Arizona lawmaker sends letters to AG, Scottsdale officials about Rio Verde Foothills water issue

Jan 28, 2023, 9:38 AM | Updated: 9:39 am

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — An Arizona lawmaker this week sent letters to Attorney General Kris Mayes and Scottsdale officials in an ongoing attempt to help find a solution to water being cut off from residents of Rio Verde Foothills.

Republican Rep. David Cook asked Mayes whether a county board of supervisors could enter into a short-term lease agreement with a willing government entity or private company to supply water to the about 500 homes located in unincorporated Maricopa County northeast of Scottsdale.

“Under such an agreement, the parties would agree to have that water with the City run through their water treatment system, with the City’s agreement and approval to a location or point of source for residents and businesses,” Cook wrote in the letter, adding the contract would last three years.

“This proposed solution would bridge the gap for the short term until the long-term solution can be realized.”

Cook said three years would allow the long-term solution of the area going through a process with the Arizona Corporation Commission to assign a utility company and the needed infrastructure to be built to supply water.

Scottsdale told residents of Rio Verde Foothills in 2021 that the water service being provided for more than 30 years would cease at the end of 2022, with the city following through with that promise on Jan. 1.

Residents of the community responded by suing Scottsdale earlier this month while they use up the last of the water that was delivered in late December.

In the letter to Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega and city councilmembers, Cook urged for the moratorium to be lifted for at least 30 days to allow time to receive Mayes’ response.

“Losing access to that source of water is proving to be a significant hardship for those families who have relied on it,” Cook wrote. “Securing a new, long-term source of water is not a quick or easy task.”

Cook met with Scottsdale officials last week on the issue and said he thought the meeting went well and things were moving in the right direction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Arizona lawmaker sends letters to AG, Scottsdale officials about Rio Verde Foothills water issue