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Veto next mishap in long line of Rio Verde Foothills water blockages

Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a bill that would have brought temporary relief to the community on Monday

RIO VERDE, Ariz. — For the hundreds of people living in the Rio Verde Foothills, extreme measures have been taken to survive.

“We have been living on rainwater for 142 days,” said resident Leigh Harris on Monday.

It's been going on for close to six months now since the City of Scottsdale cut off the community's water supply, forcing people like Harris to rely on rain and others' tap water to take showers, wash dishes, and go to the bathroom.

“We’re tired of this,” Harris said.

Donna Rice, another Rio Verde Foothills resident, is having to do the same.

“We're going to keep filling up jugs at friends' houses, using that water to flush the toilets,” Rice said. “It’s just really really not a good way to live.”

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed legislation on Monday that would have temporarily restored water service to the community by forcing Scottsdale to once again provide them with water. In a letter, Hobbs said she vetoed the bill because it would not provide an immediate solution and would only further delay the issue at hand.

READ MORE: Gov. Hobbs vetoes bill that would have restored water service to Rio Verde Foothills

Tammy Poole, another Rio Verde Foothills resident, was livid when she learned what happened.

“I just cannot fathom why a governor, our governor, would veto something so simple,” Poole said.

However, both Rice and Harris believe it was the right decision.

“Forcing Scottsdale to take care of us who our county residents, that would set a very bad precedent and you know what it would just end up back in court which would kick the can down even longer and we are still without water,” Harris said.

Both are now resting their faith on another bill that does have the support of Hobbs. 

If approved by the Senate, HB 2561 would set up a new "standpipe district" within state government to serve Rio Verde Foothills. There is also an emergency clause that would allow that oversite to begin right away.

The legislature reconvenes on June 12. This bill is the last hope the community has of getting the water they desperately need.

“Is it pretty? No, but it is the answer for now and we need water now,” Harris said.

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