Rio Verde Foothills face water crisis

Over 1,000 Rio Verde Foothills residents are cut off from the City of Scottsdale’s water supply.
Over 1,000 Rio Verde Foothills residents are cut off from the City of Scottsdale’s water supply.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 4:13 PM MDT
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (KJCT) - Lawmakers are working to address a water crisis on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona.

The residents in Rio Verde are not guaranteed a supply to water.

Cody Reim, a resident, drives his truck to haul his own water because he cannot afford to have it delivered.

“Right now I have to drive to Apache Junction or my friend’s house in a nearby town and fill up with a garden hose,” said Reim.

Reim explains that he does this several times a week for his family of six, even though they practice strict conservation efforts.

The Rio Verde Foothills lost its water source more than two months ago.

“Yeah, it’s gonna be very dangerous here this summer,” said Reim.

A House bill proposed, 2561, would have required the city to provide water to residents outside of its service area if they don’t have access to sufficient water.

Scottsdale had proposed an agreement for the City and County to buy water from a third party source to treat it and sell it to Maricopa County.

In turn, the County would handle distribution to Rio Verde Foothills residents and billing -- but the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors rejected it.

“There’s 700 homes that need water in Rio Verde foothills,” said Reim. “I mean, how could someone say no to that?”

The argument to reject included citing that Scottsdale never identified a water source, increased water costs and limited the amount of water that can be used.

House Democrats urged stakeholders to keep working on a negotiated solution to restore water, that is scheduled to happen this week.

Representative David Cook (R) hopes that a solution can be found soon.

“We will now move towards legislation that can address the situation for these people,” said Rep. Cook. “Their continued suffering is a result of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and their lack of action.

Reim agrees with Maricopa County’s concerns and is keeping hope that they will have water before triple digits arrive.

“But we are preparing for the event that that happens and it may mean that we can’t live in our home through the summer,” said Reim.