Granite Reef Watershed Drainage and Flood Control Improvement



The primary objective of the Granite Reef Watershed Improvement Project is to eliminate the risk of structural flooding, eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain along Granite Reef Wash, and reduce street and yard flooding. The project will also include a new storm drain in Pima Road that will help reduce floodwater flows in Granite Reef Wash and provide street drainage for the future Pima Road widening project. The existing FEMA floodplain is approximately 2 miles long and encompasses over 600 homes; extending from Thomas Road downstream to the City’s southern boundary at McKellips Road, generally between Granite Reef Road and Pima Road.


The project area is bounded by the Arizona Canal on the north, Loop 101 on the east, the Salt River on the south and the drainage divide that runs between Hayden Road and Granite Reef Road on the east. The project will be designed and constructed in two segments - NORTH, the area north of Indian School Rd., and SOUTH, the area south of Indian School Rd.


Drainage improvements are being planned for the project area to control the runoff from the 100-year storm in order to eliminate the FEMA-designated floodplain on Granite Reef Wash. The improvements will be implemented in two phases. 

NORTH Improvements

The NORTH area implementation plan includes new storm drain laterals that will connect to the existing storm sewers on Jackrabbit Road, Chaparral Road, Camelback Road and Indian School Road. The new laterals will discharge more flow to the existing storm drains allowing more runoff to be diverted to Indian Bend Wash, so it doesn’t flow south, resulting in flooding problems downstream. The proposed storm drain laterals will control all the 100-year runoff north of Indian School Road. The City began construction on the storm drain laterals in the summer of 2017 and anticipates being complete in the spring of 2018.

NORTH Area Exhibits


SOUTH Improvements

The SOUTH area implementation plan includes new drainage improvements south of Indian School Road that, together with the North area improvements, will hopefully eliminate the FEMA floodplain on Granite Reef Wash.

These improvements are still in the planning stages so a detailed plan has not yet been developed, but potential improvements include: 1) storm drain in Osborn Road from 87th Street to Indian Bend Wash, 2) storm drain in Thomas Road between 82nd Street and Pima Road, 3) stormwater detention basins in both Pima Park and Apache Park, 4) storm drain in Pima Road from Thomas Road to McKellips Road, 5) Granite Reef Channel improvements both upstream and downstream of McDowell Road, 6) storm drain in McKellips Road between 82nd Street and Pima Road, and 7) new channel or storm drain in the Granite Reef Wash alignment from McKellips Road to the Salt River.

The City is nearing completion of the master plan for the Phase 2 improvements and will begin design in mid-2018.



The project includes the development of a two-dimensional hydrologic and hydraulic computer model, utilizing new technology, to analyze storm water runoff in the project area. Now that the analysis is complete the City can submit an application to FEMA to reduce the size of the current, effective floodplain, as well as the 100-year flood elevations.  The application is called a request for Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). The city plans to submit the LOMR application to FEMA in mid-2018. Assuming FEMA is in agreement with the new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling results, it usually takes about 12 to 18 months to obtain the official map revision.

Project Information

Budget: $12,178,770

Sponsoring Division: Stormwater & Floodplain Management

Funding Source: Bond 2000, General Fund, in cooperation with Flood Control District and Salt River-Pima Indian Community

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale - Capital Project Management

7447 E. Indian School Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 
P: 480-312-7250 
F: 480-312-7971

Elaine Mercado
Project Manager
P: 480-312-7985