Maricopa County rejects Scottsdale's water plan for Rio Verde Foothills

Published: Friday, March 3, 2023 - 5:01pm
Updated: Monday, March 6, 2023 - 10:24am
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Residents of Rio Verde Foothills have entered a third month without a reliable source of water. The city of Scottsdale cut off supply at the start of the year after decades of delivery.

Rio Verde, an unincorporated community, is governed by Maricopa County.

And Friday, county supervisors rejected a city proposal to resume service at triple the cost. The board criticized the plan as “bureaucratic and unworkable” and urged Scottsdale to work with private utility, EPCOR, for a solution.

“EPCOR raised their hand and said we can serve and not one other entity has said they can do that, not a tribe, not another private water company, not another municipality,” Supervisor Thomas Galvin said.

Galvin's district includes Scottsdale and Rio Verde, and he’s been trying to find common ground. But the city’s mayor has been adamantly opposed to any deal involving EPCOR.

Supervisor Jack Sellers said it makes sense for EPCOR to be part of the solution.

“Using existing entities already in the business of supplying water to solve a water problem seems like a sensible solution for the Rio Verde area, and any other area being impacted by water shortages," Sellers said.

A Scottsdale City Council member had said the proposal was up for negotiation. But on Friday, several county officials said no one from the city had responded to inquiries.

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