Although we live in a desert climate, flooding can and does occur.  Unlike some parts of the country with significant rainfall and a network of creeks, streams and rivers; the desert southwest with its arroyos, washes and dry rivers can be overwhelmed during summer monsoon rains.  The Town’s floodplain code regulates construction and development in three main areas – FEMA floodplain, locally regulated floodplain, and erosion hazard setback areas.

Areas classified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having an annual chance of flooding of 1 percent are classified as Special Flood Hazard Areas by FEMA.  FEMA produces Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) depicting these areas.  The FIRM for Marana was last published on June 16, 2011.  The Engineering department maintains copies of the FIRMs, as well as tracking FEMA letters of map corrections to these maps. 

Locally regulated floodplains are areas which fall below FEMA’s criteria for federal mapping, usually due to the size of the watershed which generates stormwater runoff. Locally regulated floodplains are also based on the principal of an annual chance of flooding of 1 percent.  The Town of Marana maintains maps of these floodplains through drainage reports and studies predominately associated with development.

Due to the sandy nature of the soils in southern Arizona, drainage conduits and washes can be subject to channel migration and avulsions.  For this reason, an erosion hazard setback is applied to all natural channels.  The erosion hazard setback is a horizontal distance measured from the primary channel bank of an incised channel or from the floodplain limit of a non-incised channel to provide a measure of safety against lateral erosion.

Development in the areas subject to the floodplain code requires an engineering study and a floodplain use permit.

Areas not mapped as floodplain can and do flood.  It should be noted that about 25 percent of all insurance claims to FEMA are for areas not classified as SFHA.  Flood insurance is available for any structure and is very reasonable for structures outside of the FEMA SFHA.  Homeowners may contact their home insurance providers (most of which can broker FEMA flood insurance policies) regarding a “preferred risk policy” for more information.


Floodplain Use Permit Application
Floodplain Application Checklist
Floodplain Hazard Information Sheet
Floodplain Use Permit Conditions and Restrictions
Town of Marana Flood Plain And Erosion Hazard Management Code- See Title 17-15 of the Marana Town Code


Town Code

FEMA Technical Bulletins

FEMA Users Guides to Technical Bulletins
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 1
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 2
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 3
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 4
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 5
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 6
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 7
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 8
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 9
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 10
FEMA Guide to Technical Bulletin 11


Floodplain Brochures

Floodplain Information
Building in the Floodplain Brochure


2011 Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Below are the links for the 2011 FIRMs. Paper orginials of these maps are available for viewing at Marana Town Hall. 

2011 FIRM panel index
Panel 04019C0420L
Panel 04019C0440L
Panel 04019C0445L
Panel 04019C1010L
Panel 04019C1020L
Panel 04019C1030L
Panel 04019C1035L
Panel 04019C1040L
Panel 04019C1045L
Panel 04019C1051L
Panel 04019C1055L
Panel 04019C1060L
Panel 04019C1065L
Panel 04019C1070L
Panel 04019C1650L
Panel 04019C1655L
Panel 04019C1660L
Panel 04019C1665L
Panel 04019C1666L

Additional information can be found at the following web links:

Pima County Regional Flood Control District
National Flood Insurance Program