The Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy recently received a two-year, $60,000 grant from the Greater New Orleans Foundation to support its work on developing a comprehensive, statewide water code in conjunction with the Louisiana State Law Institute.
The Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy works to foster understanding of the complex relationship between people and water. It provides law and policy analysis to decision-makers and the public to ensure that water and the ecosystems it supports are maintained for future generations while also allowing for the needs of people today.
Despite the abundance of water and waterways across Louisiana, the state lacks an existing comprehensive legal framework for managing surface streams, coastal waters, groundwater and rainwater. Authorities say a meaningful code needs to embrace emerging needs for water uses and management, like those set forth in the state’s Coastal Master Plan and in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan.
“Louisiana’s future is going to depend on its relationship with water and without the right laws and policies, that relationship won’t be a healthy one,” said Mark Davis, director of Tulane’s water institute. “It does not have to be that way, something the Greater New Orleans Foundation understands, thankfully.”
Davis, who was recently named the inaugural director of Tulane’s Environmental Law Center, said the grant will provide Tulane students interested in water issues and environmental law with opportunities to do the groundwork and help draft a good legal model for water management.
The grant supports researching existing codes in other states and drafting a model water code for Louisiana. Coordinating this work with the Louisiana Water Resources Commission, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and the City of New Orleans, the institute also conducts outreach to help a variety of stakeholders understand the purposes behind the water code project and its relevance to their duties and interests.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation connects donors to community needs in order to help create a resilient, sustainable, vibrant community in which individuals and families flourish and the special character of the region is preserved, celebrated, and supported.