(Washington, D.C.) — The Royal Netherlands Embassy commends New Orleans and Greater New Orleans Inc. for awarding a contract for the development of a ‘Comprehensive, Sustainable Integrated Water Management Strategy’ (WMS) for St. Bernard, Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
Having worked extensively with New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, the Dutch applaud this critical step in learning how to live with water. The development of an integrated WMS demonstrates New Orleans’ leadership to mitigate flood risk and flood impacts, prepare vulnerable urban areas for sea level rise, strengthen community and ecosystem resiliency, and use water to enhance an area’s economic value. We are pleased that Greater New Orleans Inc. has named an embassy official to serve on GNO Inc’s WMS Advisory Council.
As with the “Water Plans” in the Netherlands, the WMS goal is to give New Orleans a ‘fundamental’ lens to view infrastructure and community development plans, thereby ensuring that businesses and citizens can thrive and, as the Dutch say, “Keep their Feet Dry.”
Since 2007, Dutch experts in water management, landscape architecture, hydraulic and civil engineering, and urban planning have worked with Waggonner & Ball Architects, the American Planning Association (APA) and Louisianans in the Dutch Dialogues program to develop sustainable methods to reduce flood risk and alleviate the impact of tropical storms in New Orleans. Through a series of three workshops and ongoing projects, Dutch Dialogues identified integrated urban design and engineering approaches that will reduce flooding impacts, better manage storm, surface and groundwater and make New Orleans and surrounding parishes safer.
The Netherlands possesses 800 years of water management experience and Dutch experts will work side-by-side with Waggonner & Ball and New Orleans stakeholders to create a water strategy to guide the Crescent City’s future. Dutch input comes from officials from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Technical University of Delft, principals from landscape and design firms Bosch-Slabbers, H+N+S, De Koning, and Palmbout, engineers from Arcadis and Royal Haskoning, and scientists from Deltares.
The Embassy values the fruitful relationship it has developed with Waggonner & Ball, GNOInc, Parish officials and community leaders in south-east Louisiana. We look forward to an ongoing dialogue as we make our cities and environments safer and more dynamic.”