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Groundwater Feud Sets Up Next Interstate Water War for Justices

Feb. 23, 2021, 3:24 PM

Another high-stakes water case is advancing in the U.S. Supreme Court, as Mississippi and Tennessee lodged competing legal briefs in a dispute with broad implications for how states manage groundwater.

The southern neighbors disagree over water rights in a vast aquifer that underlies the region. A court-appointed special master last year encouraged the justices to toss Mississippi’s original jurisdiction action that accuses Memphis, Tenn.'s water utility of effectively stealing groundwater, and give the state an opportunity to rework its challenge.

Mississippi on Monday filed exceptions to the special master’s report, arguing that it ignored constitutional principles of state sovereignty and...

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