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Hydrology Section

Learn about the Hydrology Section for the Planning Department.

What We Do

Hydrology is responsible for determining the storm drainage requirements for development projects in the City of Albuquerque and is the official FEMA flood plain administrator for the City of Albuquerque.

How We Serve You

Hydrology can assist you with the following subjects as they pertain to storm drainage:

  • Development Review Board submissions to determine if drainage infrastructure or easements are required
  • Construction plans as part of the Design Review Committee process
  • Environmental Planning Commission submissions
  • Grading and drainage plans for building permits, paving permits and grading permits
  • Permit sets for both commercial and residential sites
  • Flood zone information

About: Flood Hazard & Drainage Control Ordinance

We issue permits pursuant to the "Flood Hazard and Drainage Control Ordinance" (Chapter 14 Article 5).

View Flood Hazard and Drainage Control Ordinance.

A permit is required for all new development and redevelopment involving more than 500 CY of earthwork, 1000 SF Building, and/or 2000 SF of Paving (14-5-2-12).

Grading and Drainage Plans and Reports should be submitted to the Hydrology section of the Planning Department using a Drainage Transportation Information Sheet Electronic form and the Submittal and CO Process.

Detailed technical criteria for Grading and Drainage Plans and Reports is contained in the Development Process Manual, DPM, Chapter 22.

View Development Process Manual, DPM, Chapter 22.

Public access to city drainage records is available through the Advanced Map Viewer.

How to: Use the Advanced Map Viewer

  1. Open the viewer
  2. Turn on the "Hydrology and Transportation" layer. It is located near the end of the layers under the heading "Sites."
  3. Click the information icon at the top of the page.
  4. Select the site you are interested in, and then the associated drainage and transportation files.

Drainage Covenants

Drainage Covenants for privately maintained drainage facilities are required for all new developments in accordance with "DPM Chapter 17 Section 1 Drainage Covenants."

A separate document must grant or dedicate a Permanent Easement or Right of Way and the Agreement and Covenant is required if "Public Drainage" is involved or if constructing private drainage facilities in a public right of way. A separate covenant document may be avoided by placing the Plat Drainage Easement note on the subdivision plat if one is required for the project. An SO-19 Permit is required for connection of private drainage within the public right of way and must be applied for by submitting a Grading and Drainage Plan to Hydrology with the standard SO-19 notes on it.

NOAA Atlas 2 precipitation depths should be used with AHYMO-97 and NOAA Atlas 14 precipitation depths should be used with AHYMO-S4 (see AHYMO AppNote-01). Atlas 14, 1 hour precipitation depths are 10 to 15% less than Atlas 2 depths but the flow rates are nearly the same.

Atlas 2 depths are available only in the DPM, and Atlas 14 depths are available from NOAA's web site.

FEMA Flood Plain Information

For more details on the FEMA Flood Plain and special hazard areas in the City, click here.

Contact Us

For drainage complaints, flood plain permits or flood plain questions, call the Engineer Assistant/Flood Plain Manager at (505) 924-3977.

For drainage reviews, DRB, administrative amendments, DRC and general engineering questions, call the Senior Engineer at (505) 924-3695 or the Section Manager at (505) 924-3986.