AG affirms Maricopa County’s power to deal with Scottsdale on Rio Verde issue

By Camryn Sanchez | Arizona Capitol Times

Attorney General Kris Mayes issued an opinion today affirming that Maricopa County has the power to temporarily supply water to Rio Verde, which was recently cut off by Scottsdale after decades of reliance on the city for water. 

Rep. David Cook, R-Globe, requested an expedited opinion from Mayes in January, on whether the county can enter a lease agreement with a government entity and/or a private company on an emergency basis for this purpose. 

For decades, Scottsdale provided water to Rio Verde, but warned the unincorporated community several times that it would eventually be cut off. On Jan. 1, Scottsdale followed through on the threat and left many residents without water.  

Rio Verde sued Scottsdale, but a court ruled the city was within its rights to stop providing the water.  

State lawmakers have been scrambling to push bills that would help Rio Verde, but none have passed the Legislature yet, and Democrats in the House and Senate wouldn’t offer the support needed for immediate relief.  

Scottsdale wouldn’t be swayed on its decision and suggested the county handle the issue – but until Mayes issued her opinion, the county said it didn’t have the power to provide any water to Rio Verde. 


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February 2023