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  • Writer's pictureClimate Alpha

Skipped Showers, Paper Plates: An Arizona Suburb’s Water Is Cut Off

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Hundreds of homes outside the boundaries of Scottsdale can no longer get water from the city, so their owners are living a worst-case scenario of drought in the West. For hundreds of Arizona homeowners, the American dream has become a climate-driven nightmare. A fierce competition for water amidst decades of drought has left residents of upscale Rio Verde without running taps. What is your half-million-dollar home really worth when your toilets are flushed with rainwater and you’re eating off paper plates?

“Is it just a campground now?” one resident asked The New York Times. The answer might be yes. As one of her first acts, new Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs unsealed a report concluding Phoenix’s fast-growing West Valley is well short of the 100-year supply of water required by law — a revelation throwing tens of thousands of planned homes into doubt.

“It’s a cautionary tale for home buyers,” Arizona State University’s Sarah Porter told the Times. “We can’t just protect every single person who buys a parcel and builds a home. There isn’t enough money or water.”

Clearly, the calculus for home builders and buyers alike has changed. Proper due diligence not only requires developable land or proximity to schools, but also secure supplies of fresh water and related climate adaptation measures. Contact our team to learn more about how our tools can help home builders incorporate these factors into future planning.


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