The Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference kicked off this past Saturday in New Orleans, and continues through Wednesday, October 1. On Monday afternoon, a new report called "Navigating to New Shores: Seizing the Future for Sustainable and Resilient U.S. Freshwater Resources" was released at the Morial Convention Center.

Tobin / Wikimedia

Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday, financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston to levees and flood control gates in Louisiana.

Obama singled out two of the bill's main negotiators for praise — Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.

The new law will pay for 34 new projects over the next 10 years. Its price tag is half the amount of the last water projects bill seven years ago.


The Brookings Institution's latest analysis of metro economic data, "The Extent and Impact of U.S. Infrastructure jobs," focuses on infrastructure employment for the first time.

The Baton Rouge area is ranked 15th nationally for the share of overall employment made up by infrastructure jobs. 

Erin Krall / WWNO

A report released Friday by the Brookings Institution shows New Orleans as having one of the leading workforces in infrastructure business in the nation. The jobs that fall under that new category are paying high wages and are expected to last for several years.

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is visiting coastal areas today to mark passage of the Restore Act. Exactly how much money the state can expect from BP fines is still being worked out.

The Army Corps of Engineers has restarted bidding for a $700 million contract to design and build permanent storm surge closure and pump stations on three canals that end in Lake Pontchartrain. Levees on two of them broke after Hurricane Katrina, letting floodwaters into the city.

The projects represent the final major construction of the post-Katrina levee system.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans hopes to have every streetlight in the city back on by the end of the year.

The city says there are about 10,900 streetlights not working and 4,793 of those are in need of repairs.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said "lighting up the city" will make the city safer.

Jon Johnson, city councilman for eastern New Orleans, says many residents are afraid to leave their homes at night because of broken lighting.

The mayor says workers have fixed about 16,000 streetlights since he took office. The city owns about 54,400 streetlights.