← View All Stories

Testing the Waters

Houston is no stranger to rising waters.

Hurricane Harvey dropped nearly 50 inches of water on Houston over the course of just four days in 2017, and flash floods from severe storm events routinely plague the Bayou City.

Karl Spencer/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Before the waters from these events recede UH professor Hanadi Rifai goes out with her research team, to test for bacterial load, pH levels and metal concentrations.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston

After Hurricane Harvey, Rifai took samples from 41 sites throughout the city over the course of 90 days and the results were an astounding call-to-action.

“It was evident our waterways had become Rivers of Brown.”

Photo courtesy of University of Houston

It was clear that concentrated disadvantaged populations were more likely to bear the brunt of contaminated water.

RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

“Investments in research must be made to build our society’s capacity to create resilient and prosperous communities that are well-prepared and socially just,” Rifai said.

“At UH, we're focused on doing our part to help Houston mitigate and recover from severe weather events and natural disasters.”

See more stories about University of Houston research impacting the city of Houston.

Photo courtesy of University of Houston