wisely can help, said Merry Rankin, ISU director of sustainability. Iowa State uses 750,000 to 1 million gallons of the city’s daily water supply; the Ames Water Plant capacity is 11.5 million gallons.

Taking shorter showers, running only a full dishwasher or clothes washer, and turning off the faucet while brushing teeth and shaving are steps anyone can take to save water, Rankin said.

“Every individual has an opportunity to assist in this community challenge,” she said.

ISU Extension and Outreach has compiled an extensive list of home water conservation tips.

“Another way in which everyone on campus can assist is to report leaky faucets or toilets so that they can be repaired. It’s better to report something twice than not have it reported at all,” Rankin said. “In addition, all offices, labs and departments should consider how they are using water during the work day, and look for ways to reduce consumption.” 

Welcome, Provost Wickert


Former Engineering dean Jonathan Wickert officially assumed his new position as senior vice president and provost earlier this week. He was named to the post in early May following a national search.

Wickert had served as dean of the College of Engineering since 2009. He is a professor of mechanical engineering and came to Iowa State in 2007 as chair of that department. Previously, he served 17 years on the mechanical engineering faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Wickert's office is in 1550 Beardshear. He can be contacted at 4-9591 or provost@iastate.edu.

Residence department hopes to expand Frederiksen Court

The residence department will seek permission to begin planning an estimated $24.3 million expansion to its Frederiksen Court student apartments on the north side of campus when the state Board of Regents meets Friday in Cedar Falls.

The proposal calls for up to seven additional buildings, each with 24 apartments, or approximately 650 additional beds. The department proposes to use construction documents from the existing Frederiksen Court buildings, making minor floor plan modifications and other changes for greater energy efficiency.

Listen online

Audio of public portions of the meeting will be live streamed on the Board of Regents website. Times are approximate.

Education committee, Aug. 2, 3-5 p.m.
Full board, Aug. 3, 9-11:30 a.m.

Residence director Pete Englin said the proposal responds to higher enrollment -- and strong student demand for on-campus housing. Since 2005, on-campus occupancy rates have outpaced enrollment growth by 12 percentage points.

"Particularly for returning students, apartments are the preferred housing option," he said, "which allows us to welcome new students to residence halls. And that experience has proven to help them be successful, on many levels.

"They're saying to me, 'Don't tell us to go live somewhere else.' We do add value to their Iowa State experience, and students have responded to that."

Last fall, about 180 students were placed in residence hall dens, due to high demand. That number could be even higher this fall. Englin said leaders from both student government and the residence hall association have asked for a growth plan, including one that even builds in vacancies so students have flexibility to change housing during the school year.

If enrollments drop in the future, Englin said on-campus apartments would remain a popular option for students. The department then would consider options such as converting double rooms in residence halls to singles or even "retiring" older residence halls.

If Iowa State gets the green light from the board Friday, Englin said the first new building likely wouldn't open until early 2014. Construction costs would be covered by residence system revenue bonds. Englin noted that under current rates, rent from the students in the new buildings would cover bonding and operating costs. Rates wouldn't have to be raised system-wide to pay for the new apartments.

FY13 budget

The board also is expected to approve budgets for the fiscal year that began July 1. Iowa State's proposed total budget is just over $1.2 billion, which includes sponsored research and auxiliary units such as athletics, printing, residence and dining. The university's general fund operating budget of $574.5 million is supported by $221.8 million in state support, an estimated $13.7 million in federal support and $317.6 million in tuition and fees.

Request for new programs, center

During the board's education and student affairs committee meeting (scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Aug. 2), senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert will present Iowa State requests for three new master's programs:

  • Master of Engineering in engineering management (developed in the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department with assistance from the College of Business)
  • Master of Urban Design (interdisciplinary program in the College of Design)
  • Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (also an interdisciplinary program in the College of Design)

Iowa State also will seek permission to move the 9-year-old Center for e-Design from the Virginia Tech campus to Iowa State's industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department. Janis Terpenny, who came to Iowa State last August as department chair, has directed the center for several years. The National Science Foundation, which funds the center, has approved the change.

The center is an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, currently with seven universities and 38 dues-paying members from industry. The center applies principles of science, math and engineering to help develop, test and implement new methods and technologies for improved product design.

If approved in committee, these items would be presented to the full board on Friday.

Also on Thursday, in closed session, the board will conduct annual performance evaluations for the leaders of the five regent institutions and board executive director Robert Donley.

