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Flood Management Planning

The Commission maintains a continuing program to address stormwater and floodplain management issues, applying significant expertise in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling across the Region.

Floodplain & Stormwater Management

The Commission’s comprehensive watershed studies include floodplain management components that provide the basis for many of the floodplain management activities within the Region. Due to significant expertise in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, Commission staff are regularly involved in floodplain and stormwater management planning activities across the Region.


Floodplain Mapping & Modeling

From 1966 through 2003, Commission staff prepared comprehensive plans for most of the Region's watersheds. Each plan included development of hydrologic and hydraulic computer simulation models and detailed flood profiles and floodplain maps along numerous streams and rivers within each watershed. That information, refined and updated over time, serves as the basis for local floodplain zoning and federal flood insurance mapping throughout much of the Region.

Commission-completed floodplain maps and models have been incorporated into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood insurance studies from their inception in the 1970s through the FEMA Floodplain Map Modernization program. More recent efforts are being incorporated into FEMA regulatory mapping through the Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) process.

In addition, Commission studies and models have been:

  1. Used as the basis for developing floodplain management plans by the Commission and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)
  2. Provided to consultants throughout the Region for use in water resources projects
  3. Used by the Commission and consultants for municipalities and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the hydraulic designs of bridges and culverts associated with street and highway projects

Commission staff are currently updating floodplain boundaries on multiple streams in the Region. These include the Root River and tributaries in Milwaukee County, Southwick Creek in Walworth County, and the South Branch Pike River and tributaries in Kenosha County.

Floodplain Management Materials and Links

Stormwater Management Planning

The Commission has prepared stormwater management plans for several communities. Staff continue to assist municipalities and other units of government in addressing both the water quality and water quantity aspects of stormwater management. Staff served on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Standards Oversight Council committee that prepared technical standards for post-construction stormwater infiltration practices.

Stormwater Management Materials and Links

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Wisconsin DNR Storm Water Technical Management
Watercourse System Plan for Schoonmaker Creek
City of Burlington Stormwater Management Evaluation
Stormwater and Floodland Management Plan for the Butler Ditch Subwatershed
Water Quality Protection and Stormwater Management Plan for Big Cedar Lake
Stormwater and Floodland Management Plan for the Dousman Ditch and Underwood Creek Subwatersheds

Model Ordinances and Regulations

Links to model floodplain, shoreland, stormwater management, erosion and sedimentation control, and bluff/ravine setback ordinances or regulations are available on the Zoning and Ordinances page.


Lake and Stream Management

In addition to floodplain and stormwater management planning, the Commission works with local and State partners to prepare lake and stream management plans. More on lake and stream management planning may be found on the Lakes and Streams page.