MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The United State Supreme Court announced Monday its unanimous ruling to dismiss Mississippi’s claim on a controversial case over access to an underground water aquifer.

The dispute went back to 2005 when Mississippi first claimed that Memphis was pumping water from a portion of the aquifer that belonged to Mississippi. The case was recently heard by the US Supreme Court.

“Mississippi believes the City of Memphis is stealing its groundwater. So it sued Tennessee, the City of Memphis, and Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division (“MLGW”) for injunctive relief and money damages,” the introduction to the case stated.

The Middle Claiborne Aquifer, as depicted in a 2020 report by the court-appointed special master.
Source: SCOTUSblog

Tennessee said water doesn’t work that way. The state said the aquifer is an interstate resource that should be shared fairly.

The Supreme Court’s decision is listed here.

The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed Mississippi’s claims to the aquifer.

In their opinion, the Supreme Court said, “As Mississippi has neither sought leave to amend nor tendered a proposed complaint seeking equitable apportionment, we have no occasion to determine how these and other pertinent principles might apply.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland hailed the decision as a significant victory for Memphis.

“After years of litigation and demands by Mississippi that we pay them millions of dollars for using water from the aquifer, it’s a relief that this matter is finally resolved,” Mayor Strickland said. “It ensures that Memphians will continue to enjoy drinking water from the aquifer for generations to come.”