Press Releases

The Water Institute Expands Partnerships Into Latin America

Jul 31, 2014

Baton Rouge, La. — The Water Institute of the Gulf announced plans today to expand its partnerships with international peers and provide viable solutions to community resilience challenges, primarily disasters, into Latin America. The objective of this partnership is to establish a program to improve community resilience in Latin America by developing tools for communities to use to cope with extreme events like floods and landslides.

As part of The Water Institute’s ongoing research to restore and sustain the Louisiana and Gulf coasts, it is also focused on developing and discovering methods to sustain coastal communities and developing tools that are exportable to other places around the world.

The initiative is being led by The Water Institute’s Director of Human Dimensions Craig Colten and Andres Calderon, senior advisor on Latin American initiatives. Partners include Sidney Velado, the Latin American and Caribbean regional advisor in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) based in Costa Rica, and Gonzalo Pulido, a senior scientist and academic advisor for the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) based in Panama. The team met to kick off the initiative on July 21 and 22 in Baton Rouge.

“We are excited to take this first step in building a grander view on resilience applications and community outreach,” Colten said. “This partnership will allow us to tackle shared water issues of international importance.”

“I’d like to thank The Water Institute for inviting us here to begin building a partnership that will lead to cutting-edge scientific innovation and stronger, more resilient communities in Latin America,” Pulido said.

“You can’t have sustainable communities if you don’t make communities adapt and become resilient. This partnership provides that opportunity, not only in Latin America but globally,” Velado said.