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Rio Verde Foothills attempting to force vote on DWID by suing Maricopa County

Valley community residents said they filed the lawsuit over the county's lack of action after it was announced hundreds of residents would be losing water access.

RIO VERDE, Ariz. — Residents of a Valley community are suing the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to force a vote on forming a water district. The lawsuit comes after it was announced that thousands of people in the community would be losing water access last November.

The aim of the lawsuit, which was filed on March 14, is to force a vote on whether to form a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID) in the community as water hauling services are set to be cut off at the end of the year.

READ THE BACKSTORY HERE: Hundreds of homes in Rio Verde Foothills are about to lose water; they won't be the last

A DWID is a board of community elected officials that decides on how to meet a community's water needs. Forming a DWID also opens up funding and grant opportunities not previously offered.

"The ongoing delay from Maricopa County Board of Supervisors jeopardizes the ability of the DWID to secure water for residents as time is running out," said Meredith Deangelis, spokesperson for Rio Verde Foothills Water Resources. 

"None of the representatives could say when the DWID petition would be put on the BOS agenda, nor could they give a date as to when such an agenda date would be forthcoming."

The City of Scottsdale sent out a letter to numerous residents in the foothills last November saying the city would no longer allow out-of-town water hauling services as part of its drought contingency plan. Hundreds of homes in Rio Verde Foothills rely on water hauling as their only water source.

Residents who are for the DWID have been pushing the county to hold a vote on the formation of the district since Feb. 17 of last year.

"The proposed DWID Board feel this legal action is required to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors accountable to ensure residents have a legally dedicated, long-term, outside source of water for their homes," Deangelis said.

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

This is a developing story. Tune in to 12 News for the latest information.

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