Violet Freshwater Diversion Project
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
The lack of steady supply of sweet water from the Mississippi River, poor circulation patterns and increased saltwater intrusion from man-made canals such as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet have contributed to accelerated wetland loss in the Biloxi marshes over the past several decades. Catastrophic disturbances from tropical storms such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, as well as subsidence and sea level rise, have further eroded the marshes and introduced excess saltwater into the system. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources awarded the ARCADIS team a contract to reintroduce sufficient quantities of freshwater, sediments, and nutrients from the Mississippi River in order to maintain and nourish the existing marshes and create additional wetlands. The project is expected to improve the storm buffering capacity around the greater New Orleans area and increase productivity of fish and wildlife in Lake Borgne and the Biloxi.
By reinstating the hydrologic connectivity of the Mississippi River, ARCADIS will help to re-establish critical features of the multiple lines of defense in the storm surge protection system. In addition, the team will conduct multiple field surveys (including civil design surveys, geotechnical surveys, and Mississippi River surveys) to accurately represent field conditions in the project design. Hydrodynamic modeling will be performed to simulate different size diversions and quantify economic, environmental, and social impacts, extensive environmental analysis will study and document the total project impacts. Throughout the design process, ARCADIS will collaborate with stockholders, and numerous federal and state agencies including the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.