Water management

Kira Akerman/Zac Manuel

The documentary Station 15, directed by Kira Akerman, follows Chasity Hunter -- then a high school student -- as she learns about water infrastructure in New Orleans.

 

Hunter is becoming an informal ambassador for the city around water management and climate change. Last month, she represented New Orleans with a panel of other students from around the country as part of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco -- where activists called on politicians to do more about climate change.

 

WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with Hunter about her experience at the Summit, and her investigation of New Orleans water infrastructure.

Michael Isaac Stein / The Lens

Scientists say climate change will bring heavier rains and more intense storms. City officials have acknowledged that New Orleans needs to rethink how it deals with rain — by reducing reliance on mechanical pumps and managing the water where it falls.

Thanks to a post-Katrina settlement with FEMA, the city has more than $2 billion to fix streets and drainage — a perfect opportunity to try some new ideas. But will it?

Travis Lux / WWNO

Major floods last summer thrust infrastructure and drainage issues into the limelight. And new Mayor LaToya Cantrell has made them a top priority for her administration. She has championed the approach to water management outlined in the city's Urban Water Plan — which emphasizes “green infrastructure” solutions like soaking up rain water instead of pumping it out. But that plan is largely unfunded.

The Data Center

Louisiana spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year to restore and protect the coastline with big earth-moving projects, like building marshes and barrier islands.

 

The state hires professional contractors to bring in their backhoes, dozers, dredges and workboats to do the job. It’s big business. But a new report says not enough of that money is staying in the state. And with billions of dollars coming from the BP settlement, some see that as a problem.

 

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

As hurricane season approaches, the Army Corps of Engineers is making sure area pumping stations are operating properly. The system is working as planned.

Harmon-DeCotiis studio team / Tulane City Center

There are many ways to handle neighborhood flooding, beyond pumping stations and sewers. Some cities have realized that skate parks, of all places, can be used to manage water rather well. New Orleans’ new skate park is being designed as a water management tool.

It's loud underneath I-610 at Paris Avenue. Cars and trucks barrel overheard, and the overpass rumbles and thumps. But there are other noises contributing to the sea of sound: skateboards.

Business and political leaders joined with Dutch water experts in recommending a plan that revamps the way the New Orleans region deals with storm water. It requires a major shift in how residents see water inside the levee system.