What does it take to get a drink here? Delivering potable water in New Orleans

Housing for Health Incubator and Civic Studio

New Orleans 2019: Imagining

New Orleans residents are familiar with boil water advisories. Many locals install filters on kitchen taps, while others consume bottled water, concerned about the municipal supply. This Making & Doing session considers the history, labour, expertise, social relations, chemicals, geography, and infrastructures that combine to deliver safe and palatable drinking water to New Orleanians.

Working with maps, we aim to trace the flow of water from the Mississippi River to the kitchen tap, considering the treatment, storage, distribution practices, and leaks along the way. While the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan is renowned for articulating the requirements of resilient stormwater management, it does not address drinking water. Yet the features that exacerbate the impact of stormwater also generate pressures on drinking water infrastructures. We aim to examine those pressures, the ongoing work to alleviate them, and impediments to the security of New Orleans drinking water.