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The Cypress Creek Implementation Program: Value in Flood Risk Reduction

09.29.2021

DURATION 2 minute read

With 267 square miles of watershed and 250 miles of open waterways, Cypress Creek is one of the largest watersheds in Harris County. Many communities had developed along the banks of Cypress Creek before our current understanding of floodplains and development restrictions.  The Cypress Creek watershed is home to over 350,000 residents in Harris County, and billions in property value have been developed in the watershed.

Though flooding along Cypress Creek has been a longstanding issue, mitigation strategies can be taken to reduce flood risks for the community.  In determining flood risk, it is criterial to identify areas of highest risks and vulnerability to address where the most value can be provided.  From the 2018 bond program, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is developing the Cypress Creek Implementation Program to evaluate the benefits of projects that could potentially benefit the community.

What’s in the Cypress Creek Implementation Program?

The HCFCD’s Cypress Creek Implementation Program is a watershed-wide approach to implementing flood risk reduction projects along the creek.   It provides a holistic view of activity in the watershed and allows the HCFCD  to deliver projects strategically and efficiently in the heavily developed area.  The program will address the implementation of project recommendations from an earlier Regional Drainage Plan and will consider other ongoing or planned projects in the watershed that may include stormwater detention basins, channel conveyance improvements, and right-of-way acquisitions for floodplain preservation and mitigation.

The implementation program helps the HCFCD  evaluate projects based on prioritization framework criteria, including Level of Service, Flood Risk Reduction, Social Vulnerability, Project Efficiency, Environmental Impacts, Partnership Funding, Multi-Use Benefits, and Long-term Maintenance.

Our team is proud to be collaborating with the HCFCD on this project. We are providing program management services and are working to develop effective community and stakeholder engagement strategies to ensure the program reflects the community’s priorities and truly serves its need.

What are the Benefits of Flood Risk Reduction?

Flood resilience includes measures taken to reduce a community’s vulnerability to flooding and to support long-term recovery after a flood.  The HCFCD has many flood resiliency projects underway across Harris County.  Flood damage reduction projects such as these can result in a host of benefits outside of increased flood resiliency, including improved quality of life and access to green amenities.

The John Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative – American Flood Coalition published a study that found flood-resilient infrastructure projects also help create local jobs, appreciate property value, stimulate the economy, and reduce the future loss of life and property.

Check out our Cypress Creek project highlight to learn more about how our team is helping the HCFCD improve the quality of life for communities along the creek. You can also listen to episodes 24 and 25 of Texas By Design to learn more about the HCFCD and how it’s helping better protect Harris County from future flooding events.

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