In August, heavy flooding in Jackson, Mississippi exacerbated longstanding problems at a water treatment facility leading to a system failure. Over 100k residents lacked clean water for weeks. In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was investigating whether Mississippi state agencies discriminated against the state’s majority-Black capital city by refusing to fund improvements for its failing water system.
Systemic racism and other biases often lead to discrimination and inadequate facilities and infrastructure, especially in our current climate-changing world. The EPA intervention in the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis will hopefully lead the EPA and other organizations to intervene in similar situations to help ensure systems are adapted and that everyone has access to water and other basic needs, regardless of their race, income level, location, etc.