Houston, TX – It’s been two years since Hurricane Harvey made landfall over Houston, and one year since voters approved a $2.5 billion bond meant to address impacted, flood-prone communities around the County.
On Tuesday, 27 August 2019, in a 3-2 vote, the Harris County Commissioners’ Court approved the Harris Thrives Resolution, affirming its commitment to the current flood bond projects and approving a process to prioritize communities who have suffered the most human impacts from flooding. Through this resolution, the County directs the Harris County Flood Control District to:
- Identify needed resources for implementation;
- Adopt a framework for equitable expenditure of bond program funds, specifically the inclusion of the Social Vulnerability Index;
- Emphasize an approach that encourages nature-based solutions; and,
- Support a holistic watershed approach that includes better coordination across departments and jurisdictions.
Bayou City Waterkeeper, a member of the Coalition for Environment, Equity, & Resilience (CEER), joined members of CEER and the HOME Coalition on Tuesday at Commissioners’ Court to support the Resolution.
Statement from Jordan Macha, Executive Director and Waterkeeper
Today, Harris County Commissioners took an important step in remedying decades of underinvestment in flood infrastructure, and prioritized communities across the region who have suffered the most human impacts from flooding. The Harris Thrives Resolution provides a framework for a stronger Harris County, ensuring that all residents – regardless of what neighborhood or watershed they are in – have better protection from flooding.
By developing a prioritization framework that bases its analysis on impacts felt the most by people that live in our region, in addition to the infrastructure that supports and houses them, the resolution shepherds a policy that serves everyone – providing a framework that identifies and emphasizes multiple benefits.
The Harris Thrives Resolution is an important mechanism to embrace innovation and resilience. The emphasis to work with – rather than against – nature, provides the Flood Control District the flexibility to adopt of innovative measures that go beyond gray infrastructure and take advantage of the benefits offered by our County’s natural systems. We appreciate the Commissioner’s Court continued support of this effort, and forward-looking vision this effort represents.
Sunday marked two years since Hurricane Harvey, and one year since Harris County voters authorized the investment of $2.5 billion in flood projects–and our future. This anniversary we can look forward to a new vision of flood control: one which puts people, communities, and nature first – providing the path to make us more resilient for generations to come.