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Surface Water


State Standards


The Department’s State Standards Work Group was formed in 1990 to develop standards and provide technical assistance to promote consistent, responsible floodplain management and watercourse use on a statewide basis.  These standards are mandated by state law, as declared in ARS § 48-3605(A), which states, “The director of water resources shall develop and adopt criteria for establishing the one-hundred year flood and delineating floodplains.”


To accomplish this goal, the State Standards Work Group develops technical materials and training resources by:

  • Incorporating input and expertise from local, state, federal and private entities;
  • Seeking necessary funding to implement our mission successfully; and
  • Providing training opportunities on the proper use of State Standards and related issues in cooperation with the educational community.

Membership (membership) Acrobat Icon pdf

The State Standards Work Group is composed of representatives from the following agencies and organizations.  They donate their time and resources to support the goals of the Work Group:

  • The Department’s Flood Mitigation Section;
  • Two Urban Counties;
  • Two Rural Counties; and
  • Arizona Floodplain Management Association (AFMA) Technical Committee


The State Standards program is funded with donations from agencies and organizations that benefit from and use program materials.

Current State Standards

SS1 Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Technical Support Data Notebook

  • Instructions for Organizing and Submitting Technical Support Data Notebooks (TSDN) for Flood Studies to Local Governments and FEMA.

SS2-96Acrobat Icon pdf

  Requirement for Floodplain and Floodway Delineation in Riverine Environments

  • Provides methodologies for estimating 100-year peak discharges, delineating 100-year floodplain limits, and determining administrative floodway boundaries for riverine floodplains in Arizona.

SS3-94Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Supercritical Flow (Floodway Modeling)

  • Provides guidelines to be used when modeling floodways for supercritical or near-critical flow conditions in Arizona.

SS4-95Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Identification of and Development within Sheet Flow Areas

  • Details minimum floodplain management standards for identification of and development within sheet flooding areas in Arizona.

SS5-96Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Watercourse System Sediment Balance

  • Provides guidelines for identification of and development within erosion hazard areas, watercourses with a net sediment deficit, and watercourses with a net sediment surplus.  Individual guidelines for:  Lateral Migration Setback Allowance, Channel Degradation Estimation, and River Stability Impacts associated with Sand and Gravel Mining.

SS6-05Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Development of Individual Residential Lots within Floodprone Areas

  • Site Plan Checklist, Typical Plan and Cross-Section requirements for individual residential lots within flood prone areas.

SS7-98Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Watercourse Bank Stabilization

  • Provides minimum design standards for several bank stabilization techniques.

SS8-99Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Stormwater Detention/Retention

  • Provides minimum criteria for sizing Detention and/or Retention facilities.

SS9-02Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Floodplain Hydraulic Modeling

  • Provides guidance on mathematical modeling of hydraulic processes in watercourses and floodplains.

SS10-07Acrobat Icon pdf

  State Standard for Hydrologic Modeling Guidelines

State Standards Training

The State Standards Work Group continues to develop training programs on the proper use of the Standards.  Training is provided at various locations around the state at no (or very low) cost.  Additional materials are available here. 

SS2-96Power Point Icon

  1 of 3 Floodplain and Floodway Delineation in Riverine Environments

SS2-96Power Point Icon

  2 of 3 Floodplain and Floodway Delineation in Riverine Environments

SS2-96Power Point Icon

  3 of 3 Floodplain and Floodway Delineation in Riverine Environments

SS8-99Power Point Icon

  Stormwater Detention/Retention

Floodplain Issues in Transportation Design

  Section I Power Point Icon


  Section II Power Point Icon

  Overview of Regulations

  Section III Power Point Icon

  Overview of ADWR/ADEM Roles

  Section IV Power Point Icon

  Overview of State Standards

  Section V Power Point Icon

  Flood Hydrology and Floodplain Hydraulics

  Quiz 1 Power Point Icon

  Quiz 1

  Section VI Power Point Icon

  River Engineering and Geomorphology

  Quiz 2  Power Point Icon

  Quiz 2

  Section VII Power Point Icon

  Effects of Transportation Structures on Fluvial Systems

  Section VIII  Power Point Icon

  Overview of Design Guidelines

  Quiz 3 Power Point Icon

  Quiz 3

  Section IX Power Point Icon

  Design Process

  Section X Power Point Icon

  Illustrated Examples

Related Technical Issues

  Related Technical References (9.5MB)  Acrobat Icon pdf

  Design Manual for Engineering Analysis of Fluvial Systems


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