Jackson Water Crisis

In a city parking lot, a man helps a woman in a wheelchair with a case of bottled water.

Steve Helber/Associated Press

Coauthored with ACLU of Mississippi, Center for Constitutional Rights, Forward Justice, Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign, and People’s Advocacy Institute

The drinking water system in Jackson, Mississippi, has suffered from serious safety and reliability problems for decades. Residents have endured discolored water, low pressure, oily water, and water with floating particles. Jackson’s water previously had elevated lead levels, and its treatment plants have struggled to properly and consistently filter and disinfect the water. Despite recent attention from federal officials, including a lawsuit filed against the city of Jackson in late 2022, the water system’s problems have not been fully resolved.

For years, Jackson-based organizations—including the Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign, People’s Advocacy Institute, and other member organizations of the Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition—have helped their neighbors access safe water during “boil water” notices and water shutoffs. These community groups continue to fight for every Jacksonian’s access to safe drinking water. They are also pushing officials to center community priorities and perspectives in decisions about the future of the city’s tap water.

Jackson residents can use this fact sheet to learn about how to join the fight and how to ensure they and their families are consuming safe water.

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