Log in


Milhaven: Scottsdale needs to be proactive about Rio Verde Foothills water


Water is the lifeblood of Arizona’s future and is one of the most important issues facing Scottsdale.

On Jan. 1, Scottsdale shut off water to Rio Verde Foothills, an unincorporated area east of Scottsdale. Here we are in June, folks are desperate and state lawmakers are trying to find a solution.

The mayor argues that he’s trying to maintain local control, but he is losing control. State lawmakers introduced  bills to require Scottsdale to treat and transport water to the RVF. Although Gov. Hobbs vetoed one bill, House Bill 2441, with her veto she promised to sign an alternative bill, House Bill 2561, dictating terms to Scottsdale.

It isn’t clear why the mayor refuses to be part of the solution. Statements from the city only confuse and complicate.

Scottsdale told RVF residents to find a new water source. They did: EPCOR, the largest private water provider in Arizona. There is one hitch. EPCOR needs three years to build the infrastructure to deliver water to the area.

So, here is the solution. For the next three years,

  •  EPCOR supplies the water.
  • Scottsdale treats and transports the water to the existing standpipe.
  • Only RVF residents who had Scottsdale water accounts before Jan. 1 can obtain water from the standpipe.
  • Scottsdale bills RVF water users for Scottsdale infrastructure costs and EPCOR water.

Bottom line: Everything stays the same as it has been for decades except that it is EPCOR’s water.

We need a mayor with pragmatic solutions. Mayor Ortega, stop playing political games and negotiate a solution to help our neighbors. Don’t abdicate control to the state legislature. Not a drop of Scottsdale water nor a dime of
Scottsdale’s money is needed to help our neighbors.

Linda Milhaven worked in the financial sector and served three terms on the Scottsdale City Council.