Established in 1959 by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors per state legislation, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County is responsible for protecting lives and property from flooding hazards. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors serves as the District's Board of Directors. A secondary property tax on parcels within Maricopa County provides the majority of the District's funding.
The District regulates development in the delineated floodplains for unincorporated county and 14 of the cities and towns within the county. Arizona Revised Statutes §48-3601 through 48-3650 direct each county Flood Control District Board of Directors to adopt and enforce floodplain regulations consistent with criteria adopted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. The Floodplain Regulations for Maricopa County have been in force since February 25, 1974 and are posted on the District’s website. The Regulations define the usage rules, development restrictions and permitting requirements necessary to protect the environmental and flood control qualities of floodplains.
The District performs floodplain delineation studies to determine the location of 100-year floodplains (one percent annual chance flooding event) throughout Maricopa County. Once a floodplain has been delineated, the data is used for management purposes to reduce or prevent flood damage to development, to maintain the beneficial functions of the floodplains, and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Property located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (100-year floodplain) may be required to be protected by flood insurance. District Floodplain Representative staff can assist a citizen in determining whether or not property is located in a flood hazard area. Besides purchasing flood insurance, there may be physical changes that can be done to a property to protect it from flood damage.
A floodplain use permit is required to make any changes to property located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. The District is required to ensure structures or improvements in the floodplain will not cause adverse impacts to properties upstream or downstream.