Ross: How Jackson’s water crisis reflects Seattle’s infrastructure

Sep 1, 2022, 7:10 AM | Updated: 7:15 am
People fish in the Pearl River near the spillway on August 31, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. Jackso...
People fish in the Pearl River near the spillway on August 31, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s capital, is currently struggling with access to safe drinking water after disruption at a main water processing facilty. (Photo by Brad Vest/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brad Vest/Getty Images)

Jackson, Mississippi is a long way from here – both physically and historically.

There are many reasons behind its water crisis: global warming, lousy maintenance, and, of course, its racial history, which saw the richer white population moving out years ago to escape desegregation, and never returning, taking most of the tax base with them.

But whatever the reasons, we are witnessing the State Capitol of Mississippi, a city the size of Bellevue, running out of water. In America. In 2022.

There’s plenty of blame to go around, but blame cannot hydrate you.

So my philosophy is to assume things will go wrong and try to be ready.

All of us who live in cities are completely dependent on stuff that breaks down if it’s not maintained. Seattle is much better off than Jackson, and yet we know that all man-made systems eventually fall apart, and sometimes surprise us. Like a certain prominent bridge I’ve crossed many times. And I can’t help but think of all the invisible stuff that’s also slowly deteriorating – like water systems.

And, of course, after the earthquake – who knows.

Which is why I have the rain barrels, and why I don’t recycle juice bottles. If that sounds crazy, then call me crazy – many of you already have – but I fill those bottles with water, and I store them anywhere I can.

I admit I get a little pushback at home. Because it can be annoying to find bottles of water in closets, under sinks, on the patio, next to the bed…

But I’ve seen our emergency water plan on Mercer Island – and it’s great that we have one – but it involves people lining up at the emergency water pump where water will be dispensed from hoses.

I’d much rather just open the closet.

And seeing what happened in Mississippi, I may have to start buying bigger juice bottles.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Local News

I-90 shutdown...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Westbound I-90 bridge to Seattle now closed all weekend due to ‘extreme traffic conditions’

WSDOT has now closed all lanes of the westbound I-90 bridge from Mercer Island to Seattle in hope of relieving congestion.
1 day ago
Auburn shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

1 dead, 2 injured in drive-by shooting in Auburn

An investigation is underway after one man was killed and two other men were injured in a drive-by shooting Friday night in Auburn.
1 day ago
Generic Cop Lights...
Lisa Brooks

Suspect in Walla Walla trooper shooting held on attempted murder charges

Attempted murder and weapons charges have been filed against 37-year-old Brandon O'Neel of Walla Walla, in connection with Thursday night's shooting of a Washington state Patrol trooper.
1 day ago
Juanita Creek...
Nicole Jennings

Business owner transforms Juanita Creek section for migrating salmon

Cafe Juanita owner and executive chef Holly Smith took it upon herself to transform her portion of Kirkland's Juanita creek -- and give the migrating salmon a healthier highway.
2 days ago
Alaska Airlines Pilot...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Alaska Airlines reaches tentative agreement with pilots union

Alaska Airlines announced a tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) on a new contract Friday.
2 days ago
Sumner official meme...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Sumner official who sent offensive meme in work email apologizes for ‘horribly offensive mistake’

A local government official is responding to allegations that he sent out an offensive meme via email using a government account in August, apologizing for what he called a “horribly offensive mistake.”
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Ross: How Jackson’s water crisis reflects Seattle’s infrastructure