Louisiana has become home to a new non-profit organization which specializes in studying and planning the development of innovative science and engineering related to the use of water in a world where H2O is one of the most important resources available.
What better area for such an institution than along the delta of the world’s greatest river – the Mighty Mississippi – which borders the rich Gulf of Mexico and its huge watery production of minerals and fisheries to benefit the world.The Water Institute of the Gulf was founded in 2011 and is now in the process of developing a large campus next to the downtown Mississippi River bridge in downtown Baton Rouge to use as its headquarters. From there, it can make good use of southeast Louisiana’s watery surroundings. It should become international in scope as it spreads its studies to far off areas which also are affected by water resources.
Aims of the institute are being directed to developing innovative science and engineering in the following realms: tools for achieving sustainable coasts and deltas, options for supporting coastal communities and strategies for sound water resource management.
There is no part of the world today that is not affected by the availability of water. If there is too much water, its volume can certainly have an effect on many with the problems it can cause. If there is too little water, well, we all know how we need this all important resource for many functions.
The Mississippi Delta extends our land area many miles into the Gulf of Mexico, which brings one of the world’s greatest sources of fresh water into a body of salt water that harbors a wide variety of valuable sea life. And this gives us a real-life example of how the two types of water can exist without disturbing the necessary function of the other.
The existence of hurricanes traveling through our coast also gives us an example of how water can affect living conditions for people in coastal areas.
Consider also Louisiana’s efforts to contain the bad effects of coastal erosion and our studies and efforts so far in trying to correct it. We have learned a lot from our treatment of water in the past: developing ways of diverting water and sediment to put it in its right places, piping landfill to meet our needs in various areas and building levees and shoring up barrier islands to make our coast more permanent and livable.
In conclusion, we consider the location of this institute in the Mississippi River delta adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico the perfect place to help achieve the research it needed to allow the world to live peacefully with one of its most important resources – water.
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