New Orleans' New Stormwater Plan: Let It Flood

New Orleans is planning a novel approach to managing the city's perpetual threat of floods. Instead of trying to prevent and pump out every last drop, the city will slow and store stormwater under a 50-year, $6.2 billion program of retrofits.

"New Orleans is a low-lying city built on swampland, and its leaders are finally coming to terms with that hydrological reality," writes John Upton. "No longer will officials try to drain and pump out every drop of excess water that falls or flows their way."

"Instead, under the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, floodwaters would be corralled into areas that serve as parks during drier times. Rain gardens and bioswales would help the earth suck up more of the rain that falls on it. And water would be funneled into year-round canals and ponds that support wildlife, improve soil quality, and generally pretty up the place."

Full Story: New Orleans has a radical new plan for managing floods


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