Floodplain Administration


2021 Tucson Area Flood Insurance Meeting –
How to Reduce your Flood & Erosion Hazard Risk and Cost
Brought to you by: Local Floodplain Managers and the State Insurance Office

May 27, 2021 Outreach Webinar Recording
June 7, 2021 Outreach Webinar Recording
PowerPoint Presentation


Project Status


Existing Conditions & Alternatives, and Final Reports completed by Pima County Regional Flood Control District. LOMR in effect as of March 15, 2021. The adoption of this watershed management plan will go to Mayor & Council in summer 2021.

Arroyo Chico

Tucson Arroyo - Arroyo Chico Phase 2B Increment design is being re-evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Downtown Links drainage infrastructure currently under construction with project completion expected March 2023, and includes large storm drains in Broadway Bl. Flood map updates will be completed after the record drawings are completed by the City, and Pima County Flood Control District submits documentation to FEMA for approval.


Watershed development & drainage planning is being coordinated.


Feasibility study for potential projects including stormdrain capacity in this watershed is underway using FEMA grant funding. El Con detention project is still identified as a key project.

El Vado

Neighborhood Detention Basin Facility is being planned.

Flowing Wells

Pima County Regional Flood Control District is studying Flowing Wells Wash, Wilson Wash, Navajo Wash, as well as Bronx Wash with West University Watersheds on behalf of the City of Tucson.


Airport detention is being planned; Pima County Regional Flood Control is assisting the Airport Authority.


Funding is being sought for an erosion protection and safety improvement for Pennsylvania Dr and Lundy Av dip crossing


One of the approved alternative projects from the Ruthrauff Basin Management Plan (approved by Mayor & Council Oct. 24, 2017) is underway near the Gardner Lane area.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz River Management Plan Lower Santa Cruz River master planning project update: Alternatives Report and Technical Data have been completed. Grant Road to Avra Valley post sediment removal assessment is underway by Pima County Regional Flood Control District. Floodwall for TEP substation feasibility study underway by FEMA, through a grant.


Silvercroft Watershed is being assessed for the Lower Santa Cruz master plan (by Pima County Regional Flood Control District). The El Rio Golf Flood Mitigation Project - detention facilities are complete, with golf course sod repair / establishment. Phase 2 to begin next year. Additional improvement projects are being considered and study is planned for the downstream locations.

City of Tucson Floodplain Board Updates

City of Tucson Mayor and Council (Floodplain Board) adopted the Tucson Floodplain Management Plan 2020 Update, Floodplain Ordinance Revisions, and new Tucson Levee Manual on December 8, 2020.  The updates were based on the Tucson Floodplain Management Plan (2016) and Updated Floodplain Ordinance.  The City has also adopted the revised detention and retention manual (effective date: June 1, 2021).  The current City of Tucson Floodplain Ordinance became effective January 8, 2021

Changes to the Floodplain Ordinance include:

  •  "Critical facility" definition was updated to include new regulatory language as to the minimum elevation and access requirements for new or substantially improved requirements.  The purpose of the update is to apply a more stringent requirement to the construction of these facilities.
  •  "Repetitive Loss Property" definition was added to the ordinance based on guidance from the National Flood Insurance Program and to increase opportunity for certain flood-loss claim benefits for City of Tucson property owners.
  • Development requirement clarifications for placement and elevation of a building’s service equipment in relation to the regulatory flood elevation.
  • The minimum setback to the listed regional watercourses was updated based on currently FEMA published and approved flood data.  The option to reduce the stated erosion hazard setbacks for corresponding regional watercourse can now only be processed through the variance procedure.  The purpose of this requirement is to apply a higher level of scrutiny to new development where there is no, or insufficient, existing bank protection, and where no bank improvements are proposed.

 Flood & Erosion Hazard Management Documents


Flood & Erosion Hazard Information – related links:

* * Flood & Erosion Hazard Protection Information / How to Reduce Risk * *

2020 Floodplain Management Plan (Update to 2016 FMP)

City of Tucson General Floodplain Information (including Flood Status)

National Flood Insurance Program – FloodSmart.gov

Tucson Historical Flash Floods, Flooding & Erosion Events

Drivers – please do not drive around barricades at dip crossings

Flood Survival Tips

City of Tucson Operation Freeze

City of Tucson Operation Splash - Including Sandbag Program

Protecting traveling public on City streets during Tucson’s summer thunderstorm season



Tucson Flood or Erosion Questions?


Last updated: June 2021