Brawley Wash

To provide comments on this watershed for consideration in the Floodplain Management Plan, contact Greg Saxe
Planning Manager
(520) 724-4633.
The Brawley Wash watershed is the largest within Pima County and is comprised of 442,629 acres. The headwaters of the Brawley Wash, as well as its tributary Blanco Wash, originate in the Roskruge and Coyote mountains on the south side of State Route 86 in the community of Three Points/Robles Junction. The Altar Wash and Black Wash are also significant tributaries. The Brawley Wash flows northward toward Pinal County where it joins the Santa Cruz River. Flood risks vary, but sheetflow flooding is the dominant type of flooding that affects residents. While sheetflow flooding is generally fairly shallow, it is also very widespread and makes accessing properties difficult. This is especially true due to the rural nature of the area and the prevalence of unmaintained dirt roads. In sheetflow floodplains, it is important to protect your home from flooding and obtain flood insurance, but it is not appropriate to prevent your property from flooding as this makes flooding worse for neighbors. This watershed, includ-ing all tributaries, contains 76,385 acres of SFHA, 131,906 acres of locally identified floodplain and 47,429 acres of Pima County Regulated Riparian Habitat.

Flood Hazards

Maps

Click HERE to view the watershed map
Click HERE to view the outreach brochure

Floodplain Studies

Floodplain Study FP-008-1988 - Millstone Manor No. 6, PCDOT&FCD, 6/20/1988.

Floodplain Study FP-029-1987 - San Joaquin Estates Floodplain Status Hydrology Report for San Joaquin Estates - Improvement Plans Lots 268 thru 290, Trimble Engineering, Inc., 3/22/1987 and Drainage Reports for Phases III-A, IV and V of San Joaquin Estates, CMG Drainage Engineering, Inc., 5/31/1989.

Floodplain Study FP-031-1996 - Brawley Wash Floodplain Study, Simons, Li & Associates, Inc., 9/6/1996.

Floodplain Study FP-042-1999 - Brawley Wash Primary Flood Corridor Study, Simons, Li & Associates, 6/1/1999.

Floodplain Study FP-044-1982 - Central Arizona Project (CAP) Tucson Aqueduct, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Reach 3 May 1982, Reach 4 April 1984, Reach 5 June 1983.

Floodplain Study FP-049-2007 - Diamond Bell Ranch Hydrology, Psomas, 10/12/2007.

Floodplain Study FP-050-2008 - Floodplain Study for Flecha Caida Ranch Estates #9, Including Portions of Flecha Caida Ranch Estates #1 and #2 and Las Lomas de Catalina, JE Fuller Hydrology & Geomorphology Inc., 4/8/2008

Floodplain Study FP-070-2003 - 12-10 Area Floodplain Mapping, RFCD, 6/3/2003.

Floodplain Study FP-070-2003 - 12-10 Area Floodplain Mapping, RFCD, 6/3/2003.

Erosion Studies

There are currently no erosion studies in this watershed.

Areas of Interest (Known Issues, Gaps, Problems and Needs)

Issues Provided by Public and Stakeholder Input

No issues have been identified to date.

Issues from the District Flood Response Manual

8.5.1 Data Gathering Needs
• The trigger discharge for the break-out from the east bank of Brawley Wash north of Ajo Highway and Quinlin Trail is not known. The trigger is only known to be lower than 11,800 cfs (official USGS discharge for August 14, 2005 event per USGS Publication, Water Data Report AZ-05-1 Titled: Water Resources Data, Arizona Water Year 2005.) (T15S R10E Sec. 28)

