Flood Protection & Sustainability
Today, New Orleans is better protected by a stronger, more resilient flood protection system than ever before. The region now has a $14.5 billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System that includes the world’s largest drainage pumping station and a storm surge barrier stretching 1.8 miles long and 26 feet high. The US Army Corps of Engineers and Sewerage & Water Board are constructing $2 billion in drainage improvements as part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project (SELA).
The region is also focusing on how to live to with water. By working with local, national and Dutch experts, the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan outlines a brighter future for New Orleans through better water management, leading to reduced flooding and subsidence which can damage infrastructure. A new Master Plan and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) mandates that new projects over 5,000 square feet use storm water management plans, reducing impact on the city’s drainage system and changing the way the city interacts with water.
Still, major threats exist from coastal erosion and subsidence. Between 1932 and 2010, the New Orleans region lost 948 square miles of coastal wetlands, which is nearly 30 percent of the wetlands that buffer the region from hurricane storm surges. To respond to continued wetlands loss, the State of Louisiana has developed a $50 billion Coastal Master Plan identifying 109 potential projects to protect communities and achieve a sustainable coast.
By leveraging public and private funds to create new plans, policies and resources for more sound investments, New Orleans is becoming a national model for urban resilience. While more work still needs to be done to make sustainability a core feature of its recovery, New Orleans is back, and it’s ready for what comes next.
$14.5 billion investment
Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System built to reduce risk of damage from a 100-year storm surge, including:
Perimeter system with strengthened levees, floodwalls, gated structures & pump stations
Interior risk reduction structure
Drainage pumping station
1.8 Mile-long, 26-foot high
$1.5 billion invested
Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Program (SELA) to reduce risk of flood damage caused by rainfall events, including:
For already completed canals, culverts and pumps
For ongoing projects to remove 9 inches of rainwater in 24 hours
New Pumping Stations
As part of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, the US Army Corps of Engineers is constructing three new pumping stations.
When fully operational, the three pump stations will be able to pump 24,300 cubic feet per second. That is enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in 3.63 seconds or fill the Superdome in less than 90 minutes.
Key Sustainability Accomplishments
All capital improvement and infrastructure projects are fully coordinated by the City and Sewerage & Water Board to minimize impact on residents.
Urban Water Plan
A resiliency study that addresses stormwater, groundwater, and subsidence threats to St. Bernard Parish and the east banks of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
A Top 20 Solar City
By Total Installed Solar PV Capacity Environmental America.