City Council

Scottsdale, Valley cities adjust agreement regarding Gila River rights

Posted 9/7/20

A joint agreement between Scottsdale and several other Valley cities regarding surface water rights of the Gila River will undergo some slight changes.

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City Council

Scottsdale, Valley cities adjust agreement regarding Gila River rights

Posted

A joint agreement between Scottsdale and several other Valley cities regarding surface water rights of the Gila River will undergo some slight changes.

The Scottsdale City Council approved an amendment to an intergovernmental agreement with the cities of Avondale, Glendale and Mesa to remove the city of Chandler from the agreement. Chandler requested the removal as it no longer wants to be included.

The City Council also approved another legal services agreement that allows the city to pay up to $38,400 in legal fees to Willaim H. Anger of Engelman Berger PC.

The intergovernmental agreement, which has been around since 1992, essentially dictates each group to provide joint funding for outside legal counsel regarding the surface water rights to the Gila River and its tributaries.

The five cities elected to move forward with the agreement because they all had common interests in the Gila River General Stream Adjudication. The cities retained Mr. Anger of Engelman Berger PC as counsel for legal services.

The agreement also causes each participant to enter into a legal services contract with the jointly retained law firm.

The adjudication is a legal action that began in the late 1970s, confirming the surface water rights of all claimants to the Gila River and its tributaries.

The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado River that runs from the Gila National Forest in New Mexico to the Colardo River near Yuma. It runs along the southeast portion of the Valley.

A city staff report to council claims the five cities shared “common positions” in the adjudication and their leaders believed joint legal representation would result in “a stronger voice with favorable impacts” on various issues.

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