Guest Editorial: Statement from County Supervisor Thomas Galvin on Return of Reliable Water to Rio Verde Foothills

By Supervisor Thomas Galvin

“I am grateful that water is once again flowing to Rio Verde Foothills (RVF), but I am still baffled why it took this long. After all, my solution to this unnecessary crisis has been on the table for the past year. Instead, there was ten months of unnecessary pain to the Rio Verde Foothills. And City of Scottsdale residents were not served well by a mayor who prioritized his selfish political interests.

I represent both Scottsdale and RVF at the county level. A year ago, I mediated the dispute between Scottsdale and the RVF, and I proposed a treat and transport plan in which a private water utility company with the internal infrastructure and expertise to manage a standpipe would haul water from that standpipe to RVF residents. In the short term, that would have meant using existing City of Scottsdale infrastructure and paying the City for its usage. In the long-term, I worked with the private utility EPCOR to build and operate a new standpipe, and they agreed to do so.

My plan would not have involved a single drop of Scottsdale water, yet the city’s mayor chose to be an obstructionist and the Arizona Legislature took too long to intervene.

The legislation passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in June adds an unnecessary layer of government, a standpipe district. But it did support the thrust of what I’ve been saying for the past year: the existing standpipe is the only option to provide a short-term water source for RVF.

Residents will be able to fill their tanks starting today. They will no longer have to wonder where their water is going to come from and how much they will pay for it. This is progress, but again, it didn’t need to be this way. RVF should have had water months ago.

Cutting off water to Arizona residents, especially during a time of drought, will be a stain on the legacy of those who waged a campaign of cruelty.

Just as I was committed to finding a practical, expedient short-term solution to RVF’s water challenges, I will do my part to secure the community’s long-term water future. Together, we will bring water security and certainty to the good folks of Rio Verde Foothills. I will continue to honor and represent the best interests of Scottsdale.”