Water is the foundation of our quality of life and economy
We're all in this together Louisiana!
The tragic floods of 2016 challenge us to not only effectively respond to human needs, but to rethink many important aspects of our water management and development patterns. As we work toward recovery and resilience, let us consider the following:
- What is our shared vision for a thriving Louisiana?
- How do we address the "doing what we've always done" paradigm?
- Who are the leaders in integrated water management in Louisiana?
- Long-term versus short-term: how do we balance immediate needs with the need for longer-term resilience?
Louisiana possesses great water wealth and myriad water-related natural and social resources. We have the elements to generate a strong, indigenous water economy. Our water strengths are naturally occurring, diverse, and of interest to the world. But we are only beginning to study and understand what these assets are, and how we might build a stronger environment, economy, and society by working more effectively to tap our potential.
The Louisiana Water Economy Network (LAWEN) is an inclusive, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary social innovation network dedicated to building Louisiana's water economy.
First we start by supporting and connecting Louisiana’s seven water sectors:
- Agriculture and fisheries
- Coastal and environmental management and restoration, including flood and surge protection systems, disaster management, and mitigation
- Culture, recreation, and ecotourism
- Industry and manufacturing
- Maritime, ports, and navigation
- Municipal sewer, water, and drainage infrastructure
- Water law and policy
A far-reaching, innovative, and accessible Louisiana Water Economy Network will:
- Support partnerships and collaboration
- Highlight regional and state resources
- Expand opportunities for innovation
- Build a competitive economy
- Connect to national and global networks
- Celebrate Louisiana as a globally important water center
What is the model?
- Inclusive, multidisciplinary social innovation network of many nodes
- Open organization designed to discover, share and nurture best practices
- Transparent, informative, collaborative, and celebratory
What are the next steps to build the Louisiana Water Economy Network?
- Develop strategies and actions to grow and maintain the network
- Establish basic framework for meetings statewide
- Identify key communities, develop relationships, convene
- Expand use of technology to enable broad participation
What does this impact?
- Business development, jobs, and industry
- Resilience and disaster management
- Health and housing
- Culture, community development, and tourism
- Quality of life