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RIO VERDE, Ariz. — In about 72 hours, the standpipe that supplies about 500 homes in Rio Verde Foothills, north of Scottsdale, will be cut off and there is one last Hail Mary attempt to prevent the shutoff from happening.
Those homes rely on water hauled to tanks on their properties. But the City of Scottsdale decided more than a year ago to stop providing water to those homes due to Arizona’s increasing drought.
Now some homeowners are raising money to hire lawyers to convince a court to prevent Scottsdale from cutting off the water.
Organizer Christy Jackman sent a statement saying, “The community is working together to raise money for an injunction so they can have affordable and enough water for their homes in January. All they need is for Scottsdale to process the water provided to them by EPCOR.”
The plan Jackman is referring to would see EPCOR, a water utility company, provide water to the City of Scottsdale for Rio Verde Foothills, and pay the city to process it for drinking. But Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega has said he would not agree to that plan.
It remains to be seen if an injunction could be filed and ruled upon before the cutoff date.
“How we got here is really ultimately because of one person: David Ortega,” said Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin of District 2.
Galvin voted against a plan that would have created a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID), which would function as a small water company. The DWID would have been able to buy water rights and provide water to the community. But some homeowners were against the plan, believing the district would have too much power.
“They were never able to definitively show that they had the capability to do it,” Galvin said. “And they said that if they were able to procure and acquire water, it would take about five and seven years.”
Supporters of the DWID dispute that timeline, saying they believe the water would be available immediately.
The Rio Verde Foothills DWID was denied in August. Since then, multiple other plans have been floated, but none have succeeded.
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