Partnership Funding

Partnership Funding

Partnership Funding

The Harris County Flood Control District has many ongoing projects throughout Harris County. Partnerships with federal and state agencies, local communities, and private interests play a vital role in many of those projects. 

These funding partnerships are important for the Flood Control District in setting priorities, determining community preferences, making taxpayer dollars go further and finding solutions that are the best fit for both a given project and community and natural values.  Since the Flood Control District’s inception in 1937, the District has worked with local, state, regional and federal partners on projects across Harris County. These partnerships continue to be an integral part of the projects we design, build and maintain.

When the 2018 Bond Program was first conceptualized, the Flood Control District identified partnerships as a continued, vital source of funding and resources to move initiatives forward. While the bond was for $2.5 billion, the full cost of every project in the bond program as passed by Harris County voters is nearly $5 billion. From the outset, there was an anticipated need for funding partners to fully construct the projects on the list. Without partnership funding, every bond program project has sufficient funding to get started. As directed by Commissioners Court, all projects that voters approved will be constructed.

Common Partnerships

Three of the most important types of partnerships for the Flood Control District are:

Federal Partnerships

The first type of partnership the Flood Control District participates in is a federal partnership. The Flood Control District was originally established as a special purpose district that was to serve as the local sponsor for the Harris County region for flood damage reduction projects developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps). That is still one of our primary roles today. The Corps remains one of our strongest federal partners. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also a vital Federal partner in its development of floodplain information, and its pre- and post-disaster funding for flood damage mitigation.

Corps Partnerships

Currently, the Flood Control District has active Corps-partnership projects along with six major bayou/channel systems (Brays, Clear Creek, Greens, Hunting, Sims & White Oak) and is in the process of proposing Corps-partnership projects along with two additional bayou systems (Halls & lower Buffalo).

FEMA Partnerships

The Flood Control District's partnership with FEMA led to the Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project (TSARP), which resulted in new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps for all of Harris County. These maps were produced using the best science and technology available at the time.

One of the key features of the new study effort involves developing new land surface elevations using cutting edge laser-based technology. 

Another FEMA-partnership project relates to the buyout of homes that were built hopelessly deep in the floodplain. These homes were built prior to our current understanding of flooding potential and prior to strict flood plain building regulations. The most active and extensive program is the Tropical Storm Allison Home Buyout Program, in which homes that meet State and Federal requirements (were substantially damaged during Allison or have experienced multiple flood insurance claims) are being purchased on a voluntary basis, providing the homeowner with an opportunity for a new start (on higher ground) and the community with additional open space in flood-prone areas.

Our partnership with FEMA is critical to our Voluntary Home Buyout Program.

Stronger, Better-prepared Community

Over time, federal partnerships have brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the Harris County area for planning, engineering and implementing flood damage reduction projects. Given the history of Harris County and its natural flood potential, these federal partnerships will continue to directly result in a community with a better level of protection from flood damages.

Multi-Use Partnerships

The second kind of partnership the Flood Control District participates in is "multi-use." The Flood Control District has many kinds of drainage infrastructure facilities, ranging from stormwater detention basins, channels, and individual lots to a wetlands mitigation bank. With the exception of the Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank, most of these facilities are not utilized for their primary flood management purposes until especially heavy rainfall occurs. When the weather is dry, the land associated with these facilities can be available for alternate uses, thus maximizing their value to the community.

Leveraging Partnerships for Community and Natural Values

The Flood Control District can only spend its monies on very specific purposes having to do with implementing flood damage reduction projects and maintaining the primary drainage infrastructure in the county. However, the Flood Control District promotes multi-use partnerships, and these partnerships are emerging throughout the County. Harris County precincts, local cities, management, and improvement districts, the development community, and even individuals are partnering to use District-owned land for recreation, trails and open space to make their community more inviting. The Flood Control District has interlocal agreements with many entities allowing such usages and encourages multi-use whenever possible as smart use of land resources and tax dollars, which promotes community values and an enhanced quality of life.

Local Partnerships

The Flood Control District's mission is to "Provide flood damage reduction projects that work with appropriate regard for community and natural values." And who knows a community and their values better than a community itself? It's for that reason that the Flood Control District takes very seriously proposed partnerships with local cities and community groups. Frequently, these partnerships arise from the community contacting the Flood Control District to propose a project. Not all such projects can be accomplished, but all proposals will be taken seriously.

Funding Sources

Partnership funding is an important aspect of many of the projects and programs carried out by the Flood Control District. The graphic at right, illustrates the many sources of federal, state and local funding that Flood Control District is working to secure for Harris County. Each agency has its own definition of eligible projects, and its own requirements for local match funding.

Funding is procured through a complex web of interrelated agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.
Partnering Agency Funds Applied For Funds Awarded
Projects Funded Status Partner Local Total Partner Local Total