State lawmaker proposes water solution for Rio Verde Foothills to Scottsdale officials

Representative David Cook introduced a plan to Scottsdale officials to bring water to the Rio Verde Foothills without using a drop of Scottsdale’s supply.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:58 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - There’s a rush to find a solution for hundreds of families in a community northeast of the Valley three weeks after their water supply was turned off. Scottsdale cut off the Rio Verde Foothills after warning them for years that this change was coming so the city could conserve water.

On Friday, Representative David Cook introduced a short-term plan to Scottsdale officials to bring water to the Rio Verde Foothills without using a drop of Scottsdale’s supply. “There is water, we just have to be able to augment it and sit down and have adult conversations,” said Rep. Cook. One of those adult conversations includes his new proposal: using water from the Gila River Indian Community, paying Scottsdale to run it through their infrastructure to the people who need it in Rio Verde Foothills. “We need to get these written agreements in place, then that way we can lean forward to the long-term solution which is getting someone to service that area and as Scottsdale said they wanted ‘get out of the water business’,” said Rep. Cook.

For years, the City of Scottsdale warned they’d cut off the water, a decision triggered by their drought management plan. Before the 2023 deadline passed, the unincorporated community proposed a domestic water management plan to solve the problem, but most people were not on board. The Maricopa Board of Supervisors struck it down in late August.

This morning Supervisor Thomas Galvin put Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega on blast, accusing him of missing a joint meeting. “He did not show up for the meeting, he refuses to come out of his office and we find that to be really bizarre and unfortunate,” said Galvin. Arizona’s Family reached out to Galvin for additional comment and Mayor Ortega but did not hear back. “The Mayor of Scottsdale did show up to the meeting this morning,” said Rep. Cook. “The start of the meeting was a little rocky, but we did end up where we need to be with a plan,” said Rep. Cook.

A short-term plan that Rep. Cook said is not kicking the can down the road. “We need to get a utility company that is now their responsibility to supplying water in that area,” said Rep. Cook. “There is a company at the corporation commission on docket, that is moving that plan forward.”

Rep. Cook’s plan still needs approval from the City of Scottsdale, a council vote, and permission from Gila River Indian Community. Arizona’s Family will keep you updated on developments in this story.