In May of 2016, I was the featured speaker at a meeting in Lafayette, Louisiana, to discuss matters related to a proposal to move a section of Interstate-49 (I-49) along a different route through some of the easternmost sections of city. That proposal was first made more than 15 years ago, and it has drawn much opposition by many of the city’s residents and by organizations such as the local chapter of the Sierra Club. Because many people are concerned about the potential for contamination of the Chicot aquifer as a result of moving the highway and building stretches of the road below-grade within the city, a representative of the Sierra Club asked me to make a general presentation on the aquifer at an open meeting to be held at the Lafayette Public Library.
Posted here is a video of the meeting, including my presentation on the Chicot. I know the aquifer system very well, having conducted hydrogeological, geochemical, and water-planning studies in Louisiana for many years. My goal was not to be an advocate for one position or another, but to offer an objective view of the regional groundwater system, so that those in attendance might walk away with a better grasp of matters that are central to understanding the architecture of the aquifer, how groundwater flows within the sands of Chicot, and some of the key matters related to better local/regional management of groundwater.
My presentation begins at about 10:30 in the video and runs to about 53:00. It is followed by about an hour-long question-answer session. Viewers can fast-forward through video, which is posted on youtube.com.