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Scottsdale says it will cooperate if Hobbs signs Rio Verde Foothills water bill

Scottsdale says it will cooperate if Gov. Katie Hobbs signs a bill to force the city to resume water sales to Rio Verde Foothills. The city cut off water for the unincorporated community in January in response to drought. 

The city of Scottsdale opposed multiple pieces of legislation state lawmakers put forward this session that would have required it to turn the taps back on for Rio Verde Foothills.

In an  op-ed this month in the Arizona Capitol Times, Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega even referred to one bill to restore water to Rio Verde Foothills as, "a frontal attack on the residents of Scottsdale who have invested in the best water technology, expert personnel and water portfolio in the country."

But now that a similar bill has passed and is  awaiting the governor’s signature, the city says it is ready to do its part.

"Scottsdale worked diligently with legislators and the Governor’s office and is confident that this legislation protects Scottsdale residents and addresses the city's primary short-term concerns while placing the city back into a role as temporary provider of water for Rio Verde Foothills," a  statement from the city manager's office said. 

The statement said this bill will address the city’s concerns by limiting the number of homes served and reimbursing the city for the costs of the water service.

Once the governor signs the bill into law, a new, temporary water district will be formed. That district board will have to arrange a water agreement with Scottsdale’s City Council.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.