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Rio Verde homeowners still searching for new source of water

Running water
Posted at 3:00 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 22:42:37-04

RIO VERDE, AZ — For months, families in the Rio Verde Foothills have been looking for a new source of water.

As ABC15 previously reported, because of the drought, Scottsdale officials announced that they would be limiting their water supply to city residents and local businesses. As a result, they will stop letting haulers transport water to people in Rio Verde.

Different groups of homeowners have offered solutions but that's caused some heated debates.

Rio Verde residents concerned about possible water loss

Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin is looking at different options including the continued use of water haulers.

"It immediately became clear to me that the Rio Verde Foothills water issue was an important issue and frankly it's been my number one priority since being appointed just three months ago," he said.

Some residents have created a petition to form a domestic water improvement district or DWID. However, some oppose that idea because it gives the group too much power. Another option, according to Galvin, is to continue using water haulers.

"There are hundreds of private water companies in Arizona, there are a couple that might end up being a solution so our goal here at the Board of Supervisors is to balance those different kinds of proposals and ideas and see which one is best for the overall community," he said.

Galvin did not say when a decision would be made but residents are worried that there won't be time to find another source before Scottsdale's end of the year deadline.

While Scottsdale has allowed haulers to bring water to Rio Verde for years, many residents did not realize this wasn't a guaranteed source when they moved into the area.

"You're telling me I might have to figure out some other kind of way to get water. That's just crazy," said Ari Phillip.

Phillip said she lost her home and rental property when the market crashed. Since then, she's been working on building her credit so she can get a new home.

"So it's a really big deal as a single woman that has no help from anyone else's income and being even a woman of color, being able to be out in such a beautiful area," she said.

Other residents are also making plans for life without water haulers.

Linda Vinson and her husband built their home in Rio Verde a few years ago and have no plans on leaving. Vinson ran down a list of things she needs water for.

"We get up, we take a shower, we give water to our dog, we wash our clothes, we wash our dishes," she said.

Vinson said she and her husband have already talked about how to conserve water if they don't find a new source.

Both Vinson and Phillip said they don't want to move and will push for answers.

"I'm not a quitter," said Phillip.

"I'm definitely a fighter when it comes to doing the right thing," she added. "It's where we love living, we've got friends out here, hopefully they'll be able to stay as well."

The DWID proposal does require the Board of Supervisors to approve the idea but no vote has been scheduled.

Galvin did not say exactly when he plans to make a decision but said he hopes to have a solution in the coming months.

"I'm not going to make a firm, exact deadline but hopefully in the next couple of months for sure."