JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson said after nearly a year of work, a new water well system has been built at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. The well is separate from the City of Jackson’s water system.

The historic ice storm in 2021 left most of the city without water during the annual Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“It feels good to know we have good water here no matter what. Genuine Mississippi water. This is the real deal from underground,” said Gipson.

The fairgrounds were switched from the city’s water system to the new well last week.

“They tell me a project like this takes two to three years, a project of this scale. We were able to get it finished in 11 months. We estimate by the time the rodeo ends this coming Saturday, we’ll have pumped over half a million gallons of water,” stated Gipson.

The water is pumped from 750 feet underground. The water goes through a chlorination and treatment process. At this time, water is only being pumped to the fairgrounds, but more projects are in the works.

“It could connect to the other buildings, the hotels that we just acquired. The plans are to demolish those buildings and to do something new over there. There’s a lot more water here than we need at the Fairgrounds, but we have plenty of what we need for the thousands of people that visit here and the thousands of livestock that need water to drink,” said Gipson.

The total cost for the project was $1.3 million, which included new lines and a backup generator. The well is currently running off a temporary tank, but a larger one will be ordered soon.