‘Privatization Is On The Table’: Gov. Reeves Gives Jackson Water Crisis Update

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced “significant” improvements in the Jackson water system on Labor Day while telling reporters he is open to numerous long-term solutions, including leasing its management to a private company.

One week ago today I stood on this podium and I told you the state was going to take historic and unprecedented steps to intervene in Jackson’s water system because it had reached a crisis level,” the governor said at a Monday morning press conference in the capital city. “Not only were there issues with the quality of the water, but with the quantity of the water. The city could not produce enough running water for Jacksonians.”

The Republican governor said health officials told him this morning that the beleaguered O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant is now “pumping out cleaner water than we’ve seen for a very, very long time.” He said he is hopeful that “we will be able to measure potential for clean water and the removal of the boil water notice” within “days, not weeks or months.”

“We know that it is always possible that there will be more severe challenges. This water system broke over several years and it would be inaccurate to claim it is totally solved in the matter of less than a week,” he said. “… There may be more bad days in the future. We have however reached a place where people in Jackson can trust that water will come out of the faucet, toilets can be flushed and fires can be put out.”

Despite his optimism, the governor cautioned that while “the risk with respect to quantity of water has not been eliminated, it has been significantly reduced.” Jackson currently remains under the boil water notice that began on July 29, 2022.

Water distribution sites remain available in the

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