Wednesday 18 January 2023

Arizona Suburb Sues Nearby City After Water Supply Is Shut Off

 A suburb in Arizona is suing the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, after its city water supplies were shut off.

Rio Verde Foothills had its water turned off by the city of Scottsdale earlier this month. Scottsdale has sold water to around 500 to 700 residences in the area, but it said that it cannot afford to spare the water anymore and needs to keep it for the people who live in its own city.

On Thursday, residents filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale to try to get it to start giving the small community water again.

The lawsuit noted that EPCOR, a water utility business, wants to set up a water facility to give water to Rio Verde. Until it is greenlit and its facility is established and sending water to Rio Verde, EPCOR wants to “provide Central Arizona Project (CAP) water at no cost to Scottsdale to replace” the water Rio Verde was getting, as well as provide funds for Scottsdale to treat the water. Scottsdale could then give water to Rio Verde at no cost to its finances or resources.

Scottsdale has noted that it would not operate with outside businesses in order to give water to Rio Verde Foothills.

“Rio Verde is a separate community governed by Maricopa County, not the City of Scottsdale. Scottsdale has warned and advised that it is not responsible for Rio Verde for many years, especially given the requirements of the City’s mandated drought plan,” Scottsdale said in a statement on Monday. “The city remains firm in that position, and confident it is on the right side of the law.”

Residents of Rio Verde are trying to cut down on water use by taking laundry to friends’ houses and even using rainwater to flush the toilets. They are not taking as many showers and are using paper plates over dishes, The New York Times reported.

Water used to be delivered via trucks to Rio Verde houses that didn’t have wells, but now the delivery trucks have to go on longer trips in order to bring water to the region, which has led to an up-charge for people getting the water.

While the recent storms in California have been helpful in replenishing some of the land and reservoirs, the drought has still caused immense damage. Lake Mead has become shockingly dry and the Colorado River has been struggling.

“It’s a cautionary tale for home buyers,” Sarah Porter, the director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University, said, per the Times. “We can’t just protect every single person who buys a parcel and builds a home. There isn’t enough money or water.” She noted that other parts of Arizona also get their water from bigger cities that are close by.

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