New River/Desert Hills Water Update :


It has been a long while since our last update, and we wanted to bring everyone up-to-date as to where we stand with the formation of the Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID), as well as happenings around the State of Arizona.   


We have secured 420 signed petitions for the DWID.  Although we had set a deadline of August 2018 with our outreach and mail campaigns, we found a large group of residents who needed the support of the DWID and had not yet been afforded the opportunity to join.  So we held additional meetings and outreach efforts for these folks and with the addition of a few more months, we were able to bring many of them on board. 


Currently, our volunteer civil engineers are actively working on the maps, and we are pulling together the legal descriptions for all petition parcels to complete the approval process prior to filing with Maricopa County. Our goal is to have this wrapped up in the next two months.


We had originally planned to move a little more quickly on this task; however, reality set in over the holiday season. As a volunteer committee, we have experienced delays due to family and work commitments, and appreciate your patience.  While our civil engineers and volunteers continue working to complete the maps and legal descriptions, we are also: 

  • exploring opportunities to secure water resources;  

  • networking with agencies and water providers; and  

  • building a support system that will assist the DWID in moving forward more quickly after formation. 


In regards to the state, Arizona has been actively engaged in the process of negotiating a Drought Contingency Plan among the many in-state stakeholders entitled to receive and utilize Colorado River Water delivered through the Central Arizona Project Canal system.  

While not a stakeholder, volunteers from the DWID committee have had the opportunity to watch the negotiations, review some of the documents, and learn about this very difficult process.  To date, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming have adopted drought contingency plans designed to protect the Colorado River headwaters and downstream resources. Arizona and California have yet to complete their plans, and if they are unable to accomplish the task by March 4, 2019, the Federal Government intends to step in and make decisions for them.   


The first stage of cutbacks from the Colorado River system is expected to be declared later this summer.  The first group to be impacted in Arizona are the farmers in Pinal County who rely heavily on CAP water; however, they have also been banking groundwater for decades in preparation for shortages.  With the drought, these shortages are coming ten years earlier than originally planned.  


What do cutbacks mean for the DWID?  They may mean higher water costs and a more difficult process to secure water for our future.  While that may be true, we continue to build relationships with those who will be in the best position to support the DWID after formation.   


While our team has been quiet, we assure you we have been very busy researching and reaching out to secure our water future.  If you would like to be more involved in the DWID or have a desire to be active in the formation of the Board, please let us know.  The really difficult work lies ahead, and we welcome new members and any expertise you can volunteer towards the tasks at hand.  


Thank you for your continued support and patience! 


Julie Elliott 

New River/Desert Hills Water, LLC 


Published: February 16, 2019


Natural resources and water rights attorney Steve Wene answers questions regarding the formation of a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID) at the August 12 community meeting.

At water-starved Lake Mead and Lake Powell, 'the crisis is already real,' scientists say

With Lake Mead dropping to levels that could trigger water cutbacks in less than two years, there's been a lot of talk lately about negotiating a deal to keep the reservoir from falling even further.


But in a new report, scientists say the situation is just as worrisome upstream at Lake Powell. Click here to read more.

Published: August 28, 2018

Source: The Arizona Republic

The Water Wars of Arizona

Attracted by lax regulations, industrial agriculture has descended on a remote valley, depleting its aquifer — leaving many residents with no water at all. Click here to read more.

Published: July 19, 2018

Source: The New York Times

Arizona's water supply could face catastrophic cuts by 2026 if something doesn't change

Sound the alarm.

The Bureau of Reclamation has released new projections about Lake Mead, which provides about 40 percent of Arizona’s water supply.

And if we repeat the hydrology from 1988-2015 – where dry years were punctuated by a few wet ones, not a great scenario but certainly not the worst case – Lake Mead has a one in five chance of dropping to 1,000 feet of elevation before 2026. Click here to read more

Published: July 6, 2018

Source: The Arizona Republic

New River group set to finalize boundaries for water district, last chance for owners to join

NEW RIVER – Residents from New River and Desert Hills took a sigh of relief on August 13 when the EPCOR water station opened providing an essential designated, short-term potable water resource for water haulers whose deliveries the community relies on. But for some the water station provided a reprieve that was only as temporary as the solution, because lingering still is a vulnerable, rural community lacking a long-term fix to its dwindling groundwater resources. Click here to read more.

Published: August 23, 2018

Source: Foothills Focus

New Water Conservation Agreement Provides At Least $2 Million For CRIT While Providing Water For Lake Mead

(PARKER, AZ.) The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) Tribal Council in western Arizona has approved a System Conservation Agreement which will provide the Tribes with more than $2 million per year in exchange for fallowing 1,884 acres of farmland on the Reservation. The agreement with the Lower Colorado Region of the Bureau of Reclamation will make the conserved water available for storage in Lake Mead. It is estimated that the conserved water will total approximately 11,000 acre-feet a year. The agreement was approved by the Tribal Council at its Aug. 6 meeting.  Click here to read more.

Published: August 22, 2018

Source: Parker Pioneer

Not by much: Colorado River system to stay out of shortfall status through 2019

As news reports have indicated, the “August 2018 24-Month Study” of the Colorado River system, released Wednesday by the Bureau of Reclamation, tells at least two big water stories for the Southwest.

For one, it illustrates that the Lower Basin will not be in a shortage for 2019. According to the Bureau’s “most likely” scenario, Lake Mead will finish 2018 about four and a half feet above the “shortage declaration” cutoff, which is 1,075 feet in elevation. Click here to read more.

Published: August 17, 2018

Source: Arizona Dept. of Water Resources

Demand of water could drain much of Lake Mead

For many western states, it's been a rough couple of years in regards to the drought. Some states, like Nevada and California, have even had to face the possibility of running out of water in the coming years.

So far, Arizona has been fortunate enough to avoid such a dilemma. That, however, may soon change. Click here to read more.

Published: August 15, 2018

Source: Fox 10 Phoenix News


Attorney Steve Wene, Moyes Sellers & Hendricks, discusses water security, Co-Ops, and Domestic Water Improvement Districts (DWID) with the Rio Verde Foothills Water Task Force and community members.

Shared with permission on 3/26/2018

(click image to enlarge)

Hello neighbors,

Great news, the City of Phoenix has agreed to extend the permits for the water-haulers until August 31, 2018! Thank you to Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates office, the Anthem City Council, EPCOR and City of Phoenix Vice Mayor Thelda WIlliams for working to make this happen!

Frequently asked questions

As we move through the process of learning about a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID), we want to make sure that you have access to the same tools.

While we encourage you to read through the DWID handbook on your own, we have highlighted the most frequently asked questions.

These FAQs are also available in .pdf format on our website at:

And, the DWID Handbook may be downloaded at:

Updated: 2/17/2018


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