environment What Happens When Your Water Source Dries Up? This Community Found Out. An ongoing drought is causing big problems for this Arizona neighborhood. Tenor
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Along with the air that we breathe, water is a fundamental element without which human life cannot exist. In one otherwise wealthy Arizona community, about 1,000 residents are trying to figure out how to meet their fundamental need for this life-sustaining resource.

Officials blame the drought

Although Rio Verde Foothills is technically a separate and unincorporated community, it had long shared a water supply with neighboring Scottsdale. As reservoirs in Lake Mead and the Colorado River started to dry up, however, Scottsdale officials had to make a tough decision.

In the end, they chose to take care of their own and essentially left the residents of Rio Verde Foothills to find a solution on their own.

Some locals have wells on their property, but everyone else has been forced to find inconvenient and expensive new sources.

Some much smaller suppliers have been willing to ship in water for a premium price, but that’s not a long-term fix.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Arizona and much of the west have had to make deep cuts to water usage as a result of an ongoing drought. Perhaps nowhere has that been more imperative than Rio Verde Foothills.

The average water bill in the community has skyrocketed from about $220 per month to a staggering $660.

As a result, residents are doing whatever they can to use as little water as possible. Some are collecting what little rainwater they can and using it to flush their toilets. Other measures include skipping showers, using disposable plates and cups to avoid washing dishes, and taking laundry to a friend’s home or using a laundromat.

We should all be doing our part to limit water use, but this community has been forced to sacrifice more than its fair share.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee January 17th, 2023
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