Miss renews water-rights battle with Memphis

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The U.S Supreme Court is asking the Obama administration to weigh-in on whether to allow Mississippi to filed a new lawsuit alleging Memphis, Tennessee, is stealing water from the state.

The Supreme Court on Monday invited Solicitor General Don Verrilli’s office to file a brief on behalf of the U.S. government.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood wants to refile a lawsuit over the water rights question. The U.S. Supreme refused in 2010 to consider a similar claim.

Mississippi alleges that Memphis’ wells have created “cones of depression” in the water table that remove water from Mississippi into Tennessee. It estimates that Memphis has “forcibly” taken 252 billion gallons of water since 1985.

Memphis, its city-owned utility system and the state of Tennessee argue Mississippi’s claims contradict science and legal precedent.