Could Minnesota face a water crisis like Jackson, Mississippi?
ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - With the ongoing water crisis in Jackson, Miss., Minnesotans may wonder if a similar situation could happen here. However, with Mississippi River water levels and the state's up-to-date treatment facilities, it's highly unlikely.
A severe water crisis in Jackson leaves residents questioning when tap water will return to normal. Flooding exacerbated problems with one of two city water-treatment plants, leaving more than 180,000 residents without running water, FOX News reported.
However, Minnesota's infrastructure makes it nearly impossible for situations similar to Jackson, Miss. to occur.
"Many communities in the metropolitan, metropolitan area have done a really great job of having a backup system or an emergency system that can provide services even if they lose their original system," said Ali Elhassan, a member of the Metropolitan Council for water supply planning.
The St. Paul Regional Water Services says their systems are in good shape, and they’re planning years ahead to keep water from the Mississippi River safe and flowing through their pipes as it should
"We have ten-year plans down the road, what needs to be replaced, what needs to be looked at. Do we need to look at updating or upgrading, and then they budget that accordingly," said St. Paul Regional Water Services employee Jodi Wallin.
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Minnesota's water infrastructure remains strong, unlike in Jackson. Wallin says projects to improve infrastructure are ongoing, and like anything else, sometimes things need to be replaced.
However, there’s no need to worry about the water supply as the Mississippi River probably won’t ever drop low enough to impact St. Paul or Minneapolis. Meanwhile, the suburbs that use groundwater are in good shape too.
"We are in a good position because of the abundancy of resources that we have in the metro area. We have rich surface water systems, we have rich groundwater systems, and that’s unique compared to many places around the country," said Elhassan.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Council water plan expects the Twin Cities population to grow by more than 500,000 people by 2040. They expect water usage to increase from 350 million gallons of water per day to 450 million gallons, according to the Council 2020 report.
However, by 2040, more than 50 communities plan to drill new municipal wells, more than 35 communities plan to enhance their water supply treatment processes, and more than 60 communities plan to improve or expand their distribution, according to the report.