New Orleans Urban Water Plan addresses region's water management problems

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NEW ORLEANS, LA, Sept. 9, 2013 -- Greater New Orleans, Inc., released the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan (Urban Water Plan) on Friday, Sept. 6, that directly addresses problems with the region's current water management system to increase quality of life and reduce street flooding, potholes and damaged infrastructure. The Urban Water Plan was designed over the last two years by a team of local, national and Dutch experts led by New Orleans firm Waggonner & Ball Architects.

The Urban Water Plan details seven demonstration projects to address flooding caused by the pumping of stormwater in St. Bernard parish and the East Banks of Jefferson and Orleans parishes. Implementation of the Urban Water Plan will sustain the ecology and the economic vitality of the region and make Greater New Orleans a more attractive place to live and work for businesses and residents. Implementation of the plan will cost $6.2 billion with potential options for funding including federal, state and local options and public-private partnerships (PPPs), and will result in approximately $22 billion in economic benefits to the region over fifty years.

"The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, funded by a $2.5 million CDBG-DR grant, charts a course for how to better protect communities and mitigate against future flood risk," said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Last month the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which I've had the honor to chair, released a Rebuilding Strategy that will serve as a model for communities across the country as they adapt to more frequent and severe storms and flooding events. The Urban Water Plan not only aligns with our Rebuilding Strategy but it too serves as a national model for resilience."

"The Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan serves a symbiotic dual purpose, simultaneously preserving the value of businesses and communities," said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. "Implementation of the Urban Water Plan will make Greater New Orleans a better place to live and work, while building our new brand as national 'water experts' -- something surely to be in demand in a world of increasing weather volatility."

The Urban Water Plan was funded by the Louisiana Office of Community Development through a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.)

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