The first mission of AMAFCA was to be the local sponsor for construction of two very large federally funded projects, the North and South Diversion Channels, which were built by the Army Corps of Engineers. The North Diversion Channel drains Northeast Albuquerque and can carry 44,000 cubic feet of water per second at its outlet. The smaller, South Diversion Channel protects the Southeast Valley by intercepting flows from Southeast Albuquerque and the Tijeras Arroyo. Today AMAFCA is still responsible for these two main flood control structures.
Traditional flood control measures focus on protection of existing development through construction of dams (to hold water back) and channels (to divert or confine flows).
The North and South Diversion Channels are examples of traditional channels. The North Diversion Channel is a concrete-lined arroyo, and the South Diversion Channel is rock and concrete-lined. Both arroyos move floodwater to the river.
Dams and Levees
A typical AMAFCA dam contains a principal spillway, which is a pipe under the dam, and an emergency spillway, which is the large channel around the side or over the top of the dam that acts as a safety valve. A levee is like a dam but confines water along a waterway such as a river.
Dams and other types of detention basins collect floodwater and release it slowly to prevent downstream damage. AMAFCA dams are designed to detain the 1% storm. A storm greater than that, however, could flow through the emergency spillway, and cause some downstream flooding.
The Calabacillas Arroyo is one example of a non-traditional channel built by AMAFCA. Soil-cement, made from a combination of local soil and cement, mimics the look of a natural arroyo while providing greater erosion protection than that of a plain dirt arroyo.
The Calabacillas Arroyo also incorporates artwork elements into the design of the arroyo walls, in the section between Coors Boulevard and the Rio Grande.
AMAFCA is also concerned with protecting the quality of water for Albuquerque and its surrounding areas as all of the water in our arroyos and channels eventually reaches the Rio Grande River.
Structures which catch debris and protect the Rio Grande from pollution are often modeled in the UNM Hydraulics Lab before they are built by AMAFCA.
Requesting Gate & Easement Access
Please contact AMAFCA’s Real Estate Manager at (505) 884-2215 for more details.
Report a Problem – Facility & Maintenance Issues
To determine the location, name, and responsible agency for maintaining the facility, please use our color-coded Maintenance Map. Agency contact information is listed below:
To report a problem or issue with one of AMAFCA’s facilities, please call our general information line at (505) 884-2215 or email us at Report@amafca.org. Please be sure to provide your name, contact information, as well as the location of the problem and detailed description of the problem you are reporting. Thank you!