As water dries up in Arizona community, residents use rainwater to flush toilets and plastic plates to avoid dishwashing

Some residents in an affluent Arizona community are using rainwater to flush toilets and plastic plates to avoid washing dishes and buying gym memberships to shower after their

water supply was cut off Jan. 1 because of extreme drought conditions in the West. The situation compelled some of Rio Verde Foothills' 2,200 residents last week to sue the

neighboring city of Scottsdale, which had supplied water to about 500 homeowners in the unincorporated rural community. The homeowners had relied on truck haulers to deliver

water from Scottsdale, but the city stopped the long-running arrangement this year, citing drought conditions that make it unfeasible to provide water to

nonresidents. Another 200 homeowners in Rio Verde get water from wells on their property that are running dry, forcing them to periodically rely on water haulers, as well,

residents said this week. The municipal utility Scottsdale Water decided to cut off Rio Verde Foothills to reduce its consumption as drought persists throughout the West.

Arizona relies on water from the diminishing Colorado River, which supplies water to about 40 million people in several states. The utility informed Rio Verde Foothills in

November 2021 that its water would be cut off starting this year. Scottsdale’s conservation efforts have left nearby residents of Rio Verde Foothills without enough water

for basic necessities, such as doing laundry and washing dishes. “The people are trying to make water go so much further than we have been, not that you want to do it to

this extreme,” said Rio Verde resident Karen Nabity, who has collected rainwater from recent downpours in buckets to flush her toilet.