Reduce your community's risk

Floodplain Management

Reduce your community's risk

Floodplain Management

A floodplain is an area of low-lying ground typically adjacent to a river or coast that is subject to flood by any source. Floodplains are important as they allow floodwaters to spread out and temporarily store excess water. They often also contain wetlands and other important ecological areas. Floodplain management is a community-based effort to reduce the risk of flooding and become a more resilient community.
What Does a Floodplain Manager Do?
A local floodplain manager has the following responsibilities to regulate and enforce floodplain management.
  • Issues or denies floodplain development permits
  • Ensures all development is in compliance with the local ordinance
  • Maintains records of development within the Special Flood Hazard Area
  • Keeps the community's floodplain maps up to date
  • Assists the community in obtaining information on flood hazards, floodplain map data, flood insurance, and proper construction measures
  • Attends training and meetings for floodplain management
  • Stays informed on flood mitigation measures within the community

Scroll down for floodplain manager resources or select a topic to jump to that section.

Permit Development Within Your Community

Communities that participate in the NFIP agree to enforce federal regulations on development within mapped flood hazard areas. Floodplain development permits are an important tool the community uses so that development is designed and implemented in ways to reduce exposure to flooding.
Stream Alteration Permitting
Section 73-3-29 of the Utah Code requires any person, governmental agency, or other organization wishing to alter the bed or banks of a natural stream to obtain written authorization from the State Engineer prior to beginning work.
Endangered Species Act (ESA)

ESA Section 7(a)(1) Conservation Action Program promotes the conservation of threatened and endangered species and their habitat through three components:

  1. Building awareness
  2. Helping with identification
  3. Promoting existing incentives and creating new incentives

Flood Risk and Endangered Species Habitat (FRESH) is a web-based geospatial mapping application to help communities identify floodplains where threatened and endangered species reside.

Keep Your Maps Updated

Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)

A LOMA is issued because a property has been mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on naturally high ground above the base flood elevation.

Letter or Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F)

A LOMR-F is issued to document that a structure or parcel of land has been elevated above the BFE by the placement of fill and is no longer in the special flood hazard area (SFHA).

Conditional Letter or Map Revision (CLOMR)

A CLOMR is a letter form FEMA commenting on whether a proposed project, if built as proposed, would meet minimum NFIP standards. A CLOMR is usually followed by a LOMR.

Letter or Map Revision (LOMR)

A LOMR is a letter from FEMA that revises the current NFIP map with changes to floodplains, regulatory floodways, or flood elevations. A community or individual can request a LOMR to update the following: flood hazard boundary maps, flood insurance rate maps, flood boundary & floodway maps, and flood insurance study reports.

Floodplain Manager Toolbox

Sample Ordinances (level A, B, C, D, and E)

These follow FEMA's minimum regulation standards and/or community higher standards for flood damage prevention and reduction

Community Status Book

See if your community participates in the NFIP

Community Rating System (CRS)

Voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum standards

FEMA-480 Floodplain Management Requirements

A Study Guide and Desk Reference for Local Officials

Elevation Certificate and Instructions

Official record showing that new buildings and substantial improvements in identified flood hazard areas are properly elevated

Substantial Damage/Improvement Desk Reference

When buildings undergo repair or improvement, it is an opportunity to reduce flood damage to existing structures. This resource provides practical guidance and suggested procedures.

Substantial Damage/Improvement Answers to Questions

Answers to those general questions about Substantial Damage/Improvement

Substantial Damage Utah Quick Guide
Answers to Questions about the NFIP
No Rise Information for Floodways

Any project in the floodway must be reviewed to determine if the project will increase flood heights.

Additional Resources

Floods, What You Should Know About Living in Utah

A resource for your community

Utah Quick Guide

Floodplain management for community officials