8.5.2 Frequently Flooded Structures and Properties Subject to Damage
• Hazardous conditions exist at the location of a break-out flow from the Brawley Wash north of Ajo Highway and Quinlin Trail. Properties at least as far south as 16474 W Quinlin Trail (208-62-002G) and as far north as 16375 W. Hermans Road (208-57-004K) are affected by this flow. The northern properties have been subject to permit denials. The breakout occurs at flows below 11,800 cfs (official USGS discharge for August 14, 2005 event per USGS Publication, Water Data Report AZ-05-1 Titled: Water Resources Data, Arizona Water Year 2005.) (T15S R10E Sec. 27)
• A site-built structure on 16310 W. Honeysuckle View (208-63-0330) was built at grade without a permit. This structure was originally built as a single-family residence and has been converted to a non-habitable structure by the new owner. It is expected to get flooded during the base flood and during smaller events. (T15S R10E Sec. 34)
• The area around Honeysuckle Farm Trail is subject to potential break-out flow from the Brawley Wash as well as the large wash to the east. Both washes have levees containing flow that are not designed to withstand the base flood. (T15S R10E Sec. 34)
• A number of washes converge on an area just north of Los Reales Road west of Marstellar Road, creating potentially hazardous conditions. (T15S R11E Sec. 17)
• Several properties near 15350 W Avra Valley Road (208-24-012H) are between the West Branch of the Brawley Wash and an agricultural levee. Depths of flow are expected to exceed three feet with high DV2 values. (T12S R10E Sec. 11)
• Homes in the Avra Vista subdivision have experienced erosion of fill pads. Structures were supposed to be constructed on fill pads with engineered erosion protection, but most were permitted by DSD without this requirement. (T12S R10E Sec. 15)
• Millstone Manor #6 has frequent flooding problems. (T14S R12E Sec. 30)
• The Blue Aloe Street area flooded in 2013 when a 3,340 cfs (measured at Ajo Highway) flow broke out of the Brawley Wash and moved northeast, per USGS Water Data Report 2013. (T14S R11E Sec. 32 and T15S R11E Sec. 05)

8.5.3 Infrastructure
• The drainageways within Tucson West Ranchettes, Book 32 Page 099, are county maintained. They are not specifically dedicated to the District. (T15S R11E Sec. 09)
• The detention basin in Camino Verde Estates at the intersection of Camino Verde Road and Copper Leaf Road has overtopped during large storm events, such as 8/2/2016, though it was not damaged by this event. (T15S R12E Sec. 03)

8.5.4 Safety Concerns
• Fuller Road is subject to flooding from tributary flows coming into the Brawley Wash from the west. (T15S R10E Sec. 32).
• A break-out flow from the Brawley Wash north of Ajo Highway and Quinlin Trail has the potential to create highly hazardous conditions on properties to the east of the main channel. The trigger for the breakout is not known, but is lower than 11,800 cfs (official USGS discharge for August 14, 2005 event per USGS Publication, Water Data Report AZ-05-1 Titled: Water Resources Data, Arizona Water Year 2005.) (T15S R10E Sec. 28)
• The levee on Buckelew Farms on the east bank of Brawley Wash north of Ajo Highway is not designed to withstand the base flood and may fail to contain the flood. The base flood may overtop the levee. (T15S R10E Sec. 33)
• Berms along Kay Linn Dr. between Deaver Rd. and Camino Verde has been known to cause flooding problems. (T14S R12E Sec. 34)
• Snyder Hill Rd. washes out west of Desert Sunrise Tr. (T14S R11E Sec. 36)
• Hazardous conditions exist where the Black Wash crosses Sandario Road. (T14S R11E Sec. 22)
• There are numerous at-grade crossings on Kinney Road near Saguaro National Park West. The Kings Canyon crossing was heavily damaged in a 2006 event. (T14S R11E Sec. 01)
• Most of the Brawley Wash area is subject to flooding and may become difficult or impossible to access during major events. Utmost caution should be observed when proceeding into this area before or during a flood crest.

 

Recommendation of Actions and Floodplain Management Strategy

This section to be completed based on feedback received through the planning process.

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Regional Flood Control District

201 N. Stone Avenue, 9th Fl.
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: (520) 724-4600
Fax: (520) 724-4621


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