Upgrading the water systems in New Jersey’s cities and towns is a generational challenge that must serve the residents and businesses who pay the bills, and the elected officials responsible for addressing a host of community issues.
Effective community engagement processes feature active the participation of community partners and ratepayers, who are able to influence the planning and management of their water infrastructure. Community support is also reflected in municipal plans, ordinances.
An Update on New Jersey Opinions on the State of Our Water Systems, the Environment, and Infrastructure
Jersey Water Works and New Jersey Future today released the results of a survey of 1,176 New Jersey residents that indicate that residents continue to believe that securing clean, safe drinking water should be the top environmental priority for the governor and Legislature.
The survey, an abridged follow up to one conducted in 2017, shows that concern about lead in drinking water has remained steady with over three-quarters of the respondents indicating that removing lead from water is a top priority. Fully 90 percent respondents said investing in repairing pipes and infrastructure is a “top” or “important” priority. Additionally, residents continue to worry about the quality of their drinking water, and over a third indicated that they prefer to drink bottled water over the water from their faucets.
Federal Funding Sign On Letter to the New Jersey Congressional Delegation
The members Jersey Water Works drafted a letter to New Jersey’s congressional delegation. Sent on January 27, the 56 signatories called on them to support critical investments in our state’s water infrastructure. New Jersey’s communities continue to confront issues including aging infrastructure, lead in drinking water, combined sewer overflows, and polluted waterways. With the added burden of the COVID-19 economy, the funds needed for these infrastructure investments exceeds the resources available to local and state governments, making a federal infrastructure investment essential. The letter details five steps the federal government can take to ensure safe, clean drinking water for every New Jerseyan.
Assessing Public Input and Consideration of Green Infrastructure in NJ CSO Reports
This paper, Assessing Public Input and Consideration of Green Infrastructure in NJ CSO Reports, assesses how well the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Development and Evaluation of Alternatives Reports meet the Jersey Water Works (JWW) goals for “Smart CSO Plans.”
The Development and Evaluation of Alternative Reports (DEARs) were submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in July 2019, with a deadline for the final LTCPs of October 2020. The committee reviewed 24 reports submitted on behalf of 25 permit holders; some reports were consolidated based on regional reports. Nine regional collaborations of sewage treatment plants and municipal permit holders worked together on the development and evaluation of alternatives. Of the 25 permit holders, the City of Trenton was the single permit holder not included in this review because the City has already submitted its LTCP.
This paper summarizes the committee’s findings, with focus on the types of alternatives evaluated, green infrastructure considerations, and extent of public participation.
Drinking Water Guide: A Resource for Advocates
The River Network’s Drinking Water Guide is a first step in galvanizing a national network of advocates for safe, clean, affordable, and sustainable drinking water and drinking water systems. River Network hopes that the guide will serve as a key resource for groups and individuals working on these issues to better understand, integrate, and elevate issues of equity and justice as part of their drinking water advocacy.
Handout: Water Infrastructure Drives New Jersey’s Economy
In order to lay the groundwork for wide-scale transformation of New Jersey’s water infrastructure systems, members of the Jersey Water Works 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 Jersey Water Works encourages all to make this economic case to their local and state elected and appointed officials today.