The Institute is developing the Living with Water Program to look at community adaptation to water dynamics in an integrated fashion. The program will be based on the understanding that water and related infrastructure and ecosystems shape communities, and that water scarcity, access and management are all related. We encourage academic institutions, community organizations, non-profit organizations and technical experts to collaborate with citizens seeking to create resilient communities. The ideas garnered by the program will ground the water policies we propose in field tested research and experience. Our work in this regard has direct national and international applications. The models we develop in Louisiana can inform the choices made by communities facing the effects of rising seas and erratic weather patterns, and we too can learn from their experiences. This interchange of information will be a critical part of the Institute’s work in coming years.
HOW SAFE, HOW SOON PROJECT
Help citizens begin adapting to the changing coast through the How Safe, How Soon project. The program helps communities such as the United Houma Nation in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes, as well as citizens in New Orleans’s Lower 9th Ward and Carrollton/Hollygrove neighborhoods. Through the How Safe, How Soon program these citizens assess their flooding risk and develop long-term visions for the future as they face the consequences of climate change and wetland loss.
Help citizens understand and act on the challenges of living with water. This includes decoding regulatory and legal processes so that citizens may be active partners in helping to reduce flooding risks in their communities. The Institute helps citizens identify and ask questions related to issues as varied as coastal restoration plans, drainage proposals, and land rights. In all cases, our focus is helping all parties involved exchange information in the most productive way.
NOLA MASTER PLANNING PROCESS
Assist the New Orleans Mater Planning Process by providing guidance about the city’s history with water and how that history, and the present legal landscape, must inform future decision making.