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Water Situation Changes for Sprawling Phoenix-Area Development, Delayed by the Recession

The Phoenix metropolitan area is growing again, but the water supply isn't. Many development plans derailed by the Great Recession won't find it easy to start where they left off.
June 1, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"With 8,500 homes, space for a 35-acre resort, golf and winding trails, Lake Pleasant 5000 was billed as a place where the desert would be at your doorstep, and hailed as what would be one of the largest master-planned communities in Arizona," reports Jen Fifield.

The whole plan depended on the developer, Harvard Investments, securing the drinking water supply to support the development, but it couldn't overcome the effects of the Great Recession, and has been on hold for over a decade.

"Now, as development picks up, and with water across the Valley in short supply, a West Valley city is making a grab for the water that Lake Pleasant 5000 thought it secured long ago," according to Fifield. The problem: the city of Surprise is asking Maricopa County Superior Court to condemn Circle City, the water company that promise the necessary water to Lake Pleasant 5000.

The ensuing controversy is being litigated by the parties involved, and the water supply for this fast-growing corner of the northwest Valley near Phoenix.

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Published on Thursday, May 23, 2019 in Arizona Republic
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