Land purchase, honorary degree, building projects

In other business, Iowa State will ask the board to approve:

  • A proposal to purchase 17 acres of woodland and a lodge from the YMCA of Greater Des Moines for approximately $120,000. The land is located between Veenker golf course and the Applied Sciences Complex. The university owns 175 acres of woodland in the adjacent area. Purchase funds would come from ISU's facilities overhead use fund.
  • An honorary Doctor of Science degree for James Barnard, a leading environmental engineer in the world, to be awarded at the fall 2012 commencement ceremony. The South Africa native is renowned for his innovative research in water quality, particularly wastewater treatment. Since the 1970s, he has focused on using biological methods, such as algae, on a massive scale instead of expensive chemicals to remove nutrients from wastewater. Barnard's honorary degree nomination came from faculty members in the civil, environmental and construction engineering department.
  • A request to name the outdoor track at the Cyclone Sports Complex for Bill and Karen Bergan, Ames, who provided a lead gift of $1 million for the complex. In 23 years of coaching at Iowa State (1971-1994), Bill Bergan brought unprecedented success to the cross-country and track and field teams that included two NCAA titles and 25 conference championships. Iowa State proposes to commission a statue of Bergan for the site.
  • A request to name the athletics department's combined football facilities -- the existing Steve and Debbie Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility and the nearly completed football training facility addition -- the Bergstrom Football Complex. As on the indoor training facility, the Bergstroms provided the lead gift, $2 million, on the football addition.
  • A schematic design for the remodeling of the MacKay Hall auditorium. The room currently seats up to 370 students on two levels; the renovation would convert the room to a contemporary, interactive classroom with seats for 215 students while respecting the room's historical character. The $3.2 million cost, approved by the board in March, would be covered with university and College of Human Sciences funds. If approved, work would begin after fall semester.
  • A schematic design and budget ($7.3 million) for the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, to be built on the south side of Mortensen Road, north of the Ames/ISU ice arena. All but $300,000 of the cost is covered by private gifts, including the Hansens' lead gift of $2 million. Construction could begin in late fall.

Coming soon to a screen near you: Cyclones.tv

John Walters

"I think we can provide a lot of things that will help our fan base feel more connected to Iowa State. This is especially true for fans in the corners of Iowa or outside the state borders. Cyclones.tv will help them stay into touch with their university."
-- John Walters (Photo courtesy of ISU Athletics)

More live games, more John Walters, more walks down memory lane with the likes of Seneca and Fred.  Cyclones.tv, the new digital network for cardinal and gold folk, launched Aug. 1. It will carry its first live event -- football media day -- on Aug. 2.

Get acquainted with the new network in this Inside Q&A with athletics department staff.

What will be on Cyclones.tv?

Live games, including:

  • at least one football game
  • a minimum of four men's basketball
  • a majority of women's basketball games
  • other Cyclone sports home competitions that aren't televised

Additionally, the network will carry exclusive video features by sportscaster and lead Cyclones.tv reporter John Walters, as well as  news conferences and classic games.If you miss a game in real time, it will be available through archives later.

How do I access Cyclones.tv?

First, you'll need to subscribe. Regular subscriptions are $9.95  per month or $79.95 per year. Sign up before Sept. 1, and you'll receive a 25 percent discount, paying $59.95 for an annual subscription.  (Note: Cyclones.tv subscriptions are like magazine subscriptions with automatic renewals and billing.)

Once you've subscribed you can access most content via your computer, although you may need an app for your mobile device.

cyclones.tv logo

         View video.

How do I set up my mobile devices for Cyclones.tv?

  • iPads: To watch Cyclones.tv video on an iPad, you'll need to buy the official Iowa State Athletics iPad app ($7.99).
  • Smart phones: To access archive and on-demand video from smart phones, you'll need the premium Iowa State Athletics mobile app ($4.99) for iPhone or Android. These apps also provide live-streamed audio of Cyclones.tv events, such as game broadcasts and call-in shows. Video streaming is not yet available for the phones.

I'm a Clone Zone subscriber. Do I need to subscribe to Cyclones.tv?

No. If you already subscribe to the Clone Zone, you're all set. Your subscription will be automatically transferred to Cyclones.tv in late July. The Clone Zone will be retired when Cyclones.tv comes online. The new digital network will contain all the old Clone Zone content, plus new features and material.

Cylones.tv features high-definition video. How will that affect my viewing? 

We're using adaptive HD for our live streaming events, which means the faster your internet connection, the better your video will look.  Internet speed is affected by many variables, for example, how many people in your house are on the wireless router or how many people in your neighborhood are sharing your broadband cable service at a given time. Those on cable or DSL (broadband) connections should be able to access Cyclones.tv. Dial-up and cellular networking such as 3G is not recommended.