Joe Biden speaks to his supporters during an event at Tougaloo College in Jackson on March 8, 2020. Credit: Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today, Report For America

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the Jackson water crisis and the federal government stands ready to assist.

The drinking water system in Jackson — Mississippi’s largest city and home to more than 160,000 residents — is failing, state officials announced on Monday. Thousands of Jackson residents already have no or little water pressure, and officials cannot say when adequate, reliable service will be restored.

READ MORE: Jackson water system is failing, city will be with no or little drinking water indefinitely

“At (Biden’s) direction, we have been in regular contact with state and local officials, including Mayor Lumumba, and made clear that the Federal Government stands ready to offer assistance,” Jean-Pierre tweeted on Tuesday.

She continued: “FEMA is working closely with the state officials to identify needs, and the EPA is coordinating with industry partners to expedite delivery of critical treatment equipment for emergency repairs at the City of Jackson water treatment facilities.”

The city water system has been plagued with problems for years, including tens of thousands of residents losing water between one and three weeks during a 2021 winter storm.

READ MORE: State health department declares drinking water emergency for Jackson

Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to assist on Tuesday, and the Mississippi State Department of Health declared a public drinking water supply emergency.

“We will continue to partner closely with state and local officials to support the people of Mississippi, and stand ready to assist further as soon as we receive an official request from the state,” Jean-Pierre said.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.