Hurricane Harvey dealt the Houston region a devastating blow and exposed many of our vulnerabilities. At the same time, it reminded us of our community’s strengths. We have all heard stories about—or experienced firsthand—people coming together to help one another. Neighbor helping neighbor. Stranger helping stranger. We showed the nation—and the world—Houston’s spirit of resilience and camaraderie.
We were reminded that there is a certain kind of power in people coming together and pooling their abilities and their resources. Collaboration got us through this disaster, and we believe that collaboration is the only way to guard against the next.
Now, across the region, there is a sense that we have an opportunity and an obligation to take bold steps to re-envision the future of our area. We want to protect and sustain our economy, our environment and our residents—particularly those who are most vulnerable. We want to ensure that all communities benefit from flood mitigation efforts, and we believe that providing the best possible information to decision-makers and residents alike is the best path to doing so.
We are fortunate that our region is home to many amazing academic institutions. And we are more fortunate still that these organizations have agreed, in the spirit of collaboration, to come together and lend their best resource—their information, credibility, and expertise—to help tackle the complex problems ahead.
Through the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, leading researchers from these institutions will come together to compile, analyze and share a rich array of scientifically-informed data about flooding risk and mitigation opportunities.
We believe it is critical for our public officials to have access to the best possible information available in their deliberations. Similarly, we think our residents also deserve access to information that will help them better understand and advocate for the options that work best for their communities.