Colonias, which are unincorporated border setdements in the United. States, have emerged in rural areas without the governance and services normally provided by local government. Colonia residents live in poverty and lack adequate health care, potable water, and sanitation systems. These conditions create substantial health risks for themselves and surrounding communities. By 2001, more than 1,400 colonias were identified in Texas. Cooperation with several Federal and Texas state agencies has allowed the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to improve colonia Geographic Information System (GIS) boundaries and develop the Colonia Health, Infrastructure, and Platting Status tool (CHIPS). Together, the GIS boundaries and CHIPS aid the Texas government in prioritizing the limited funds that are available for infrastructure improvement. CHIPS's report: generator can be tailored, to the needs of the user, providing either broad or specific output. CHIPS is publicly available on the U.S. Geological Survey Border Environmental Health Initiative website at http://borderhealth.cr. usgs.gov.
Additional publication details
Using GIS to assess priorities of infrastructure and health needs of colonias along the United States-Mexico border