Scottsdale City Council to consider Rio Verde Foothills agreement

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the City Council will consider authorizing the city manager to execute an agreement with Maricopa County that would re-open a supply of water for non-city residents in unincorporated Rio Verde Foothills, while remaining in compliance with Scottsdale's drought management plan. 

Per that state-mandated plan, Scottsdale restricted access to its water for non-city residents on Jan. 1. Since then, Scottsdale has been working with state and county representatives to provide a temporary solution for Rio Verde Foothills residents. 

The solution now proposed - subject to approval by the Scottsdale City Council and then Maricopa County - would provide temporary (up to three years) access to city water for current Rio Verde Foothill residents. Under the parameters of the agreement, the county will attempt a building permit moratorium in the impacted area to the extent allowed under state law. 

The agreement is contingent on the city obtaining additional water resources from a third party that Scottsdale would treat and make available for delivery by Maricopa County. The city will fully recover its costs through fees charged to Maricopa County.  

“Early in this process, the Scottsdale City Council committed to working toward solutions for Rio Verde Foothills that comply with our drought management plan and do not negatively impact city residents – this proposal achieves those goals,” said Mayor David D. Ortega. “Many different levels of government have come together to draft this solution, and Scottsdale looks forward to Maricopa County’s action on the last few steps.” 

If water resources from a third-party are reduced for any reason, including drought, the city will reduce deliveries to Rio Verde Foothills residents.   

If approved by the Scottsdale City Council, water via Scottsdale can be available to Maricopa County as soon as they can approve the agreement and establish a method for making this water available to Rio Verde Foothills residents. 

Review the City Council report and draft agreement here.

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