Sewerage and Water Board barrels

Research nonprofit suggests multiple changes to be made at Sewerage & Water Board

By WWL-TV Staff

Source: WWL-TV

May 17, 2023

NEW ORLEANS — The Bureau of Governmental Research, a research nonprofit, released its findings on the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, proposing a multitude of changes to the board’s governance and structure.

BGR highlighted three key points in their report titled Waterworks in Progress:

  • The organization criticized the S&WB’s governance structure. BGR said that the laws and policies that guide decision-making weaken finances, coordination, and public accountability.
  • BGR suggested strengthening the S&WB as a stand-alone utility that operates separately from the city government or replacing it with a municipal utility. BGR admitted that this will require further research from the Mayor.
  • BGR recommended several near-term solutions to improve financial sustainability, drainage performance, and coordination between S&WB and the city government.

BGR said in their report that the S&WB current governance structure is ineffective because the qualities of a stand-alone and municipal utility do not work well when merged.

“The result is a complicated web of competing interests and weak accountability that works against long-term performance,” BGR President and CEO Rebecca Mowbray said. “The structure is inefficient, ineffective and ultimately to blame for many of the infrastructure problems New Orleanians experience.”

Click here to read the full report from BGR.

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