Salt water intrusion New Orleans, Louisiana: Mayor issues emergency declaration amid potential water crisis

New Orleans’ weather is dry, causing low water levels

ByNadine Al-Bawaab abcnews logo

Monday, September 25, 2023 at 5:24 pm

New Orleans issues emergency declaration amid potential water crisis

new Orleans — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has signed an emergency declaration over salt water intrusion into the Mississippi River, which officials say could affect the area’s water supply.

“We will continue to work with our partners locally and state-wide as we closely monitor this situation,” Cantrell wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Officials said weather forecasts indicate river volumes will drop to historic lows over the next several weeks. As a result, salt water from the Gulf of Mexico is intruding upstream into Louisiana.

“Plaquemines Parish has been affected by this problem since June. Drought conditions have worsened since that time, meaning additional communities along the Mississippi River may be affected,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a statement Friday. Can.”

Water intake from the Boothville Water Treatment Plant in Plaquemines Parish is affecting the drinking water supply to residents and businesses from Empire to Venice in southeast Louisiana, local officials said.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed an underwater barrier sill in July to create an artificial basin to help delay the ingress of salt water. Salt water intrusion into the upper reaches of the river crossed the threshold height earlier this week.

Edwards said additional work will begin soon to further delay salt water intrusion.

Next week, officials will begin enlarging the existing sill to delay saltwater intrusion for an estimated 10 to 15 more days.

River levels are forecast to continue to fall and very little rainfall is expected to ease conditions. Local, state and federal officials are working to determine what can be done to protect water systems and water intake points.

“Unfortunately, without any respite from the dry weather we are beginning to see more increased salt water intrusion into the river despite efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers to mitigate the problems,” Edwards said.

“The most important thing is that this is not the time to panic or listen to misinformation,” he said. “We have previously been through this situation in 1988, and we are monitoring this situation very closely and applying lessons learned. It is extremely important for the public to stay informed and stay tuned for updates during this incident. “Only reliable sources should be trusted.”

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