The State of Mississippi claims Memphis Light Gas & Water has stolen billions of gallons of water from it by siphoning from a subterranean reservoir under Desoto County and is appealing U.S. District Judge Glen Davidsons earlier dismissal of its suit against the City of Memphis. "Mississippi doesn't own this groundwater. They can say it 31 times, but that doesn't make it so," answered Leo Bearman, attorney for the city of Memphis. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has the case, which was filed Wednesday.
Mississippis lawsuit against Memphis and MLGW seeks compensation for water taken since 1985 and estimates the value lost at $1 billion. The suit further says Memphis' pumps have created a "cone of depression" in the aquifer which flows under three states Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.