Residents in Scottsdale, Ariz., file lawsuit against city for disrupting water supply

(UI) — After being cut off from its municipal water supply due to severe drought conditions and falling Colorado River water levels, a suburb of Arizona has filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale.

Residents of the unincorporated hamlet of Rio Verde Foothills filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale on Jan. 12 in Maricopa County Superior Court, requesting an order to compel the city to resume water services, CNBC reported.

In response to water problems along the Colorado River, the federal government last year proposed significant water cuts in Arizona. As drought conditions worsen in the Colorado River basin, the Biden administration has advised seven states to cut water use by 2 to 4 million acre-feet, equal to a third of the river's average flow.

The largest reservoirs in the nation have lost three quarters of their water due to the river's decrease. The desert west of Phoenix lacks sufficient groundwater resources, according to a report released last week by Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, to move forward with plans to build homes there.

More than a year ago, Scottsdale forewarned Rio Verde Foothills that the town's water supply will be shut off due to forecasts of a catastrophic drought and declining reservoir levels in the western United States. Scottsdale declared that it will stop selling water to the roughly 500 homes in Rio Verde Foothills because it needs to concentrate on water conservation for its own citizens.

Residents were left without a dependable source of water earlier this month when hundreds of homes outside of Scottsdale lost access to water from the city.

Homeowners of Rio Verde Foothills claim Scottsdale is in a position to receive water deliveries from water provider EPCOR and treat the water for domestic use at EPCOR's expense so that residents have access to water during the 24- to 36-month period that the firm needs to obtain the required approval, the lawsuit alleged according to CNBC.

Scottsdale, meanwhile, has stated that it will not collaborate with any outside businesses to offer water to Rio Verde Foothills residents, claiming that it is not required by law to keep providing water service to Rio Verde Foothills because the municipality is outside of Scottsdale's municipal boundaries.

Rio Verde Foothills is a separate town controlled by Maricopa County, according to a statement released by Scottsdale on Monday. As such, the city's decision does not prevent residents of Rio Verde Foothills from purchasing water from other sources.


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