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Scottsdale approves deal to restore water services for Rio Verde Foothills

After nine months without a reliable water source, Rio Verde Foothills has reached a water deal with the city of Scottsdale. Scottsdale City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to allow water deliveries to its neighboring, unincorporated community to resume through 2025. 

Hundreds of homes in Rio Verde Foothills rely on hauled water. For years, haulers filled their tanks nearby in Scottsdale. But Scottsdale cut off water sales to Rio Verde Foothills in January due to drought restrictions. 

The state legislature in  June voted to create a small government agency to negotiate a short-term fix between Scottsdale and Rio Verde Foothills.

That new Rio Verde Foothills Standpipe District board wrote an  intergovernmental agreement that outlines terms for water haulers to once again fill up in Scottsdale. The new agreement specifies Scottsdale will only be responsible treating water; utility provider EPCOR will provide the water from a source separate from the city's supply. 

“Scottsdale residents can feel really great about the fact that none of their water is going to Rio Verde Foothills,” Standpipe District board chair, Meredith DeAngelis told KJZZ News. 

Scottsdale will also be reimbursed for costs of treating the water. 

DeAngelis said she expects water deliveries will begin again within a few weeks.

“There’s still some logistics that need to be done, but I wouldn’t anticipate it’s going to take us very long,” she said. 

The agreement with Scottsdale will be temporary. EPCOR is still seeking approval from the state to become a water provider for Rio Verde Foothills long-term.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.