Water Equity Clearinghouse

Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans

New Orleans, LA

The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (SWB) is the water utility serving the City of New Orleans. Its responsibilities include treating wastewater, providing safe drinking water, managing stormwater, all at an affordable rate for customers. Located in a city that has faced numerous devastating climate events, SWB has made climate resilience and adaptation central to its work.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

SWB helped develop Resilient New Orleans, a comprehensive resilience strategy that began with support from 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Today, the City of New Orleans Office of Resilience and Sustainability has joined other local agencies, state departments, nonprofits, and businesses to develop multi-dimensional resilience approaches that will allow the city to thrive in a changing climate.

By prioritizing climate adaptation strategies like green infrastructure in vulnerable communities, SWB addresses socioeconomic disparities. Green infrastructure provides multiple benefits to vulnerable communities, by beautifying underused spaces as well as reducing flooding. SWB’s climate planning considers how to leverage its response to environmental challenges to make New Orleans a stronger, more equitable city. This includes using investment in climate adaptation to connect vulnerable communities to economic opportunity. In an effort to address workforce gaps, unemployment, and aging infrastructure, SWB is partnering with Delgado Community College to create a workforce development program to train qualified adults to fill high-demand jobs working in water infrastructure and build a direct employee pipeline to SWB. By working with the City of New Orleans Office of Resilience and Sustainability and Delgado, SWB has shown that climate adaptation can improve quality of life and create opportunity in the communities most impacted by environmental challenges.

Geographic Scale:
Type of Organization:
Pillar 2
Pillar 3
Approach to Advancing Water Equity:
Capacity Building/Education