Report: Solving Houston flooding woes will require wholesale strategy overhaul

The Texas Tribune

Limiting development and telling buyers about a home's true flood risk are among the recommendations by the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium.

By Kiah Collier

A new report by a group of leading Texas researchers details a variety of shortcomings with the Houston area’s current — and proposed — approach to flood control and calls on civil leaders to pursue a multifaceted and regional strategy that ensures that all communities receive better protection regardless of socioeconomic status.

The report by the so-called Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium — a group of scientists from universities and other institutions across the state formed just after Hurricane Harvey battered the region last August — says current regulations aimed at lessening the impacts of flooding are patchwork and often subpar, doing little to effectively corral floodwater.


It repeatedly stresses the effectiveness of limiting development in certain areas so grasslands can absorb flood water and ease stress on neighborhood drainage systems and the region’s vast bayou network — a recommendation sure to be met with stiff resistance in a famously pro-development region. The report also says there is a need to better inform the public through measures like a countywide flood alert system and homebuyer disclosures detailing flood risks.


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