Watercourse Master Plans: Two Case Studies

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by Thomas Loomis,
Scot Schlund,
Douglas Williams,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: WRPMD'99: Preparing for the 21st Century

Abstract: (No paper) The State of Arizona recently established statutes (ARS 48-3609.01) that enable local flood control districts to identify sensitive watercourses for floodplain management. The Flood Control District of Maricopa County, Arizona is sponsoring the development of two watercourse master plans: 1) The Middle New River Watercourse Master Plan; and, 2) The Upper Cave Creek Watercourse Master Plan. A watercourse master plan is a comprehensive flood control plan based on hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, future land use development, and environmental considerations. The watercourse master plan process involves bringing together public and private stakeholders to identify unique characteristics along a watercourse that should be preserved while accommodating existing and future uses. These goals are accomplished by targeting non-structural alternatives for flood control wherever possible. The main components of the watercourse master plan process are: Design Partnering with the Stakeholders, Public Involvement, Technical and Environmental Considerations, Recreation and Public Infrastructure Considerations, Alternative Analyses, Development of the Master Plan, and preparation of an Implementation Plan. Flood control approaches include both non-structural and enhanced structural methods. The two watercourse master plans have challenges unique to each. The New River study area is approximately 9 miles long in a rapidly urbanizing area in the cities of Glendale and Peoria, Arizona. The Cave Creek study area is nearly 29 miles long and is situated in an undeveloped portion of the City of Phoenix and in the rural Town of Cave Creek. A case study of each watercourse master plan is reviewed and contrasted.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Floods | Rivers and streams | Caves | Urban areas | Public private partnership | Environmental issues | Public participation | Arizona | North America | United States | Arkansas | Phoenix

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