Dutch experts assist in New Orleans’ new water plan

30 August 2013 0 Comments

30 August 2013

After the devastation of Katrina, New Orleans needed a new strategy to deal with water. It’s only natural, perhaps, that for help they turned to a country with centuries of experience living below sea level – the Netherlands.

Next week comes the official release of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, and Dutch experts played a key role in its development.

People on a roof waiting to be rescued in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA/Wikimedia)

Nearly two years ago, against the backdrop of 2005’s deadly Hurricane Katrina, a team of local, national, and international experts led by New Orleans firm Waggonner & Ball Architects began to develop a resilience planning study for the Greater New Orleans region.

Funded by the Louisiana Office of Community Development, and in close collaboration with Dutch water system experts from consultant Royal HaskoningDHV, the Urban Water Plan details strategies in St. Bernard and the East Banks of Jefferson and Orleans parishes to address flooding caused by heavy rainfall, and subsidence caused by the pumping of storm water.

It’s hoped that the Urban Water Plan will improve safety, support the local ecology and boost the area’s economic vitality by making Greater New Orleans more safe and attractive, said Royal HaskoningDHV in a statement.

The new flood control system is designed against a 100-year storm surge but the back-up resilience check accounts for a 500-year storm (Royal HaskoningDHV)

The new flood control system is designed against a 100-year storm surge but the back-up resilience check accounts for a 500-year storm to make sure that the system doesn’t fail catastrophically, Royal HaskoningDHV said.

In addition to flood risk activities and hydraulic assistance, Royal HaskoningDHV was involved in revitalizing urban communities and performed a “water system analysis” as part of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan.

“Our hydrological analysis and systematic approach played a central role bridging the gap between water management and revitalization of the urban landscape,” the company said.