Newswire : President Biden allocates $115 million to rebuild Jackson, Mississippi’s water system

A Mississippi National Guard Soldier takes water to a person’s car at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson, Mississippi, Sept. 1, 2022. Nearly 600 Mississippi National Guardsmen were set up across seven sites through Jackson for people to collect bottled water and non-potable water from water buffalo trucks. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Connie Jones)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

President Joe Biden has announced the allocation of $115 million to support critical investments in reconstructing Jackson’s water infrastructure. The federal funds are part of the $600 million appropriations package Congress approved last year.
The city of Jackson, with a population of nearly 150,000 residents and a majority-Black demographic, has been grappling with a severe water crisis caused by years of neglecting its infrastructure and exacerbated by significant flooding last summer.
The collapse of the water system in August 2022 left residents without clean and safe drinking water for several days. Since then, ongoing water disruptions have plagued the city, necessitating emergency assistance and technical support from the federal government.
In the latest development, a federal court ruling favored the U.S. Department of Justice, paving the way for installing an independent third-party manager as part of an agreement between the city and the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The Biden administration said the collaborative effort aims to address the long-standing water issues in one of the nation’s poorest cities. President Biden emphasized the significance of ensuring that all Americans have access to clean and safe drinking water while acknowledging the suffering that the people of Jackson have experienced.
He commended the progress in repairing the city’s water system but emphasized the need for further action.
Under his “Investing in America agenda,” the administration said it’s already channeling unprecedented resources to communities across the nation, focusing on replacing lead pipes, enhancing water quality, and fortifying the country’s drinking water infrastructure to withstand the impacts of the climate crisis.
Biden stressed the significance of this endeavor, stating, “Until all our children can safely drink water from the tap, our fight for clean water must, and will, continue.”
By awarding $115 million to Jackson, the President said he desires to provide the necessary resources and support to tackle the deep-rooted water crisis that has plagued the city for decades.
The Jackson water crisis resulted from systemic issues that have persisted for many years. The system nearly broke last summer when significant flooding made the city’s already vulnerable water infrastructure even more susceptible due to aging pipes and infrastructure neglect.
The initial failure in August 2022 left residents without access to clean and safe drinking water, creating a state of emergency that required immediate intervention.
Jackson’s status as one of the poorest cities in the United States has compounded the difficulties faced by its residents, as they have had to bear the consequences of aging infrastructure.

With President Biden’s allocation of $115 million, officials said Jackson could rebuild its water infrastructure and ensure its residents have access to clean and safe drinking water. “While we have made a lot of progress, there is much more work to do to ensure that all Americans have access to clean water,” Biden said.
“Thanks to my Investing in America agenda, we’re already deploying record resources to communities all across America to replace lead pipes, improve water quality, and rebuild the nation’s drinking water infrastructure, ensuring it can withstand the impacts of the climate crisis,” the President stated. “Until all our children can safely drink water from the tap, our fight for clean water must, and will, continue.”

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