Pima County may sue Tucson over water rates in unincorporated areas

By Thalia Lopez
Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 8:11am

Pima County is preparing to file a lawsuit against the city of Tucson over the differential water rates for those considered unincorporated.

On Tuesday the city voted to charge customers in outer areas 40% more for the same amount of water. Differential water rates are common in most Arizona cities, including Phoenix. Before issuing a change in water rates, a city must provide proof that it costs more to provide services to those living outside city limits.

Tucson has conducted a cost analysis, and it has proved there is a higher cost for unincorporated areas to receive water.

“There are justifications for it including the higher rate of cost for infrastructure and to drive water use down in those higher water use areas.” James MacAdam is the superintendent for public information and conservation for Tucson Water.

Water conservation is a main concern not only for Tucson but for all of Arizona, and finding a way to best conserve water sources is a common goal both parties share.  The changes in water rates are scheduled to take effect Dec. 1 or sometime soon after.