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2017-2018 Survey of Farm Operators and Owners in the New Jersey Central Region of the Delaware River Watershed

This report, Survey of Farm Operators and Owners in the New Jersey Central Region of the Delaware River Watershed, summarizes findings from a 2017-2018 survey of farm operators and owners in Warren, Sussex and Hunterdon Counties of New Jersey, within the Central region of the Delaware River Watershed.

The survey project was motivated by a number of questions, including:

  1. Are farm operators/owners taking advantage of opportunities to develop conservation plans and stewardship plans with government agencies and non-profit groups?
  2. Are farm operators/owners employing conservation farming practices, such as installing filter strips and sowing cover crops? If so, why, and if not, why not?
  3. Are farm operators/owners participating in conservation programs with government agencies or non-profit groups? If so, why, and if not, why not?
  4. Are farm operators/owners generally satisfied with their experience participating in conservation programs, and what kind of impact are these programs having?
  5. How much do farm operators/owners know about threats to water quality in the Delaware River Watershed? And how much do farm operators/owners know about efforts to
    improve water quality in the region through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative?
  6. Overall, what are the major factors that farm operators/owners take into account when making farm management decisions?

Each of these research questions was explored through one or more survey questions, the findings from which are detailed in this report. On the survey, all questions asked respondents to comment on farm characteristics and practices in 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Procurement Toolkit for Cities and Utilities

This Free Procurement Toolkit for Cities helps city and utility officials make critical early stage procurement decisions, including which “big city” procurement tool is most relevant and how to apply it to build resilience. The toolkit focuses on ways cities and utilities can use current procurement systems to enable better outcomes.

The procurement toolkit was piloted by seven U.S. cities: Anchorage (AK), El Paso (TX), Camden County MUA (NJ), Gary (IN), Norfolk (VA), Imperial Beach (CA) and Providence (RI).

With the generous support of the Kresge Foundationre:focus partners and The Atlas Marketplace brought together a cohort of seven cities with eight private sector implementing partner organizations to apply three innovative “big city” procurement tools to tackle major infrastructure challenges in smaller cities.

Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models

This paper, Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models, is intended to help the stormwater engineering community more easily account for trees in runoff and pollutant load calculations so that they can more readily incorporate them into their stormwater management strategies.

Funded by the US Forest Service, the paper was developed with input from experts in stormwater engineering and urban forestry.  This paper further augments a robust collection of resources the Center for Watershed Protection completed in 2017 on “Making Urban Trees Count”, which includes a comprehensive literature review and research-based tools for crediting trees in stormwater and water quality management programs.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: Information on Identified Needs, Planning for Future Conditions, and Coordination of Project Funding

The U.S. Government Accountability Office was asked to review federal programs that provide funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

This report describes (1) how federal agencies and selected states identify drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs; (2) how federal agencies have supported selected states’ planning for future conditions that may affect needs; and (3) the extent to which federal and state agencies have coordinated in
funding projects, and any challenges they faced.

Report: Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: Information on Identified Needs, Planning for Future Conditions, and Coordination of Project Funding

Assessing the Affordability of Water and Sewer Utility Costs in New Jersey

This report, Assessing the Affordability of Water and Sewer Utility Costs in New Jersey, reviews various methods that have been or could be used to evaluate the household affordability of drinking water and sewer utility costs in New Jersey. It provides a preliminary assessment of household financial stress using these methods, based on recent household income levels and estimated utility costs (2017/2018 rates) for households using 60,000 gallons per year as a common demand level. The report makes preliminary findings on household affordability based on the analyses and provides policy recommendations and ideas for additional research. This Phase 1 report was developed to provide background information for use by the Jersey Water Works collaborative and policy makers in selecting a consensus method for affordability analysis that can be used to establish baseline data for New Jersey communities.

This report is an initial step toward measurement of progress regarding the Jersey Water Works goals by establishing baseline measures for the following:

  • Drinking water and sewer utility affordability for residential users.
  • Level of financial stress facing water utilities, based on the fiscal capacity of ratepayers

This report provides an initial assessment of affordability calculation methods, levels of household stress using a variety of affordability indicators, ideas for improving the analysis through additional research, and a discussion of policy implications for the development of affordability programs.

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