Mayor Wharton announces U.S. Supreme Court Dismissal of water rights lawsuit
On January 25, Mayor Wharton hosted a press conference at City Hall to announce that the United States Supreme Court denied the State of Mississippi’s petition to appeal its lawsuit brought against the City of Memphis and Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW.) In that same action, the State of Mississippi was also denied its request to file an original complaint against the City of Memphis, MLGW and the State of Tennessee in the Supreme Court. The Court’s ruling ends a five-year suit over the water contained in an underground aquifer that runs beneath both states.
The State of Mississippi originally filed in a lower court the claim that the City of Memphis and MLGW were taking more than their adequate share of water from the underground interstate aquifer. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled subsequently in 2009 that it was required that Tennessee be included in any lawsuit regarding the use of the interstate water source and that the suit could be heard only by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of MLGW, the City of Memphis and the State of Tennessee by rejecting both Mississippi’s attempt to appeal the Fifth Circuit’s decision as well its request to file a new lawsuit against MLGW, the City of Memphis and the State of Tennessee.