ARIZONA NEWS

State lawmaker believes Rio Verde Foothills one step closer to water solution

Jan 23, 2023, 4:35 AM

Stephen Coniaris talks with reporters after eating lunch at home in Rio Verde Foothills, Arizona, U...

Stephen Coniaris talks with reporters after eating lunch at home in Rio Verde Foothills, Arizona, U.S. on January 9, 2023. Coniaris and his wife Donna have been eating off of paper plates and cooking in less water-consuming ways to limit the amount of hauled water they use.

PHOENIX — After weeks without a reliable source of water, one lawmaker is hopeful that rural community Rio Verde Foothills could have a solution soon.

State Representative David Cook met with Scottsdale officials on Friday to discuss the issue, and thought the meeting went well.

“I believe we put together a proposal that is a win-win for Scottsdale residents and the community of Rio Verde [Foothills],” Cook said to KTAR News 92.3 FM.

He stressed while there are still many conversations to be had and details to be worked on, he felt things were moving in the right direction.

The long-term solution would involve private utility company Epcor, but the short-term proposal would offer an option in the interim.

“The short-term solution is finding water outside of Scottsdale’s Colorado River allocation,” Cook explained. “[Then] we can supply it to those residents through Scottsdale, at no cost to their people.”

He also has an idea for a potential water source.

“The Gila River Indian community has stepped up with their Colorado River allocation that they have the rights to,” he said. “They’ve offered up the acre-feet of water needed to bridge the gap.”

Implementing this short-term plan won’t happen overnight, so Cook proposed a more immediate fix.

“I’ve asked for a 30-day window in which Scottsdale, if they choose to, would be able to supply the water as they have in the past while government gets its work done,” he said. “That puts the pressure on us.”

The residents of Rio Verde Foothills may not have an answer to their water problem yet, but Cook believes this meeting made that goal one step closer.

“I am very optimistic that a short-term and long-term solution will be found with all the entities involved,” he said. “This is how government should work. It should be solving problems for people, not creating them.”

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State lawmaker believes Rio Verde Foothills one step closer to water solution