Dutch Dialogues water planning principles are discussed in a recent article by James S. Russell on Bloomberg News. In “New Orleans Needs Scenic Canals, Not Billions in Levees,” Russell argues that in addition to large-scale drainage infrastructure projects, New Orleans should adopt internal water management strategies at a variety of scales that can be implemented incrementally over time.
“Corralling storm water for good use is immensely appealing in a city that’s still dubious about leaving its safety in the hands of the levee builders. Drainage structures designed to fit into neighborhoods could make the city infinitely more attractive. And the building could be in manageable chunks.
“I don’t see this as a 5-year plan,” said Waggonner, “but a 50-year one.”
Elements of Waggonner’s living-with-water proposal have been included in the city’s masterplan, which is close to adoption, and the idea has the backing of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Yet his vision could vaporize, as so many post-Katrina plans have.
Its unique power is the promise that New Orleanians need no longer cower in the shadows of their endless, dispiriting levee walls. They could begin living gracefully with their age-old aquatic enemy.”