New Orleans needs to become proactive in addressing the issues surrounding the operation of its drainage and water systems. Relying upon self-generation to power its pumps is not working and to continue to pour money into antiquated systems is not prudent nor in the best interest of the citizens of New Orleans.

Both the drainage and water systems are critical infrastructure that must be reliably operated and diligently maintained. As it has been suggested, the reorganization of who is responsible for these systems needs to be done to create efficient oversight and sustainable direction. The most important change needs to occur with the transition to utility-provided electricity to operate the pumps and to save the self-generation as a backup for utility power. Just like the major hospitals in the city which rely on utility-supplied electricity, the water systems need to do the same. The electric utility will provide at least two independent circuits to the critical pumping stations to provide the needed reliability.

Brian Almon

retired engineer