Watershed-Based Floodplain Management

Why is the Louisiana Watershed Initiative different?

LWI considers two traditional approaches—watershed management and floodplain management—together within broader watershed boundaries. This initiative represents a comprehensive approach to surface water management that takes into consideration both the natural functions of floodplains and land use decisions affecting our built environments.

What is a Watershed?

The U.S Geological Survey describes a watershed, often referred to as a drainage basin or catchment, as the geographic area within the boundary of a drainage divide, which drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet.

Illustration of a watershed
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Watershed management typically involves water quality and pollution control, ecosystem management and river management.

What is a Floodplain?

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program defines a floodplain as “any land area susceptible to being inundated by floodwaters from any source.”

Illustration of a floodplain
Icon representing an open book

Floodplain management typically involves implementing building standards and regulating development in flood-prone areas.