Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural hazards. Some floods develop slowly, but flash floods can happen in just minutes. Flood-prone areas have been identified in 267 cities and towns and in all of Colorado’s 64 counties.
The CWCB conducts the following programs and activities to address long-term flood protection for the overall health, safety and welfare of Coloradans:
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The CWCB serves as the State Coordinating Agency for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For more information about CWCB’s involvement in the NFIP, including information about the State Community Assistance Program (CAP) and the Community Rating System (CRS), visit the CWCB Floodplain Management page.
- Flood Preparedness and Response
The CWCB provides leadership to assist in the preparation for and recovery from actual major flood events in Colorado, including coordination of federal, state and local resources through the Colorado Flood Task Force, dissemination of flood-related information and documentation of flood damages and flooded areas. Learn more by visiting the CWCB Flood Preparedness and Response page.
- Flood Threat Bulletin
The CWCB offers a daily assessment of flood potential around the state, issued around 11 a.m. each day. The Flood Threat Bulletin is only available during the typical flood season (May through September).
- Chatfield Downstream Channel Improvement Project
The United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Chatfield Downstream Channel Improvement Project in the 1980s. The project addressed the need to carry flow releases from Chatfield Reservoir in the South Platte River during times of flooding. As a partner in the project, the CWCB owns approximately 7 miles of the South Platte River floodplain and channel lands from Columbine Valley downstream to just below Oxford Avenue (just upstream of the Bear Creek confluence) and is responsible for managing and maintaining the project features. The CWCB also handles easement requests within the floodplain right of way. Learn more by visiting the CWCB Chatfield Downstream Channel Improvement Project page.
- Cherry Creek Dam Safety
The CWCB and other interested parties are monitoring and assisting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) as they complete a Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) study and develop dam safety improvement recommendations at Cherry Creek Reservoir. The CWCB also provided technical and funding support for a site-specific Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) study for Cherry Creek Reservoir, which is currently being reviewed at the federal level. More information about these studies is available on the CWCB Cherry Creek Dam Safety page.
- Technical Assistance Grants for Flood Response
A limited amount of funds are available most years from the CWCB to assist local governments with flood assessment, feasibility studies, planning efforts, project design and implementation. These funds are intended to assist local governments on a cost-share basis. More information is available on the CWCB Flood Preparedness and Response page.
- Flood Hazard Mitigation Grants
Two types of grants are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for reducing flood risk in Colorado communities: