What does New Jersey really need? It needs water systems that are reliable, resilient, and affordable. The recently passed Water Quality Accountability Act (WQAA) is a milestone for New Jersey on its path to drinking water systems that meet these goals.
But what does this statute mean for water purveyors and their stakeholders?
Over the next few years, drinking water systems in New Jersey will begin to feel the impacts of the WQAA. The new law outlines a number of requirements for water purveyors, such as creating and implementing asset management plans.
At a seminar on Monday, Oct. 30, Daniel J. Van Abs, associate professor of practice at Rutgers University and a member of the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee, made the case for investment in water infrastructure by presenting the current state and trends of New Jersey’s water systems, including demand and losses, affordability, and infrastructural integrity. The seminar was attended by municipal officials, water system technicians, and attorneys seeking clarification on what the WQAA specifically means for their towns, line of work, and constituents.
The seminar also featured John M. Scagnelli, partner at the law firm of Scarinci Hollenbeck, who outlined the statutory requirements of the WQAA, and Alan Heymann, president of Blue Drop, a nonprofit affiliate of DC Water, who discussed best practices for engaging stakeholders and communicating statutory compliance efforts.
The event, Making the Case for Investment in Water Infrastructure, was organized by the Jersey Water Works Municipal Outreach Committee, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, and the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association.