News Release

Mississippi Water Crisis Highlights Infrastructure Needs Proposed in WATER Act


MARY GRANT, Seth Gladstone,, @foodandwater
Grant is Water Program Director for Food & Water Watch. Gladstone is media director for the group, which said today: “Residents of Jackson, Mississippi were without water for more than a week and have been under a citywide boil order since July. As the growing threats from the climate crisis hit aging water and wastewater systems, with water and sewer pipes nationwide averaging 45 years old, incidents like this one are becoming ever more frequent. Currently 1,500 homes and businesses in Baltimore are under a water boil advisory for the fourth day in a row, after water quality test results released Wednesday evening from the Department of Public Works confirmed ongoing E. coli contamination in one area in the city’s water supply.

“These water crises are compounded by the federal disinvestment in water and wastewater infrastructure, which has hamstrung many communities’ ability to conduct preventive maintenance. Food & Water Watch research details the systematic gutting of federal funding for national water infrastructure by more than 77 percent since 1977. Federal relief in the 2021 federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Package provided a meager 7 percent of the identified need. A real solution is the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act, which would create a $35 billion annual trust fund for urgent water and sewer infrastructure improvements, and specifically direct grants to low-income communities.”

Grant said today: “Congress must pass the WATER Act to fully fund our water and wastewater systems nationwide, and mitigate the burden on communities already struggling with unaffordable water bills. The federal government must restore its commitment to safe water and provide water justice to communities across the country. Every person needs and deserves water that is safe to drink, cook with and bathe in.”