Arizona suburb struggling after Scottsdale cut off water supply amid Western drought

Water tanker being filled in Arizona
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The city of Scottsdale, Arizona, cut off its municipal water from the unincorporated community of Rio Verde Foothills on Jan. 1, after more than a year of warning. Scottsdale gets the majority of its water from the Colorado River, and with Arizona's allotment of river water cut amid a long drought in the U.S. West, "the city cannot be responsible for the water needs of a separate community especially given its unlimited and unregulated growth," Scottsdale's city manager's office wrote in December.

Rio Verde Foothills doesn't have a sewage system or water mains. The houses in the subdivision that don't have wells — or about 500 to 700 homes — relied on water trucked in from a municipal tap on the edge of Scottsdale. They stored the water in tanks on their property. Now, as the water trucks have to drive further to find water supplies, the price of water has tripled.

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