22 March 2018
Water Block has won the Water Challenge presented by Greater New Orleans Foundation. A project of Design Jones, LLC in partnership with Atianna Cordova and Kristen Lonon, Water Block is an online tool that allows community members to determine the best location for stormwater management practices to be implemented in their neighborhood at the block level.
Water Block took home $10,000 in startup funding, awarded by judges Justin Ehernwerth, President & CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf, Dr. Calvin Mackie, Founder of STEM NOLA and CPRA board member, and Monika McKay, who sits on the board of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
The project seeks to correct the imbalance between community input and government action by aggregating and backing community arguments with data. Water Block is based in the Lower 9th Ward and will target the city’s most environmentally at-risk neighborhoods, including the Lower 9th Ward, St. Roch, and New Orleans East.
Propeller also awarded a $2,500 nonprofit prize to Native Roots Nursery and a $2,500 pre-revenue prize to New Orleans Stormwater Training Corps. New Orleans Stormwater Training Corps also took home the audience favorite award of $500.
“We have come a long way as a city, as a community, and as people when it comes to embracing that we have to live with water,” remarked Mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell in her keynote address. “Regardless of the infrastructure that we will get, we have to think creatively in order to sustain our environments and our people.”
About the Water Challenge
The Water Challenge presented by the Greater New Orleans Foundation is a Propeller initiative sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and supported by Entergy Corporation that focuses on solving our region’s most pressing water issues through entrepreneurship.