On January 1, around 1,000 people living in an upscale community outside of Scottsdale, Arizona suddenly found their water source cut off — and they’ve been dealing with a water crisis ever since in what’s been described by water experts as an “unusually dire” situation, according to The New York Times.
For many years, part of Rio Verde Foothills, an unincorporated community surrounded by golf courses, had been relying on Scottsdale for their water supply, which was trucked in. But with a parched Lake Mead and overburdened Colorado River going on 20 years of a drought, Scottsdale said they need to conserve water for their own residents and has left these residents in Rio Verde to fend for themselves.
This leaves the Rio dwellers that don’t have aquifers in a desperate search for other water sources. So far they have found smaller suppliers from distances much farther away who can deliver some water for a steep price, but there’s no telling how long this makeshift solution will last.
From The New York Times:
In a scramble to conserve, people are flushing their toilets with rainwater and lugging laundry to friends’ homes. They are eating off paper plates, skipping showers and fretting about whether they have staked their fates on what could become a desiccated ghost suburb. …
Last week, Arizona learned that its water shortages could be even worse than many residents realized. …
There are no sewers or water mains serving the Rio Verde Foothills, so for decades, homes there that did not have their own wells got water delivered by tanker trucks. (The homes that do have wells are not directly affected by the cutoff.) …
The trucks would fill up with Scottsdale water at a pipe 15 minutes’ drive from the Rio Verde Foothills, and then deliver water directly to people’s front doors. Or rather, to 5,000-gallon storage tanks buried in their yards — enough water to last an average family about a month. When the tanks ran low, homeowners would call or send an electronic signal to the water haulers for another delivery. …
Now, though, the water trucks can’t refill close by in Scottsdale, and are having to crisscross the Phoenix metro area in search of supplies, filling up in cities a two-hour round trip from Rio Verde. That has meant more driving, more waiting and more money. An average family’s water bill has jumped to $660 a month from $220, and it is unclear how long the water trucks will be able to keep drawing tens of thousands of gallons from those backup sources.
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