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Hundreds of Arizona homes to run out of water by the end of the year 

Rio Verde Foothills has around 2,200 houses that do not have a long-term water source

November 22, 2022 7:02pm

Updated: November 22, 2022 7:38pm

Hundreds of homes in the Arizona desert are expected to run out of water by the end of the year, according to NBC News. 

Around 500 homes in the Rio Verde Foothills, in Maricopa County, will begin running out of water starting on January 1, 2023. Many houses in the unincorporated community were built without complying with Arizona’s 100-year water supply requirement.

Additionally, instead of having their own water system, residents of the Rio Verde Foothills rely on private wells or have their water trucked up from the nearby city of Scottsdale. 

Scottsdale gets 65% of its water from the Colorado River. However, last year, the U.S. The Bureau of Reclamation declared a Tier 1 water shortage on the Colorado River. In August of this year, the Reclamation Bureau increased the shortage to Tier 2a. 

With the ongoing drought in the region, Scottsdale said it would stop transporting water to communities outside its city limits starting next year, leaving Rio Verde Foothills without a stable supply of water. 

Scottsdale has been warning nearby communities to whom it supplies water that trucking water was only meant to be a temporary remedy, instead of a permanent solution. 

Arizona’s housing developments are supposed to guarantee 100 years–worth of water supply to be approved for construction under the state's Assured Water Supply Program. 

Rio Verde Foothills, however, built around 2,200 houses that bypassed the law and do not have a long-term water source. 

In August, Maricopa County rejected a proposal from 550 Rio Verde residents that wanted to form their own Domestic Water Improvement District. Despite other deals still being discussed behind closed doors, no firm decisions about the community’s declining water supply have been made. 

“It’s going to be really ugly and terrible for our homeowners and landowners,” Karen Nabity, a Rio Verde Foothills resident, told NBC News. “Some of us will borrow water from a friend’s well, others will have to pay a water hauler from far away.”