Biden Declares Emergency, Pipeline Planned As Salt Threatens Drinking Water

"New Orleans preparing to deal with salt intrusion through January"

"The White House declared an emergency Wednesday for four Louisiana parishes threatened by salt intrusion in drinking water and officials warned that barges would be insufficient to deal with the problem on the east bank of New Orleans and Jefferson, prompting an urgent plan to build a pipeline.

The declaration was key since it frees up federal money for the response, which is shaping up to be a highly expensive proposition. New Orleans is preparing to deal with salt intrusion for a three-month period – meaning through January under current forecasts.

Still, officials from across the region urged residents not to panic, and stressed water in the New Orleans area remained safe to drink. Sufficient warnings would be issued should that change, and backup plans were being looked at, including providing bottled water and implementing water conservation methods, they said.

The emergency declaration specified Plaquemines, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. Plaquemines has already been dealing with the problem by distributing bottled water for some areas and using water from Belle Chasse to blend with supplies further downriver."

Mike Smith reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune September 27, 2023.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 09/28/2023