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Airport Wash South Basin Management Study

Study status:  Final Reports complete.

Project Purpose

Pima County Regional Flood Control District has completed the Airport Wash South Basin Management Study to identify the drainage and flooding hazards within the Valencia, El Vado, Santa Clara, and Hughes watersheds and develop alternatives to address those hazards. These washes include the Elvira, Barrio Nepal and Sunnyside neighborhoods. A Basin Management Study is a comprehensive study that estimates flood and erosion potential for a watershed, maps watercourses, identifies existing and potential problems and develops preliminary solutions and standards for sound floodplain and stormwater management.

For more information contact:
Janice Hughes, PE, Civil Engineer
(520) 724-4600

The initial effort consisted of collecting data to identify known flooding hazards and map floodplains. This included researching historical flooding data, drainage complaints, existing studies and current land-use.

The team then formulated a floodplain management approach consisting of structural and non-structural alternative solutions to reduce or eliminate flooding hazards, which were further compared and evaluated to develop a set of preferred alternatives.

With alternatives identified, the District held a public meeting to bring this information to the affected neighborhoods.
A future phase of the project will include the Airport Wash watershed with the same scope of work.

Now that the study is complete, the District has a comprehensive assessment of flood and erosion hazards. The strategies in the plan should reduce damages to property or loss of life from drainage issues and stormwater flooding. Working with the City of Tucson, the District will need to locate funding sources to implement the selected alternatives.

Scope of Work

  • Existing Conditions Analysis:  Review existing studies, perform hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, and identify areas of drainage and erosion hazards
  • Floodplain Mapping:  Delineate 100-year floodplains on washes with a discharge greater than 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) within the Hughes Wash watershed and a discharge greater than 100 cfs within the remainder.
  • Alternatives Analysis:  Develop structural and non-structural alternative solutions for mitigating the floodplain and erosion hazards identified in the existing conditions analysis, including cost effectiveness.
  • Public Involvement:  Neighborhood association outreach to obtain public input. Public meeting will be held once alternatives are identified.
  • Schedule:  Study completed in October 2014.


Map of the project area

Data Collection Maps

Data collection within the project area has included a drainage inventory and survey of existing drainage complaints. The information has been summarized on two maps, available below in both Adobe Acrobat PDF and Google Earth KMZ files. 

Adobe Acrobat Versions

Google Earth Versions

You must have Google Earth installed on your computer to view the following files.  Click on a point within the Google Earth map to show the detailed information.


Alternatives Analysis

Maps depicting the Recommended Projects within the study area as presented in the Public Meeting are available below. Information explaining the recommended projects and information utilized in deriving the recommendations is also included.


Public Involvement

Neighborhood associations were contacted to obtain public input.

Pima County Regional Flood Control District held a public meeting to review the results and recommendations from the drainage study of the Valencia, El Vado, Santa Clara, and Hughes watersheds on June 25, 2014 at the Desert Diamond Casino. A copy of the Presentation from the meeting and the Project Fact Sheet are available below.


Your Input and Feedback

If you have photos or information on flooding or erosion issues within these watersheds that you would like to share with the District, please feel free to contact us using the Project Feedback Form.

For more information contact:
Janice Hughes, PE, Civil Engineer
(520) 724-4600