As a result of a lack of water supplies, the state of Mississippi appears to be suffering from a severe water shortage. The Mississippi Governor has requested a disaster declaration. Citing several reasons for the shortage, including deferred maintenance, low water pressure, and inadequate staffing.
O.B. Curtis plant breaks down
The state’s water treatment plant is nearing a critical point and a breakdown has put the entire operation on hold. The plant’s main pumps have been damaged by floodwaters and are no longer working. But, a backup pump system is on the way. The Mississippi State Department of Health is reportedly working with city officials to get the plant back up and running.
Despite being in need of a lot of repairs and upgrades, the O.B. Curtis plant is unable to keep up with the current floods. The plant has been plagued by problems for years and doesn’t appear to have been updated since Hurricane Katrina. But, the recent rainfall and flooding have added to the strain. This has lowered water pressure to residents’ homes and businesses. The city has yet to determine exactly what caused the plant’s failures.
However, it is expected that state officials will step in and help prop up the plant.
Water shortages have been a major problem for the state in recent months, and there is a growing concern about how this situation will affect residents of Jackson. As of Monday, there was no running water in thousands of homes. Residents were encouraged to boil water or buy bottled water instead of using tap water.
The state’s leadership has called an emergency in the city of Jackson because the city’s water supply appears unsafe for drinking and hygiene use. Distribution of water to residents and businesses have been underway. Meanwhile, speculation is that the state’s water treatment plant is expected to be back up and running soon.
Lack of staffing
The state is grappling with the water shortage as a result of a lack of staffing at its water treatment plant. Water treatment workers were reportedly short-staffed, and deferred maintenance projects are not getting done. As a result, the plant’s treatment processes are slow. In addition, the torrential rains have changed the chemical composition needed to treat water, which makes the process even slower.
However, state officials have said that they are working with their contractor to fill gaps in the staffing.
Mississippi Gov. declared a State of Emergency to handle the situation. Federal assistance is apparently available to help states with disaster relief, including water. The EPA also works with FEMA to expedite the delivery of water treatment equipment. The timely delivery of water treatment equipment is crucial to the water treatment plant’s ability to provide safe drinking water.
The EPA is looking into the problem of inadequate staffing at the water treatment plant. The state has a statute requiring water treatment plant operators to have a minimum of one Class A worker on duty at all times.
There is speculation that deferred maintenance and short staffing are to blame for the crisis. Additionally, a sudden influx of water from torrential rain may have changed the chemical composition needed for treatment. Lack of funding may also be hampering the state’s ability to provide clean, safe water. As a result, the Mississippi water system is in desperate need of investment. The state has been apparently suffering from deferred maintenance for over three decades now. And it will need some help to catch up.
The state’s water supply has been plagued with problems for decades, but acute problems have arisen in recent months.
In addition to addressing the issues that cause deferred maintenance, focusing on preventative maintenance is crucial to reducing the backlog of repairs. Using CMMS or EAM can help facilities capture maintenance data and track the progress of projects. It also helps facilities improve their safety and reduce future costs.
Mississippi is in dire need of money to fix its aging water system.
A deteriorating system has left residents without water for three days. Estimates suggest that fixing the water system could cost more than $1 billion.
Low water pressure
The city of Jackson, Mississippi appears to be also facing a water shortage and a lack of water pressure. Residents have apparently been told to consider boiling water and drinking bottled water as preventative measures. Considering that the situation could last at least a few days. Theories suggest that the problem may have begun back in August. When torrential rain flooded the Pearl River and its surrounding 33,000-acre lake.
Fortunately, the city has two treatment plants – the O.B. Curtis plant and the local treatment plant.
The City of Jackson is reportedly distributing bottled water to residents in areas affected by the low water pressure. The bottled water provided by Premium Waters, Inc., a Byram, Mississippi-based water company. However, water bottle distribution is apparently limited to one case per vehicle.
Reportedly several of the city’s water treatment plants are affected, and the city is preparing for more water distribution events. The city is working to fix the problem, and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has stepped in to provide nearly 30 water trucks and distribute them across the city. The water shortage is expected to last a few days, and residents should be aware of the consequences and stay informed.
Plans have been apparently set in place for the capital city to make sure it’s water system is operational and safe for residents. City officials hoping to restore the water service to the city.
Legal battles over use rights
The state of Mississippi once took legal action against Tennessee for allegedly using too much water from an aquifer in its territory. Supplies that are sourced from the Sparta-Memphis Sand Aquifer. Which spans both states. Mississippi is claiming absolute ownership of the groundwater, but Tennessee argues that it is taking private property.
Although both sides have argued for their respective positions. The courts apparently grilled Mississippi over the claim. The Supreme Court has made it clear that states cannot reach into another state to collect water. Allocation laws in 31 states east of the Mississippi river are based on the Riparian Doctrine. If it’s only used for intrastate commerce or transport then it is under control of that state.
The state must adhere to the precedent set by the Court and resolve the water dispute through equitable apportionment.
The Mississippi case has implications for other water-use disputes. It could limit the Supreme Court’s ability to settle disputes in other jurisdictions and reduce states’ incentives to cooperate for beneficial uses of water. In times of water shortages, cooperation and flexibility are essential.
The ruling could have wide-ranging consequences. Since surface water appears to become less reliable as a result of climate change. Mississippi relies on groundwater for three-quarters of its water. This decision could have a major impact on how the state distributes its water.
Provided by Antonio Westley
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.