Gila Valley Flood Protection and Watershed Improvement Project

  1. Project Description
  2. Public Meetings
  3. Project Documents
  4. Questions/Comments

Graham County is the sponsoring local organization for the Gila Valley Flood Protection and Watershed Improvement Project, located in Graham County, Arizona which is being developed through coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) under the authority of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law 83-566). A Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) is being developed to address the purposes of:

  • Flood Protection and Watershed improvement – to enact flood mitigation measures, update drainage structures, manage storm water runoff, and reduce erosion and sedimentation issues.
  • Agriculture Water Management – to update structures for agricultural management as well as manage storm water runoff, and reduce erosion and sedimentation issues.

Project areas for each authority are shown in the figure below.

Project Areas Map

Current infrastructure has either become inadequate or new infrastructure is needed. Irrigation canals which run through municipalities have become part of the drainage system. Canal infrastructure is antiquated, and the canals do not have adequate capacity to handle storm water runoff. In addition, recent wildfires in the mountains above the watershed have increased the potential for harmful flood events and sedimentation.

The partners have formed a dedicated working group which has coordinated to identify flood prone areas and probable fixes. Specific project purposes will be to:

  • Reduce or eliminate flooding in the Towns of Thatcher and Pima and the City of Safford.
  • Provide erosion and sediment control for canals
  • Protect the farmlands and rural communities from flood effects
  • Improve water quality (sedimentation and turbidity).

Project stakeholders include the Town of Pima, Thatcher and Safford. The project sponsors, Graham County and NRCS, are currently soliciting input into the planning process and collection of data related to the project area.

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