We are a collaborative of individuals, organizations, and communities working to address critical water issues throughout New Orleans and the greater region. This work is guided by the vision and principles of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan.
We facilitate the flow of information on emerging water management opportunities and foster effective collaborations among participants. Our focus areas include: demonstration projects, policy, advocacy, education, and outreach.
We also recognize that this region’s long-term sustainability depends upon urban water management efforts working in parallel with coastal protection, restoration, and other measures to address severe weather and sea level rise.
We work to make New Orleans a strong, safe urban environment that celebrates the region’s abundant water resources. Through these efforts, New Orleans can become America’s Water City, leading the nation in urban water management practices, design, technologies, and innovation.
Atianna Cordova is a native of New Orleans and the founder of WATER BLOCK, LLC, which provides engagement services and a planning tool for managing flood water in neighborhoods. As an urban designer, researcher and educator, Ms. Cordova explores the role of art and culture in disaster recovery and community development. She is recognized as LSU School of Architecture’s first McNair Research Scholar, a 2016 UC Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence Travel Fellow, a 2017 Salzburg Global Fellow, a 2018 4pt0 Schools Fellow and the co-winner of Propeller’s 2018 Water Challenge Pitch Competition for her commitment to building equity in design practices for youth and communities of color. Ms. Cordova received her M.Sc in Disaster Resilience Leadership from Tulane University, Bachelor of Architecture from LSU, and Certificate in Community Development Finance from the University of New Orleans.
Emma moved to New Orleans from her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee in 2014 to attend Tulane University. While at Tulane, Emma learned the unique environmental problems that face coastal Louisiana, including issues of subsidence and urban stormwater management. She has also spent time volunteering and working with multiple New Orleans’ nonprofits focusing on a range of environmental and social issues. Her studies combined with her interest in public service fueled her decision to continue working with the New Orleans’ community and its nonprofit organizations after her graduation. Emma is completing a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in New Orleans, where she is working as the Program Coordinator for the Water Collaborative. She is committed to public service, environmental stewardship, and a sustainable future for the city of New Orleans, and she is excited to work with an organization that aligns with those interests. While she isn’t working, Emma enjoys spending time outside in her hammock and cuddling with her cat, Martha.
Board of Directors
As the Assistant Director the the University of New Orleans’ Center for Hazards Assessment, Response, and Technology, Tara Lambeth strives to incorporate community education into adaptation planning and floodplain management. With experience in grantwriting and research, Ms. Lambeth is eager to use these skills in building the capacity of the Water Collaborative. She received her PhD in Urban Studies from UNO, where she now teaches a course on Green Infrastructure in the Planning and Urban Studies Department.
Cheka is the owner of CBP NOLA Consulting and a resident of the Sugar Hill neighborhood in Gentilly. As an involved community member with the Water Leaders Institute, Ms. Pedescleaux is eager to act as a liaison between communities threatened by flooding and the members of the Water Collaborative so that we can bolster our community ties to create effective and mindful solutions.
Jennifer (Jen) Roberts is currently working across the Gulf Coast as Coordinator of the Strategic Conservation Assessment of Gulf Landscapes Project with Mississippi State University in service to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the RESTORE Council. Formerly a Sr. City Planner with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, co-founder of Water Works Jennifer is a leader in environmental planning with expertise in watershed planning and community engagement. She is a Water Environment Federation Leadership Fellow, serves on the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and was a founding member of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative.
Kaitlin Tymrak is a project manager and engineer for Jacobs Engineering, where she has worked for over 10 years on projects ranging from stormwater modeling and management to environmental permitting and remediation. Ms. Tymrak is a graduate of Colorado State University’s Masters of Engineering program in Water Resources Planning and Management. In 2018, she was selected for the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Water Leadership Institute and had the opportunity to learn from national leaders working on complex challenges related to stormwater and water/wastewater management. A member of the Water Collaborative since 2016, Kaitlin is looking forward to applying her experiences to the Collaborative's mission to infuse community engagement, diversity, and equity into the decision-making process.
