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Letter to New Jersey’s Mayors on the Importance of Investing in Water Infrastructure

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Lauren Belsky, Program Coordinator, Jersey Water Works
The Education and Outreach Committee drafted a letter to New Jersey’s mayors, per their work item to educate and inform elected officials on the benefit of investing in water infrastructure. The personalized letter was sent to each of the state’s mayors on July 21. 


Dear Mayor,


We are writing as co-chairs of the Education and Outreach committee of Jersey Water Works. As you may know, the 600+ members of Jersey Water Works are working to transform New Jersey’s inadequate water infrastructure through sustainable, cost-effective solutions that provide communities like yours with clean water and waterways; healthier, safer neighborhoods; local jobs; flood and climate resilience; and economic growth.


As a local leader, you are on the front lines of addressing clean water challenges like aging pipes, lead contamination, and chronic flooding. Thankfully, funding opportunities are increasing, such as the $3.5B in federal American Rescue Plan funding that was recently distributed to counties ($1.8B) and municipalities ($1.7B) in New Jersey.


We are excited to make you aware of the following opportunities:


  • Committing a portion of your American Rescue Plan funds to upgrade your drinking water, wastewater, or stormwater infrastructure creates multiple benefits for your community. Engage with Jersey Water Works or your utility company to help you. For example, you can use these funds to replace lead service lines. If your community does not operate a municipal utility, you can partner with your regional water or sewer authority.


  • Join or increase your participation in Jersey Water Works. Our annual Membership Meeting will be held virtually on July 28th from 1pm to 3pm, and it will feature a panel discussion of representatives from different water sectors presenting information about the latest water infrastructure opportunities. Register and join us for free!


Why local governments participate in Jersey Water Works:


In its sixth year of existence, the Jersey Water Works collaborative continues to address significant challenges in the water infrastructure sector. Two public opinion surveys confirmed that drinking water quality is the highest environmental concern among New Jersey residents. Ensuring that all people have safe drinking water should be a top priority for our governor and legislature. Our work is centered around four shared goals: (1) Effective and Financially Sustainable Systems, (2) Empowered Stakeholders, (3) Successful and Beneficial Green Infrastructure, and (4) Smart Combined Sewer Overflow Control Plans.


As you and your constituents may have experienced, utilities provided uninterrupted water service throughout the pandemic. However, antiquated water supply, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure threaten to disrupt daily life, commerce, and industry throughout the state. The associated cost to reconstruct and operate these critical assets poses a significant financial challenge to New Jersey towns and cities.


To position New Jersey’s cities for a prosperous future, the Jersey Water Works collaborative includes over 600 public, private, and non-governmental partners who collectively seek to ensure that resources are sufficient to maintain the state’s water infrastructure in a state of good repair. There is power in collaboration, and we believe that we can solve this complex problem if we work together, rather than alone.


For more information about Jersey Water Works which offers multiple resources for your review, and check out Jersey WaterCheck to learn more about the utilities serving your immediate community.




Christine Ballard
CDM Smith
Co-chair, Education and Outreach, Jersey Water Works


Lester Taylor
Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor, LLC
Co-chair, Education and Outreach, Jersey Water Works
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