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.
Basic Water Utility Management: A Guide for Local Leaders
This brief, Basic Water Utility Management: A Guide for Local Leaders, presents tools to help mayors understand their water systems and utilities better.
Cities are better off with strong water systems, but these take time, investment, and political will to build and maintain. Many cities are facing aging infrastructure, water quality challenges, combined sewer overflows, and more. These things impact the quality of life of everyone within the city. It is important for mayors to understand the different ways water intersect with their city. Part of a mayor’s job is to understand vital operations of a city—at least in overview. Water utilities and infrastructure are a part of that.
Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders
This brief, Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders, focuses on the most sustainable, equitable toolkit to finance and operate publicly-owned water utilities, for which elected city or utility leaders can advocate.
Water infrastructure systems are complex, but elected and staff leaders in cities are well poised to advance more sustainable funding arrangements while addressing the affordability of the water bill for their lowest-income residents. This brief does not weigh in with recommendations for state or federal governments, though they are critical to how public utilities can be financed and operated. It also does not address financing for privately owned or operated utilities.
Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School
This report, Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School, by the Environment America and U.S. PIRG Education Fund provides recommendations for states and communities to address the problem of lead in drinking water in schools across the nation.
Research to Move Toward Evidence-Based Recommendations for Lead Service Line Disclosure Policies in Home Buying and Home Renting Scenarios
EDF and collaborators at Cornell published a new study that provides insight into how disclosure policies can impact potential home-buyer and renter behavior. This effort builds on a report EDF published in 2017 grading state housing disclosure policies according to their ability to help homebuyers make informed decisions about lead service lines (LSLs) before they sign a sales contract. LSLs are pipes that connect homes to the water mains under the street and are a major source of lead in drinking water. Four states — Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania — and Washington, DC scored an A-. Twenty-one states scored a D or F. The remaining 25 states scored a B or C.
How Americans Relate to Water: A Qualitative Study
Americans are increasingly asked to make important decisions about managing our collective water resources. To do so, Water Main believes that people need both Water IQ, an understanding of key issues, and Water EQ, a personal connection to water.
How do Americans relate to water? To shed light on that question, The Water Main conducted this national study, How Americans Relate to Water: A Qualitative Study, that asked Americans just that.
For this study, How Americans Relate to Water: A Qualitative Study, a total of 201 surveys were completed with respondents from 11 selected regions of the United States, for an overall response rate of 5.5%. This exploratory study begins to break ground on a topic that is not yet well understood.
White paper: https://www.thewatermain.org/s/APM_WaterMainReport_PUBLISH.pdf
Executive Summary: https://www.thewatermain.org/s/Water-handout-vFINAL.pdf