Born in New York City and raised in nearby Connecticut, Keith Twitchell moved to New Orleans in 1979. In 1982 he launched his own company, Pendragon Promotions, a business communications firm. He served as a consultant for the Committee for a Better New Orleans beginning in July 2000 before accepting a full-time position in March 2002; he became president of the organization in June 2004. He is responsible for project management, organizational leadership and fundraising/finances, and has led key CBNO programs such as the Community Participation Program, the Orleans Public Education Network and the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative. Mr. Twitchell is a former Captain of Krewe du Vieux, a state-ranked tennis player and an award-winning writer, and has served on a variety of organization boards. He received a YLC Role Model award in 2014 and the Urban Conservancy’s Urban Hero award in 2016. He received his B.A. from Washington College and his M.A. from Bowling Green State University, and is a member of the ODK National Leadership Honor Society.
Rachelle Sanderson has been passionate about climate change and community-based climate adaptation solutions since her youth. Rachelle's interest led her to receive her Bachelor of Science in Professional Meteorology from Mississippi State University which provided her with knowledge of meteorological and climate systems, as well as skills to engage the community as a broadcaster. From there, she received her Master of Science in Coastal Geomorphology from University of New Orleans, combining climate with coastal land loss in Louisiana. As a temporary resident of Baton Rouge and as an intern at NOAA's local River Forecasting Center, she experienced the flooding of August 2016 from a community and professional perspective. These experiences in combination with her current role as Coastal Community Resilience Program Manager at Foundation for Louisiana have led her to believe that policy, programs, and projects related to climate change impact can be developed in ways that lead to a more just and equitable society if those who are most impacted by climate change are supported to lead the way. We are excited to bring her scientific background and her experience with community organizing to the Water Collaborative as we address flood reduction through community-based solutions at the local level.
Hoang Tao is currently working towards a Master’s of Urban & Regional Planning and Urban Studies PhD and has a degree in Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, College of Environmental Design. He is involved locally with NOCDC, Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Open Architecture New Orleans, and CAC/Evacuteer. Tao hopes to create more sustainable, affordable, and socially conscious designs.
Joshua Torregano is the President of Wingate Engineers here in New Orleans and has worked on stormwater management projects for both the City of New Orleans and the Sewerage and Water Board. From Emergency Catch Basin Cleaning and Repairs to major sewer force main repairs, Torregano has a multitude of experience in project management related to stormwater. Mr. Torregano is excited to join the Water Collaborative and bring his knowledge to addressing water management issues in New Orleans communities.
Chuck Morse is a management executive and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business development, marketing, strategy, government relations and community engagement. He currently serves as Executive Director of LaunchNOLA, a small business development organization, as well as a mentor for Propeller’s Startup Accelerator Program and a small business consultant for CH2M. This work builds on his prior role as ConnectWorks Director at the Good Work Network, where he was responsible for the incorporation of small, minority firms into the supply chains of anchor institutions.
Alessandra Jerolleman is a subject matter expert in climate adaptation, hazard mitigation and resilience with a long history working in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Dr. Jerolleman has taught for Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, and Jacksonville State University. She is one of the founders of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) and served as its Executive Director for its first seven years. She previously worked as a lead grant writer and emergency planner for the First Peoples’ Conservation Council and as a program specialist in the Gulf Coast for Save the Children USA focused on children’s needs in emergencies.
Katrina Williams is driven to addressing issues in underserved communities. She has spent the past four years working as a Program Staff Assistant with Coastal Communities Consulting assisting with developing and implementing community economic development programs targeted toward rural coastal entrepreneurs. She also teaches in the Pathway to American Citizenship Program in coastal communities. Her language and cultural studies at the University of New Orleans, where she recently earned her Master of Arts in Romance Languages, have equipped her to work with varied immigrant communities throughout Southeast LA. As an involved community member in Foundation for Louisiana's (FFL) L.E.A.D the Coast Initiative and the Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, Ms. Williams wants to increase her commitment to equity and sustainability for communities across Southeast LA.