As Rio Verde residents deal with end-of-the-year water shutoff, Maricopa County officials offer alternatives

Rio Verde residents remain concerned over water, after officials with the City of Scottsdale announced they were going to stop supplying water there at the end of the year.

Related: Water woes: Rio Verde Foothills residents worried as Scottsdale gets ready to cut off their water access

Residents in the Rio Verde Foothills area received a notice in late 2021 from the City of Scottsdale, which states that Scottsdale Water will be restricting water hauling to only residents within city limits, due to the water supply shortage on the Colorado River and the activation of Stage One of the city's drought management plan.

"If we can't figure this, we lose all equity in the home and then some," said one resident at the time. "We don't have anything left. We have no options."

Officials with the City of Scottsdale say they have been notifying residents for at least a couple of years.

Meetings held between officials and Rio Verde residents

On Feb. 4, two meetings were held to discuss ideas for the future.

"The priority here is that we have to find a resolution. We have to find an answer. I know this community has been driven by what I would consider years of inaction," said one person at the meeting.

During the meeting, Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin discuss some possible long-term options.

"Where is the water coming from, how much is it going to cost? Those are huge questions," said another person at the meeting.

One of the options discussed is creating a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID). This solution will levy taxes and fees on residents who sign up, to pay for and provide water service.

Christy Jackman, who has lived in Rio Verde for 12 years, says many homeowners are opposed to that option.

"What we need to do now is we need to find a solution that will be equitable in price, available to all residents whether we have wells and only use the water for swimming pools, or whether we need it for our daily substances, but that water needs to be available to every person at the same price," said Jackman,

Aside from a DWID, Galvin and his colleagues are looking into two other options.

"I’m not going to tell people what they want to hear," said Galvin. "I’m going to tell people what I’ve found, what I’ve discovered, what I’ve researched. At some point, the decision is going to fall on me in my office, but I’m going to be doing it in the consultation of people that I work with," said Galvin.

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