House committee's bill tries to force Scottsdale's hand on Rio Verde Foothills water supply

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2023 - 9:12pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2023 - 9:15pm

a Dynamite Water tanker
Damon Bruns
Dynamite Water is a private water company that serves the area.

Arizona’s House Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee has passed a measure that would force the City of Scottsdale to supply the nearby community of Rio Verde Foothills with water until 2026.

Residents of unincorporated Rio Verde have relied on water trucked in from Scottsdale until the city recently cut them off.

On Tuesday, the House committee voted to provide a temporary solution.

But Democrats said the Legislature needs to take a harder look at the issue.

Rep. Oscar De Los Santos (D-Laveen) said that although Rio Verde appears to be an outlier, tribal communities throughout the state lack sufficient water supplies.

“This is what happens when you fail to take climate change seriously. This is what happens when you fail to take water management seriously. This is what happens when you put corporate profits, and in this particular case, the profits of wildcat developers, above all else,” De Los Santos said.

Democrats expressed concerns that the bill could set a precedent that will tie the hands of water managers in the future.

Rep. Alexander Kolodin (R-Scottsdale) said he was disappointed that the vote fell along party lines.

“When this happens to you,” Kolodin said, “when this happens to your community, when this happens to your town, when it’s you who can’t bathe your kids, when it you who doesn’t have enough water to drink, when it’s your animals that are dying, who are the people who set forward with solutions, and who are the people that failed to act?”

Politics Water