Understanding environment amid a changing climate in Houston

How our region’s air and water quality and climate change impacts affect our environment, health and future well-being

Fundamental to our existence are clean air, potable water, and temperatures being “just right” on Earth. And while eight billion people share this planet, most environmental impacts are felt locally — and unevenly. Despite improvement in air and water pollution levels in Houston’s three-county region over the last two decades, people of color and low-income communities continue to bear a disproportionate burden and risk of an unhealthy environment. Nationally, people of color are over three times more likely to be breathing the most polluted air than white people. 

Contaminated air and water poses serious health threats for residents and the environments they live in. Compounding these health effects, Houston is hotter and wetter than it was a decade ago. Our location, topography, and climate make us particularly vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather conditions which will continue to occur at greater intensities and with more frequency. The cumulative effects of climate change could potentially displace millions of people and threaten our economic output.

The more we know about our local air and water quality and how climate change will continue to impact our region, the more we can do to make the adjustments necessary for a more livable future, particularly for our residents who bear the greatest risks.