Jackson’s deteriorating water infrastructure has been plagued by decades of underinvestment and postponed repair. Before this weekend’s torrential rain and river floods, almost 150,000 of the city’s inhabitants were under a boil water alert.
But it also serves as a warning of what may soon occur in other American cities as the rising effects of climate change drive already overworked and underfunded water infrastructure to the breaking point.
This week’s water crisis in the capital of Mississippi has prompted schools to switch to online instruction, caused bottled water to be widely distributed, and left Jackson’s predominantly Black populace without enough pressure to consistently flush toilets or put out fires.
Bigger storms can overwhelm older sewage systems. In the midst of extreme heat and a protracted drought, reservoir contamination might come from algae blooms and extra silt. Saltwater can seep into wells and septic systems as a result of rising sea levels. When wildfires spread chemical pollution and ruin water mains, it might take months before drinking water is once again safe.
Andre Perry, a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank, is a public policy researcher. He once claimed, “You cannot describe structural racism any more plainly than the infrastructure management in this nation.”
He noted that unequal water systems “actually establish the foundation for racial inequities.” And the harm is made worse by climate change.
Up until now, the citizens are dealing with the crisis by supplying bottled water for consumption with the recent deployment of a water pump to some how ease the crisis. Those that were not prepared for this crisis have suffered way more in search for safe water sources since very long queues have formed for the water supply points.