AP NEWS

Court hearing in Tennessee-Mississippi water rights dispute

May 20, 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers for Tennessee and Mississippi are presenting evidence in a court hearing related to a water rights dispute between the two states.

The hearing beginning in Nashville on Monday is part of a lawsuit filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014.

The original complaint alleges Tennessee is unlawfully pumping high-quality water from the Mississippi portion of the Memphis Sand Aquifer for use by Memphis residents.

The aquifer lies below parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and several other states. The suit claims Tennessee has “invaded Mississippi’s sovereign territory” and violated Mississippi water law by taking the natural resource using wells near the states’ border.

Tennessee and Memphis argue that the water does not solely belong to Mississippi because it is an “interstate” resource. A special master is overseeing the case.