Principles: Adapting the Flow

The current approach to managing stormwater says that every drop of water that falls must be pumped out. This leads to water and soil imbalances. Intelligent retrofits and a new approach to stormwater and groundwater management will provide measurably higher levels of safety, reduce the rates at which the region is sinking, and restore the identity of Greater New Orleans as a preeminent place rich in public assets, industry, and innovation.

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When it rains, slow and store
Stormwater moving fast is hard to manage. Holding it where it falls, slowing the flow of water across the landscape, and storing large volumes of rainfall for infiltration and other uses are fundamental strategies for managing stormwater. Pump stations are activated when necessary, rather than as a default every time it rains.

When it’s dry, circulate and recharge
Surface waters and groundwater move naturally across and within every delta. Incorporating surface water flows and higher water levels into everyday water management improves groundwater balance, water quality, and the region’s ecological health.


Live with Water
Water is a fact of life on the delta. Making space for water and making it visible across the urban landscape allows it once again to be an asset to the region.

Work with Nature
The region’s diverse flora and fauna already store, filter, and grow with water. Integrating these natural processes with mechanical systems enhances the function, beauty, and resilience of the region’s water infrastructure and landscape.


Work Together
Water knows no boundaries. Collaborations across neighborhood, cultural, and political boundaries and developing solutions at all scales—from individual properties to regional networks— are prerequisites for building a stronger future.

Design for Adaptation
Change is constant on the delta. Designing systems for dynamic conditions, and to support diverse uses, economic development, and environmental restoration maximizes the value of necessary water infrastructure investments.

See the Design Proposals