During the September emergency open meeting, commissioners heard from EPCOR Water Arizona (EPCOR) and other affected parties about potential water solutions for residents of the Rio Verde Foothills community near Scottsdale. Rio Verde Foothills is an unincorporated subdivision that has no municipal water service and is currently not served by a regulated private water company.
A significant portion of the Rio Verde foothills community depends on water haulers to truck water into the area, while some residents have private wells. Water is currently purchased from the City of Scottsdale and then trucked to the community for delivery. Scottsdale has notified residents that due to current drought conditions, they will no longer allow water to be transported from its hydrant starting January 1, 2023, leaving residents with the prospect of not having access to the ‘water.
Residents of Rio Verde Foothills first approached the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to establish a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID); however, the Supervisory Board rejected this option in August.
The Corporation Commission contacted regulated water companies that operate near the foothills of the Rio Verde to see if any were interested in offering a solution that would provide service to the community. EPCOR has submitted a letter indicating its interest in finding a solution to this issue. At the Wednesday, September 21, 2022 meeting, EPCOR agreed to submit an application to construct a fire hydrant for use by the Rio Verde Foothills community. This request will be submitted to the Commission for a vote at a future public meeting. If approved, construction of the standpipe could take up to 36 months.
The Board does not have the power to compel a utility company to extend its service territory but may approve an application for extension made by a utility company.