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Resource Type: Report

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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.

Download the full report.

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Developing a New Framework for Community Affordability of Clean Water Services

The Senate Appropriations Committee directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to conduct an independent study to create a definition of, and framework for, community affordability of clean water. The findings and recommendations of this report aim to supplement current actions and to assist EPA in providing continued valuable guidance and support to communities as they pursue clean, affordable water for their citizens.

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Lead in School Drinking Water in New Jersey

New Jersey Future released this preliminary analysis of test results reported to and collected by the New Jersey Department of Education in order to help quantify the extent of the problem and recommend actions to ensure schools and communities are being provided all the support they need to remediate the situation.

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New Jersey A•I•M•S4

New Jersey Advanced and Integrated Menu of Strategies for Sustainable Sewer and Stormwater Systems (NJ A•I•M•S4)

This downloadable resource for sewer and stormwater infrastructure system managers, was developed by Jersey Water Works members to offer a menu of strategies for managing sewer and stormwater systems that achieve better results at lower cost. The guide is flexible, and seeks to offer options for a diverse range of communities and managers of sewer and stormwater infrastructure, who know their enterprise best and can assess the applicability, impact, affordability and political feasibility of each action.

The New Jersey A•I•M•S4 program includes:

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Upgrading Our Systems: A National Overview of State-Level Funding for Water Initiatives

Local and regional water utilities play the lead role in water infrastructure funding by leveraging user rates. In addition, state and local governments typically rely on financing mechanisms like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Fund programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development funds. Meanwhile, some states have created programs that raise new revenue for direct funding to fix systemic gaps in infrastructure. In light of these efforts, Jersey Water Works has released a new report: Upgrading Our Systems: A National Overview of State-Level Funding for Water Initiatives, which assesses the landscape of such initiatives on sustainable water infrastructure.

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Navigating Legal Pathways to Rate-Funded Customer Assistance Programs: A Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill prepared this report to help steer their members through a complex regulatory landscape. In their efforts to design and implement programs that make it easier for low-income customers to pay for water and wastewater services, utilities must navigate a confusing and often ambiguous legal framework that varies considerably from state to state. Many states impose different rules and regulations on different types of utilities—water versus wastewater, government-owned versus private ownership—such that some utilities are able to design programs in a way that other types of utilities are not. This report seeks to elucidate regulatory policy on the design and funding of consumer assistant programs (CAPs) in each state. It also includes a potential roadmap for utilities interested in establishing more ambitious CAPs.

Navigating Legal Pathways to Rate-Funded Customer Assistance Programs: A Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities (Environmental Finance Center, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

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Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate

This Urban Land Institute report analyzes the stormwater policy landscape and summarizes various real estate developments that have arisen in response. Real estate case studies from across the country demonstrate a range of stormwater policies, featuring management innovations as well as positive financial, operational or design outcomes.

Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate (Urban Land Institute)

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Opportunities for Municipal Clean Water Utilities to Advance Environmental Justice & Community Service

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies prepared this report to increase awareness of the many benefits America’s clean water utilities provide to their communities. The projects in this compendium represent efforts by NACWA members to reach beyond the traditional model of simply conveying and treating wastewater and stormwater, to become assets and partners in their communities. Some of the projects included in this compendium represent work to address specific environmental justice issues, while others are examples of efforts by clean water utilities to better serve their communities as a whole.

Opportunities for Municipal Clean Water Utilities to Advance Environmental Justice & Community Service (National Association of Clean Water Agencies)

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Spurring Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Stormwater Markets

This paper from Natural Resources Defense Council summarizes NRDC’s review of Philadelphia Water Department’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP). GARP encourages contractors or design and construction firms to compete for limited public grant funding by aggregating and presenting the lowest-cost retrofit opportunities available on private land. The availability of public dollars through GARP is intended to create a competitive green infrastructure market that can help PWD source low-cost stormwater management. NRDC helped PWD evaluate the program structure to make it easier for local firms to submit GARP applications.

Spurring Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Stormwater Markets (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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An Equitable Water Future

This national briefing paper from US Water Alliance examines the connections between water management and vulnerable communities in the United States.  The overall high quality of water systems in America obscures the fact that water challenges are a daily reality for some communities. All people need access to the basics — water, food, shelter — in order to participate fully in society. Water systems that do not deliver clean, affordable water to all people can exacerbate inequality and undermine our nation’s future prosperity. The report identifies the ways in which water issues like affordability and aging infrastructure affect vulnerable communities disproportionately, and highlights the potential to leverage water systems to bring about greater opportunity for all.

An Equitable Water Future (US Water Alliance)