Focus Area

Resilient Communities

Increasing threats from rain-induced flooding, coastal land loss, storms, sea level rise, climate change, and subsidence challenge communities, and the economic infrastructure that sustains them, around the world.

Communities, industries, and governments face difficult decisions about how to use limited resources to address these challenges for a more stable and resilient future.

“Resilience” means more than just making sure a community is able to recover quickly from a natural disaster. Resilience also includes finding ways to minimize damage from these disasters, to ensure that emergency services can remain online, and that the cumulative impact of multiple disasters can be mitigated. Finding comprehensive, and realistic, ways to address these challenges takes a holistic and integrated approach combining community input with cutting-edge science.

The Water Institute has a track record of integrated analysis of water issues directly related to watershed management from the post-2016 flood work along the Amite River to our supporting science for the 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. Institute staff works with stakeholders and government agencies at multiple levels to understand needs, collects data, and develop tools tailored to the demands of both society and the environment. This information, including social and economic considerations, feeds into our work in watershed, landscape, and ecosystem modeling which in turn provides the support decision makers need for the planning, design, and operation of potential solutions.

Our skills in this area include field deployment of fixed sensors, surveying, integrated data collection experiments across environments from source to sink, statistical analysis, GIS analysis, real-time forecasting systems, and predictive and hindcasting numerical modeling that includes hydrology, hydraulics, groundwater, water quality and ecology.

Key Projects

Identifying the vulnerability of critical infrastructure

When storm surge and extreme rainfall events innundate an area of coastal Louisiana, it’s not just homes and businesses ...

A Louisiana Coastal Atlas: Resources, Economies, and Demographics

Although tropical storms loom large in Louisiana’s history and in dictating population shifts over time, it really only ...

Identifying how communities respond to disasters

Although there has been good work (see the Louisiana Coastal Atlas) on defining when and where Louisiana’s residents hav...