SCOTTSDALE, Ariz — The first Valley community threatened with losing virtually all of its water supply by year's end now has a deadline to find a solution.
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) sent out a letter to Rio Verde Foothills community members saying a solution would need to be filed by mid-September for commission consideration.
"The City of Scottsdale informed the Rio Verde Foothills community that it would no longer be supplying water to the community at the end of 2022," the letter sent by Commissioner Anna Tovar said. "Around 500 homes in Rio Verde rely on water hauling services. As of today, no solution has been found."
Tovar says that she's heard of "several [public service corporations] near the community" that may be willing to help, but couldn't provide the names of specific corporations when asked by 12News.
ORIGINAL STORY: Hundreds of homes in Rio Verde Foothills are about to lose water; they won't be the last
See the commissioner's full letter here:
Two factions have formed in the foothills, driven by what they believe to be the best solution to their water woes: either forming a Designated Water Improvement District (DWID) or continuing water hauling services using a local water utility provider instead of Scottsdale.
A DWID allows the people who use the water to take shared responsibility for managing their own supply, according to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona. This route would allow residents to democratically decide on where their water comes from, such as pumping from nearby sources, building canals or buying privately-owned water systems.
The power of a DWID to drill more wells and condemn property, however, has steered other residents towards a less bureaucratic option.
The continuation of water hauling services through a nearby utility isn't a long-term solution, as whichever utility company residents decide on could once again restrict hauling services as the Southwest's megadrought worsens. But, the option would stave off a full stoppage at year's end if it's approved by the ACC.
If the mid-September deadline isn't met, a full water supply stoppage would be imminent.
Water levels are dwindling across the Southwest as the megadrought continues. Here's how Arizona and local communities are being affected.