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Scottsdale approves agreement to bring water to Rio Verde Foothills

Winter Weather Texas
Posted at 12:08 PM, Sep 06, 2023

RIO VERDE FOOTHILLS, AZ — Every drop of water matters to the residents living in Rio Verde Foothills, just outside of Scottsdale. They have endured eight months without a main water source.

Benjamin Alvarez tells ABC15 he has been working hard to keep his ranch open.

"It's tough, but I love animals," said Alvarez.

The community was cut off by the City of Scottsdale on January 1, after being warned for years this could happen under a drought contingency plan. Since then, there have been multiple attempts to secure a temporary solution. Now, a big step forward.


"Thank you, it's unanimous. Good luck," said City of Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega.
The Scottsdale city council approved an intergovernmental agreement on Tuesday with the newly created Rio Verde Foothills Standpipe District. ABC15 spoke with board members afterward.

"Like a long-distance runner after a race he has prepared for, we're just relieved that it's over," said Michael Miola, director of Rio Verde Foothills Standpipe District Board.

Meredith DeAngelis, who is chair of the board, explained their role.

"We needed to become a government entity so that Scottsdale could work directly with us and then, we are working directly with EPCOR. So, we are basically the entity that is the middle person to getting these agreements going and then we are also the voice of the community," said DeAngelis.

Under the agreement, Scottsdale will allow Rio Verde Foothills to use its infrastructure and treat water provided to them by the water company EPCOR, charging the standpipe district a base fee of $1,000 per month. Board members told ABC15 they have a few more steps to complete but they expect water back on by the end of the month.

"Just certainly a long time coming. Quite an education process understanding how the district needs to work," said Kent Thomas, vice chair of Rio Verde Foothills Standpipe District Board.

Residents must apply to be a part of the district and go through a validation process to receive water.

"Personally, for us - for myself and my family - we are signing up for the standpipe district," said Cody Reim, a Rio Verde Foothills resident.

Many have been looking forward to this moment as water has not been reliable and they have been forced to conserve more than ever. Others have had to make difficult decisions.

Alvarez had to sell nearly 60 of his horses. Monday's vote means security for the other animals he has left.