Gov. Katie Hobbs signs bill giving Rio Verde Foothills community solution to water woes
Jun 19, 2023, 3:58 PM | Updated: 4:39 pm
(Associated Press Photo)
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a bipartisan bill Monday that gives the Rio Verde Foothills an interim solution to its water problems as they await a permanent fix involving private utility EPCOR.
Now that Hobbs signed SB1432 into law, a standpipe district will form, which will enter into an agreement to use Scottsdale’s water infrastructure.
Residents of the community outside Scottsdale had been feuding with the city, which they depended on for water. The city had cut off its supply to the Rio Verde Foothills community, saying it needed to guarantee there was enough for its own residents due to a deep, long-lasting drought.
Gov. Hobbs had previously vetoed a bill on this issue in May because it failed to provide an immediate solution to the community’s water problems.
“This bipartisan bill shows that when we put politics aside, we can come together to solve problems for everyday Arizonans,” Gov. Hobbs said in a press release.
“While it isn’t perfect, I’m glad we were able to deliver relief for the residents of Rio Verde Foothills. Moving forward, I will keep working across the aisle to protect water for every Arizonan and ensure we continue our growth and make Arizona the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Resident Leigh Harris-Avril said at a press conference Monday her family has been living for the last 170 days mainly on rainwater at their house.
“We were worried that if this doesn’t pass we were going to run out if we happen to have a non-soon this summer,” she said.
Republican Rep. Alexander Kolodin said the era of kicking the can down the road is over.
“Arizona’s water issues are serious, but, today, we learned that they are also solvable. I look forward to that challenge,” Kolodin said in the press release.
In response to the bill signing, Democratic Rep. Laura Terech said some things are bigger than party and water is one of them.
“The fact that this bill is on the Governor’s desk today is proof that not only is bipartisanship possible, it’s achievable if we simply have the courage and political will to set our differences aside for meaningful change,” Terech said in the press release.
KTAR 92.3 FM Luke Forstner contributed to this report.