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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Strategies for Flood Mitigation in Greater Houston: a report by the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium

Texas Major Rivers

Watersheds of the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium

Written by Dr. Stephanie Glenn, Program Director, Hydrology and Watersheds

Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall and flooding to the Houston-Galveston region. The impacts of the storm and ensuing flooding included loss of lives, homes and livelihoods. In response, researchers from the region with expertise in hydrology, climate science, engineering, coastal resiliency, energy, community development and urban planning came together to strategize on solutions. The researchers were able to form a working consortium with the generosity of funding from Houston Endowment, Kinder Foundation, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and additional support from Walton Family Foundation, Cullen Foundation and Harte Charitable Foundation.

On April 5, 2018, six months after forming, the GHFMC released the first edition of its Strategies for Flood Mitigation in Greater Houston report. The report summarizes strategies and tactics analyzed by the consortium for flood mitigation that enable the region to be more resilient in the future. The report discusses the shift towards a new era in flood mitigation, with the emphasis on instigating a full range of solutions to reduce the impacts of flooding. The introduction of the report discusses this range of solutions, detailing the importance of robust public participation, flood warning systems, green infrastructure and land conservation, buyouts, elevations and floodproofing, development regulations, local drainage systems, structural solutions, flooding data and disclosures, risk management, and a regional systems approach. The report goes on to discuss individual watersheds in the region and challenges and opportunities for flood mitigation.

Read the full text of the report at: http://www.houstonconsortium.com/p/report

The Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium (GHFMC) brought together leading researchers to discuss and analyze flooding risk and mitigation opportunities. Partners in the consortium include Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research and the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center; Texas A&M University College of Architecture, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico, Texas A&M University-Galveston, Center for Texas Beaches & Shores; Texas Southern University, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs; Texas State University, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment; University of Houston Hines College of Architecture, Community Design Resource Center; The University of Texas Energy Institute, Local Initiatives Support Corporation-Houston and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), with Huitt Zollars as the project Manager. HARC researchers Dr. Stephanie Glenn, Dr. Gavin Dillingham and Lisa Gonzalez participate in the Consortium’s flood mitigation strategies efforts.