Water Institute out to protect the Baton Rouge water supply

The iconic centerpiece of the Baton Rouge Water Campus is the Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions building set upon the Old Municipal Dock on the Mississippi River waterfront in Baton Rouge, La. The building is home of the Water Institute of the Gulf.

The Water Institute of the Gulf is in the early stages of a study that will devise 50-year sustainable solutions for preventing saltwater intrusion into the Southern Hills Aquifer, a critical Baton Rouge-area water source,Business Report details in a feature in its current issue.

Over the years, saltwater has become a growing threat to the freshwater supply as usage has increased by consumers and industry.

Funded by the Capital Area Ground Water Conservation Commission, the $237,000 first phase is expected to take a year as a Water Institute team collects existing data about the aquifer to extrapolate a suite of possible solutions.

The three-phased study could eventually result in a temporary fee hike of $10 per million gallons of usage, amounting to few pennies increase to the bill for the average household.

Alyssa Dausman, vice president for science at the Water Institute, says most coastal cities need long-term strategies for managing groundwater resources to ensure a long-term, sustainable supply.

“Even though people don’t think of Baton Rouge as a coastal city, when you get your resources from aquifers in the ground saltwater intrusion is a fairly common problem.”

Read the full story about how The Water Institute plans to help keep Baton Rouge’s freshwater salt-free.

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