Jackson and Cape Girardeau have been talking about the need for establishing a common water line at least since 1998. In the event of an emergency or natural disaster, the line would enable one city to provide water to the other. The line also could be useful in developing the two cities' contiguous areas.
Last week, Cape Girardeau received a State Emergency Management Agency grant for $66,000 to be used to connect the two cities' water supplies. The grant will pay 75 percent of the cost.
The details about how to connect the two water supplies are still to be worked out. An eight-inch line 4,500 feet long will be required to join the two cities' water supplies near the Center Junction interchange at I-55 and North Kingshighway. The work to begin late this fall will be done by each cities' water departments.
Anticipating emergencies and disasters, it makes sense to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Tying the Cape Girardeau and Jackson water supplies together for emergencies will provide only a limited supply of water. Neither city has the capability of pumping enough water for full service in both cities at the same time.
But in an emergency, even a limited supply would make a huge difference. The aim of meeting these emergency needs is finally being met.