Infrastructure Planning

Plain and simple: No community should get left behind.

Equitable investments in Harris County neighborhoods are necessary, and every community should receive investments according to their needs.

Since experts predicting global warming will continue to cause a serious flooding threat for Harris County communities, flood control is one of the largest investments that Harris County leadership is planning for now and in the future. Precinct One is committed to ensuring every neighborhood has the same level of protection from storms and flooding and the ability to recover and rebuild.

FLOOD EQUITY

All families deserve to live in communities without the fear of flooding.

Equitable Flood Protection: Who you know shouldn't matter! People over Property.

However, after decades of neglect, lower-income areas and communities of color in flood-prone areas have been experiencing flooding of homes and streets with each hard rain. These Harris County communities have been passed over for years due to an inequitable federal cost-benefit-ratio that prioritizes flood mitigation projects based on property value, which serves only those who live in higher-income neighborhoods, rather than those in most need.

However, the $2.5B Flood Bond that Harris County voters passed in August 2018 gave under-served communities their first opportunity to receive real flood mitigation. The explicit ballot language required a process for the equitable apportionment of the $2.5B Flood Bond to reduce flood risk.

Under the new equitable guidelines – approved by Harris County voters – flood projects are to be weighted as follows:

  1. The number of structures that will benefit from the project, not the value of the structures.
  2. The probability that the community will flood again.
  3. Using the Social Vulnerability Index from the Centers for Disease Control, each community will be assessed risk for loss of life during the disaster and slower recovery time after a disaster.
  4. The efficiency of the project will be calculated by the number of structures that will receive flood damage reduction in a comparison to other projects.
  5. Projects that are partially funded by outside sources.
  6. The projects that will be the most cost effective to maintain.
  7. Projects with minimal environmental impact.
  8. Projects with the most recreational and environmental enhancement benefits.
Full Size: Bond Program Progress TrackerWith these guidelines, we are now able to prioritize communities that have a higher risk for loss of life due to disasters and take longer to recover from them.

An updated list of all the flood mitigation projects funded by the $2.5B Flood Bond can be found here.

2050 Harris County Flood and Infrastructure Resilience Plan

For county investments that are not funded by the $2.5B Flood Bond, the 2050 Harris County Flood and Infrastructure Resilience Plan, which is consistent with the Harris Thrives Resolution, will take a holistic approach to future infrastructure projects to develop more equitable outcomes for all Harris County residents. The Harris County Flood Control District and the Harris County Engineering Department  have a historic opportunity to build a stronger, more resilient Harris County while encouraging county residents to participate in the process through community engagement events.

As our climate continues to change, the health and safety of future generations depends on us getting this process right.