The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 5

* Waterfront development depends on a stable water level. Water-related cities all
over the world are endangered by rising ocean levels that threaten to render large
areas of currently habitable land uninhabitable. Average sea levels have swelled
over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880, with about three of those inches gained
in the last 25 years.6 Every year, the sea rises another 0.13 inches (3.2 mm).7
* If all the ice that currently exists on Earth in glaciers and sheets melted, sea levels
would rise by 216 feet (66 metres).8,9
* Cities not located next to the ocean also face disruption of waterside recreation and
development - existing and proposed. Toronto's waterfront was severely affected by
record high Lake Ontario water levels in 2017 and 2019. Water levels are regulated
by the International Joint Commission, in order to protect the shipping industry.10
Water has always been useful, powerful, entertaining, romantic, and above, all
life-sustaining. The Greek philosopher Socrates considered it one of the four basic elements from which all matter was formed. Today we know better: water is just another
form of matter, consisting of tiny sub-atomic particles, just like everything else. And
yet the ancients got one thing right: we are at the mercy of earth, air, fire and water -
and especially water - no less now than 2,000 years ago.
GORDON S. GRICE is editor of The Right Angle Journal.

NOTES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

www.researchgate.net/post/Whats_the_annual_consumption_of_concrete_in_the_world
www.mcgill.ca/waterislife/waterathome/how-much-are-we-using
www.theworldcounts.com/stories/average-daily-water-usage
https://atthewaterline.com/water-facts
www.statista.com/statistics/194352/attendance-figures-of-waterparks-in-the-us-since-2010
www.globalchange.gov/browse/indicators/global-sea-level-rise
https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level
www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/oceans-warming-faster-than-ever
www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2013/09/rising-seas-ice-melt-new-shoreline-maps
www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-105457.pdf

WATER HAS POWER
by BILL BIRDSELL, OAA, FRAIC

he City of New Orleans, founded in 1718, has always had
a deep dependency on its connection to the water. It is the
port linking the Mississippi River trade to the Gulf of Mexico and
beyond. In Louisiana's colonial era, the land was developed as
sugar cane plantations, with narrow tracts extending back from
river frontage. At the start of the 19th century, the portions closer to
the river were developed for residential use. On a modern map, these
narrow tracts show in the shape and organization of the majority of the
17 Wards that divide New Orleans. One of the largest Wards, the 9th, was
further subdivided by the dredging of the industrial canal in the 1920s.
Creation of canals, levees, flood walls and a pumping system has figured large in the development of the city. The reliance on this infrastructure
has resulted in much of the populated area of the city lying approximately
three metres below sea level. The reaction to all major storms, including 1965's Hurricane Betsy, which caused more than 80 fatalities and
$1.43 billion in damage, was to pass new laws and strengthen the flood
works. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans' population had grown
to approximately 480,000. That storm claimed over 1,800 lives, caused $161 billion
in damage and reduced the population of the city by half.

"Shotgun" style house on
Burgundy Street, Bywater
neighborhood.
CC BY-SA 3.0 INFROGMATION

The Right Angle | Spring 2020 | 5


http://www.researchgate.net/post/Whats_the_annual_consumption_of_concrete_in_the_world http://www.mcgill.ca/waterislife/waterathome/how-much-are-we-using http://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/average-daily-water-usage https://www.atthewaterline.com/water-facts http://www.statista.com/statistics/194352/attendance-figures-of-waterparks-in-the-us-since-2010 http://www.globalchange.gov/browse/indicators/global-sea-level-rise https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/oceans-warming-faster-than-ever http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2013/09/rising-seas-ice-melt-new-shoreline-maps http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-105457.pdf

The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020

Water
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Water
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 5
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 6
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 7
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2020 - cover4
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