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Effective and Financially Sustainable Systems

The water infrastructure most in need of upgrading happens to be in New Jersey’s oldest cities — which are in many cases the most distressed places in the state. They have high rates of poverty and disinvestment, meaning the resources available to pay for these upgrades are extremely limited.

But even in New Jersey’s suburbs, the pipes that carry drinking water and collect sewage and stormwater are aging and in need of costly upgrades and repair. Too often, out of sight has meant out of mind when it comes to maintenance.

Jersey Water Works is helping to identify practical and innovative financing practices to help these places complete the necessary upgrades. Upgraded water systems provide a basis for greater economic growth, so the financing mechanisms represent an investment in our cities’ future.

Resources

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.

Take a Proactive Approach to Rehabilitate Aging Infrastructure

This case study from American Water Works Association’s OpFlow, Take a Proactive Approach to Rehabilitate Aging Infrastructure, observes Dedham, Massachusetts, a historic town which has implemented a comprehensive asset management and rehabilitation program to create a more efficient, less costly, and more predictable wastewater collection system.

Informing, Improving, and Expanding Water Quality and Financing through Advanced Data Management

Informing, Improving, and Expanding Water Quality and Financing through Advanced Data Management

Over the past three decades, billions of federal, state, and local dollars have been deployed to support water infrastructure projects and other programs that reduce point and nonpoint sources of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center examined the trends that emerged in terms of project characteristics that drive successful outcomes and identified gaps in how funders collect evaluation data. After analyzing 699 projects across two major Bay-wide funders, the EFC provided recommendations for improving the impact of grant-funded programs and projects. Specifically, the EFC recommended that funders establish a process to better coordinate data collection efforts in order to assess and improve future program evaluation and regional investment. The complete findings and recommendations are detailed in the report.

MS4 Stormwater Permitting Guide

The MS4 Stormwater Permitting Guide is a tool for utility and stormwater professionals either navigating the permitting process for the first time or the expert looking to answer advanced MS4-related questions.

The Guide tackles timely and relevant stormwater issues such as permit terms, the Maximum Extent Practical (MEP) standard versus water-quality standards, water quality trading in the context of stormwater, post-construction needs, and more.

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