For most people who live in Baton Rouge—or north of Interstate 10—Louisiana’s myriad of environmental issues continue to be some distant, “that’s a coastal” problem.
Yet the problems facing the state—and not just along the coast—are very real, experts say, and in many ways are worsening.
As Business Report details in a new feature, it’s the growing concern for low-lying areas that prompted the Baton Rouge-based Water Institute of the Gulf to partner with Deltares, a world-renown Dutch applied research institute, in search of better ways to predict future flooding.
The Water Institute of the Gulf, launched shortly after Hurricane Katrina, is a nascent organization compared to Deltares, which has been operating for more than 50 years and is known as a global leader in water management research. The two organizations have shared information in the past, but officially partnered last summer to mitigate flooding impacts by focusing on developing software and levees, modeling watersheds, and infrastructure and nature-based solutions.
The partnership between the two is of mutual benefit to both organizations, says Karel Heynart, a river and coastal management expert in the Netherlands who is serving as regional coordinator for Deltares’ activities in the United States. While the Water Institute gains international recognition with the partnership, Deltares gets connected to a region with one of the world’s most complex river deltas.