Our Water Transformed: An Action Agenda for New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure

The report, Our Water Transformed: An Action Agenda for New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure, offers an in-depth understanding of the state’s water infrastructure and the context for improvement, provides clarity on how Jersey Water Works has brought so many stakeholders together to affect change, and outlines a consensus-based “action agenda” with three practical solutions:

  • Robust asset management to enable water utilities to deliver the optimum level of service with the most community benefits at the lowest lifecycle cost.
  • Educated stakeholders so that ratepayers and rate setters, consumers and policymakers can understand the value of investing in water infrastructure and the peril of deferring maintenance.
  • Government funding initiatives to provide loans and grants to help implement asset management and upgrade systems.

National experts Howard Neukrug and Diana Lind of the University of Pennsylvania argue that we must rethink how we manage, fund, design and rebuild our water systems. Their essay, which forms the middle section of this report, lays out a broad set of options that can move communities to a sustainable water future, such as realizing the enormous cost savings from repairing leaks that forfeit millions of gallons. Included are successful New Jersey examples such as recovering methane energy from wastewater and using rain gardens to mitigate flooding.

The responsibility for implementing the report’s recommendations falls to all members of the sector. “Every person, business and community in New Jersey is a stakeholder when it comes to water infrastructure,” explains Jane Kenny, co-chair of the collaborative.  “Moving forward together, adapting our operations in concert with the solutions detailed in this report, we can truly transform our water resources.”  

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