US Army Corps of Engineers Working to Mitigate the Threat
How is the US Army Corps of Engineers preparing for the potential arrival of “salty water plumes” at water treatment plants near New Orleans in October, and how will you ensure that residents continue to have access to safe drinking water?
The salty water in the Mississippi River is designed to secure New Orleans’ water supply.
The combination of higher temperatures and reduced rainfall in the western region this summer has led to a drop in water levels.
As a result, salty water from the Gulf of Mexico has flowed into the river.
Engineers from the active-duty US Army Corps of Engineers and the levees were under the water in the Mississippi River on Friday.
The goal of the dam is to prevent salty water from the Gulf of Mexico from moving upstream.
The drought conditions in the southwestern region during the summer are exacerbating the water shortage problem in the New Orleans area this spring.
The water levels in the Mississippi River are generally acceptable for the flow of salty water coming from the northern Gulf of Mexico.
This problem, due to the intrusion of saltwater, has been a concern for ninety years in the adjacent water systems and small towns in the south.
Officials in Louisiana, along with the US Army Corps of Engineers, say that “salty water plumes” could reach water treatment plants near New Orleans in October, and they are working to reduce the salinity levels by bringing more fresh water into the area.
Some water treatment facilities may contain high salinity levels, which can cause pipe corrosion and metal leakage into the water.
Residents are urged to conserve water and be prepared for water shortages.
In a press conference on Friday, Governor John Bel Edwards called it a “serious situation.”
He said he wants to declare a national emergency, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell decided to declare a state of emergency in the city on Friday.
However, Mr. Edwards urged people not to panic or hoard water.
In July, Army engineers built an underwater dam in the Mississippi River to divert salty water that was moving beneath the freshwater near the river’s bottom.
Officials said on Friday that they would begin work in the coming days to raise the threshold by 25 feet.
However, this will only delay the arrival of salty water for 10 to 15 days, as it stands.
Colonel Colin Jones, of the Army Corps, said unless heavy rains fall soon—and forecasts suggest there won’t be any—the threshold will eventually be breached.
New Orleans Races to Barge in Fresh Water as Saltwater Intrusion Threatens Drinking Supply:
The Corps of Engineers is getting pumps to move water to be blended with water in safe drinking treatment facilities.
Colonel Jones said approximately 15 million gallons will be conveyed within the coming days.
However, demand at treatment plants could eventually rise to at least 36 million gallons per day.
Colonel Jones said the Army Corps was trying to secure more ships, but he is confident they can meet this goal.
In the Freeman Food Market in Port Sulphur, Louisiana, there are primarily empty shelves with plenty of bottled water.
Concerns about the water people are drinking are growing.
Many coastal areas, like parts of Jersey Shore, Long Island, and the Outer Banks in North Carolina, suffer from ocean water intrusion, which happens when there are storms or a rise in water levels in low-lying areas.
With rising sea levels on the coasts, the risk of saltwater intrusion also increases. Other countries, like Bangladesh, are grappling with this problem.
This speaks to the issue of saltwater intrusion in the United States, where groundwater is being depleted without much regard for the future
New Orleans Faces a Growing Saltwater Intrusion Threat as River Levels Drop:
In 1988, there was a saltwater intrusion in Louisiana.
At that time, the waters of the Mississippi River, which flows into the ocean, rose to the lowest levels ever.
The water flowed earlier than expected and helped solve the problem.
However, this is the second consecutive year that the river’s water level has significantly dropped due to high temperatures and climate-related reduced rainfall.
Professor Chris Anderson, an expert in coastal and swamp environmental science at Auburn University, said it’s natural for salty water to move toward the river.
But the drier the land, the higher the salinity levels in the river.
Although people have recently begun talking about this issue as saltwater spreads into densely populated areas, officials have been aware of this problem since early summer.
The lower part of Blackman Parish on the southern side of the state has been facing a drinking water problem since June, and the state has been working to provide bottled water to residents.
However, a person from the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said there is no reason for people to stockpile bottled water.
Mayor Cantrell of New Orleans has been trying to reassure people’s concerns. She said in an articulation, “The foremost imperative thing for individuals right presently is to remain educated and remain calm.”
The river means the watercourse.