Editorial: Cordes Lakes water shortage a flashback to former Verde Village woes

OK, here we are in the midst of summer’s most torrid run of triple-digit days. Throughout the state, communities are at or near all-time record highs with the 120-degree barrier being challenged most every day.

Now, try to imagine getting through such a day with curtailed water service to your home.

That’s the reality currently experienced by our neighbors to the south who are served by the Cordes Lakes Water System.

According to a new release issued Wednesday by Yavapai County, Cordes Lakes has issued a Stage 3 Water Curtailment.  Customers are asked to voluntarily employ water conservation measures to reduce their daily consumption by approximately 50 percent.  The company is trucking water from Prescott Valley to fill tanks and supplement the water supply.  Cordes Lakes is also implementing a planned system-wide shut down between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m, each night until the system recovers.  The need for a system shut-down is re-evaluated each day. 

Locally, for those who have lived in the Upper Verde Valley for several decades can remember back to a time when the above scenario was a common occurrence in Verde Village when a former water provider also named Cordes Lakes employed a practice of rotating system shutdowns during peak summer demand. Going without water for hours at a time was a fact of life during summer months if you lived in Verde Village.

Fortunately, that’s a distance memory now for folks who live in the Village. Since the City of Cottonwood takeover of the former Cordes Lakes system, well production, storage capacity and line efficiency have all been dramatically improved and the days of rotating water system shutdowns no longer exist.

Naturally, such an improvement in service – the kind of service that should be a given – comes at a price. Yes, Verde Village residents do pay more now for water service than they did under the former company. Yes, they pay more than customers in other parts of the Upper Verde for the same service, but those parts of town’s have not needed the same level of system upgrades than those required in Verde Village.

There are those in Verde Village who seemingly never will forgive Cottonwood for what they contend are excessive water rates. Some have made it their life mission to scream loud and long about how they are abused by the city.

But one thing is for certain, when you turn on the faucet in Verde Village today, you have water.

Not everyone is so lucky.

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