Water infrastructure drives New Jersey’s economy; however, deferred maintenance and inadequate levels of investment are putting the state’s prosperity and future at risk. Until recently, the total economic impact in terms of jobs and dollars spent was not well understood, so today, the first day of Infrastructure Week, a national annual campaign, five statewide water sector partners are releasing a new brochure to help anybody make a strong economic case for water infrastructure investments: Water Infrastructure Drives New Jersey’s Economy.
This educational initiative translates the hard data into easily understandable and accessible charts and infographics. It will help decision-makers at all levels of government understand that investing in the state’s water infrastructure is a boost to our economy, public health, and the environment.
“A $1 billion investment in the state’s water infrastructure would create 13,787 jobs. From those jobs, workers would earn $739.5 million and state and local economies would receive $143.1 million in new revenue”
“In 2016, nearly 1.7 million workers were directly involved in designing, constructing, and operating water systems and infrastructure”
“44.6% of water workers are over 54 years old”
“Industries most reliant on water would see sales drops of up to 75% due to a single day’s disruption in service”
“New Jersey’s water infrastructure needs $25 billion over the next 20 years”
“Water main breaks happen every day in New Jersey. But did you know emergency repairs cost up to 10 times more than regular infrastructure maintenance?”
The cost of inaction – of failing to fix what is broken – is becoming greater every year. Between lead contamination, looming compliance deadlines with the Water Quality Accountability Act, and the need to replace combined sewer overflow systems, the need to invest in our water infrastructure is more urgent than ever.
It can be difficult communicating the value of water infrastructure since so often it is out of sight and out of mind. In order to lay the groundwork for wide-scale transformation of New Jersey’s water infrastructure systems, members of the JWW collaborative have prioritized educating the public and elected and appointed officials on the importance of taking care of water infrastructure. This booklet is a tool for doing so and we encourage all to make this economic case to their local and state elected and appointed officials today.
“90% of New Jerseyans say water infrastructure should be a priority for lawmakers”
The release of this booklet on the first day of Infrastructure Week drives home the point that investing in infrastructure is consistently one of the issues that has the strongest bipartisan support from voters, with more supporters wanting action from government on infrastructure than almost any other issue.