TRENTON, March 29, 2018 — Today the Jersey Water Works collaborative released its 2018 work plan, detailing the projects its committees will tackle this year. This year’s efforts build on the 2016 and 2017 work plans that resulted in concrete, measurable accomplishments towards meeting the collaborative’s larger goal of transforming New Jersey’s inadequate water infrastructure.
“The work needed to improve our drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems is challenging,” said Jane Kenny, Jersey Water Works co-chair. “But we know from statewide polling that the public cares deeply about these issues. The Jersey Water Works collaborative brings together unlikely partners from different sectors who work across boundaries to solve problems. This work plan helps guide that process, holds us accountable for the work we commit to, and demonstrates that there is no problem facing New Jersey that is too big to tackle.”
Made up of over 400 members, Jersey Water Works is working to transform New Jersey’s inadequate water infrastructure through sustainable, cost-effective solutions that provide communities with clean water and waterways; healthier, safer neighborhoods; local jobs; flood and climate resilience; and economic growth.
Focusing on four key areas, the collaborative advances improvements to water infrastructure by addressing the areas of asset management and finance; education and outreach; green infrastructure; and combined sewer overflows.
Some of the highlights from this year’s work plan include:
- Issuing a report assessing water and sewer affordability based on a comparison of utility rates and income data.
- Developing resources for municipal governments on best practices for engaging stakeholders and constituents on water infrastructure issues.
- Recommending ways to advance green infrastructure through revisions to the state’s stormwater regulations and guidance documents for programs relating to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits, combined sewer overflows, and, if necessary, the Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual.
- Promoting pipe cleaning as a low-cost alternative that will significantly reduce combined sewage flooding and overflows and recommending an approach for state Department of Environmental Protection regulation and enforcement.
“This is an exciting time for the collaborative,” said Mark Mauriello, Jersey Water Works co-chair. “We are pleased to see the scope and breadth of this year’s projects. Jersey Water Works has been successful in bringing stakeholders to the table to discuss the problems facing New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure. This work plan is a result of those discussions, and lays out the path towards meaningful improvements.”