Introducing the Water Map


Water Map Team


August 1, 2022

Where can I fish or put a boat in water? Or maybe visit with alligators? How do I learn about  drainage pump stations or where my sewage is treated? Which areas are below sea level and why is the city a bowl anyway? Was this area once a swamp? How has the coastline changed over time?

Water Map New Orleans / Water Map Bulbancha is a multimedia platform for exploring these questions and the past, present, and future of our relationship to water. In digital and paper forms, this map will be a portal for accessing basic water systems information as well as stories, artwork, readings, projects, and programs that support learning, dialogue, and collective stewardship of the region’s water resources. With this map, every resident will have ready access to the information and resources critical to building water literacy, and for building towards a collective vision for what “living with water” will look like.

Why do we need a water map? As a region, we face sea level rise and climate change and continued coastal land loss. The hurricanes, rainfall events, and extensive street flooding of recent years, boil water advisories, and ongoing failures in our roads and utilities affect all residents, and serve as a reminder of the many risks we face day to day, even within the levees.

At the same time, our riverfront, port facilities, canals, bayous, wetlands, park lagoons, and lakefront are defining features of our region. They -- along with our networks of pipes, culverts, and pump stations -- are critical to any understanding of the history of its settlement and continuous adaptation over many centuries, and the ways in which the region’s diverse communities will have to continue to adapt in response to the growing pressures of flooding, subsidence, climate change, and sea level rise.

Make a tax-deductible donation to support the development and distribution of the first Water Map in both print and digital forms. []