Accessible County Level Water Resource Fact Sheets: Experiences from Louisiana
Monday, December 4, 2017: 11:30 a.m.
Accessible water-resources data and analysis are essential for the proper management of a community’s water resources. Knowledge of water availability, quality, development potential, and the impact of development is necessary for water-resources planning and protection. Water-resources information for Louisiana and many other states are presented in a variety of technical reports, each with a particular geographical scope and topical focus. Information in these reports often includes the whole state or a multi-county area. Basic information on surface water, ground water, and water quality in a single county of interest often has to be gleaned from several reports, many of which may be in limited circulation and difficult to locate. Many stake-holders and decision-makers are often not in a position with respect to resources and time-required to research and synthesize the available literature. Furthermore, difficulties in acquiring and analyzing data runs the spread from an apparent or actual absence of information for a county to an information overload induced by reports conducted using different terminology in slightly different study areas in different decades. Concise summaries are needed to provide the information needed to make decisions about current and future development which meets the needs of local stakeholders of all segments and avoids the excesses of under-information and over-information.
The Water Resources of Louisiana Parishes project is about 70 percent finished achieving this goal with the publication of an online and hard-copy fact sheet for each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes (equivalent to a county). These 64 publications, which are generally 6 pages in length, provide summaries of groundwater and surface-water availability, water quality, current and historical water usage, and an extensive list of references for readers looking for more in-depth treatments of the topic.