We look at how corporate involvement in Jackson, Mississippi's infrastructure helped set the stage for its water crisis, as tens of thousands of residents of the majority-Black city remain under a boil water advisory. The main water treatment plant was damaged after a flood in late August, and while water pressure has been restored to most homes, viral videos show undrinkable brown liquid coming out of many taps. Mississippi's Governor Tate Reeves has said "privatization is on the table" for the state capital. This could lead to a repeat of problems stemming from a $90 million contract Jackson signed in 2010 with the German multinational conglomerate Siemens to overhaul the city's water infrastructure and install new water meters meant to raise extra revenue and help the city reinvest in the system. "This contract ended up being a disaster," says Judd Legum, who wrote about the Siemens deal for his independent political newsletter Popular Information. "There was essentially a lost decade where the system deteriorated further and there were really no substantial investments made, and that's part of the reason why we see what's going on today."
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