Cities Are Cutting Water Supply Off For Neighboring Suburbs

Residential construction laws and loopholes are leaving residents in the Palo Valley Foothills in Arizona without a water supply.

By Brian Scheid | Published

Water supply

Most homeowners in this country have some experience when their home has its water supply temporarily compromised. Regardless of the reason why the water wasn’t running we remember the awful experience of not having the ability to flush our toilets, take a warm or cold shower, or being able to boil water to cook a meal. It’s not a pleasurable experience, and the only thing that makes it tolerable is that it is temporary, we know once the problem is resolved the water will flow once again to our homes, but for one community in Arizona the water supply has been shut off, and it is not coming back. 

The Palo Verde Foothills neighborhood that’s located outside of Scottsdale, Arizona has been cut off by the city of Scottsdale from the city’s water supply.  According to The Byte, “While the situation in the Palo Verde Foothills, which has rendered residents without necessities like reliable fire protection, is certainly dire, it’s more complicated than meets the eye.” How complicated can it be when water is a necessity, and it’s a standard when you purchase a home that it will have access to a functioning water supply system?

That’s not the case in Arizona as developers take advantage of cheap land prices and utilize loopholes in the laws of the state that require those developers to prove these new residences that are constructed have access to a 100-year water supply. This new neighborhood is located outside of the city of Scottsdale’s city limits, and even though they are both located in Maricopa County the city has passed this problem off as a county problem and not the city of Scottsdale’s problem.  This is where unchecked residential development collides with an ever-changing global climate shift that has caused major droughts in Arizona as well as the overuse of the Colorado River as a water source for over a century and a half now. 

So where does this leave the residents of the Palo Verde Foothills in this mess?  Inconvenienced is the answer to that question as they utilize water delivery trucks to provide some sort of water for their homes, they have seen their water bills climb from $220 a month to well over $1,000 a month. They attempt to conserve that water by limiting showers and toilet flushes, using paper plates to minimize dishes, and even driving into the city of Scottsdale to use laundromats for their weekly laundry day.

One resident is even installing a rain collection and water purifying system to try and make do, hoping in the future either the city annexes this neighborhood and restores water access or the county steps up and builds a water supply link to the community. Either way, it may be a long period of time before this neighborhood’s water supply is restored. Not to mention that the resale value of those homes must be plummeting because home buyers usually want to buy homes that have running water and this problem is going to make the resale of these homes virtually impossible. 

Arizona may want to look at some of its new residential construction laws and fix these loopholes that have impacted one neighborhood in its state. Hopefully, there are no more communities that find themselves in the same predicament as Palo Verde Foothills.