April 2016 Newsletter


Students from Hoboken High and Wallace Elementary finish 1st on the storm drain mural contest. Images via @dawnzimmernj and @CityofHoboken on Twitter.


Yesterday Jersey Water Works  released its 2016 work plan,  which outlines the steps committees will take this year towards accomplishing the collaborative’s long-term goals.

“The Jersey Water Works collaborative has set itself the loftiest of goals — to ensure that the state’s cities and towns have the 21st-century water infrastructure they need to thrive,” said Dan Van Abs, associate professor of practice for water, society and the environment at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and a member of Jersey Water Works’ Steering Committee. “This year’s work plan is a set of clearly defined action items that will help make significant progress toward those goals.”

Jersey Water Works committees will reconvene in May and have already made significant progress on collaborative actions. Interested in working with members from other sectors to help accomplish the items in the work plan? To join Jersey Water Works, email Max Brekke or sign up here.


“UndertheEarthDay” Goes Underground to Celebrate Water Infrastructure On Earth Day, April 22, 2016, Jersey Water Works member organizations celebrated “Under the Earth Day”  using the hashtag #UndertheEarthDay, to bring awareness to the infrastructure under the earth. If you missed it, make sure to check out the day of action on Storify.

Dodge Partners With New Jersey Health Initiatives To Support Build It Green Competition (Geraldine R. Dodge) New Jersey Health Initiatives Director Bob Atkins and Dodge Environment Program Director Margaret Waldock explain why $165,000 in matching grants was awarded to New Jersey Future in support of the new Build It Green Competition.

Greatest Danger Facing New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure: The Unknown (NJ Spotlight)   At an NJ Spotlight roundtable earlier this month, Jersey Water Works members Dan Van Abs, Dan Kennedy, Dennis Doll and Peggy Gallos discussed the thorny challenges facing our water infrastructure and their insights into the best solutions.

Investing in New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure (NJTV News). Perth Amboy is working to replace one mile of four-inch water main, costing the city a million and a half bucks. Commenting on the project, Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz said, “It’s extensive, the work that they’re doing right now, currently. And it just has to get done.”

State Audit Says Camden's Water/Sewer System Improving (Philadelphia Inquirer). The office of the state comptroller found that Camden officials and United Water fully or partially implemented 19 of 23 recommendations made in a 2009 audit that compared the utility to that of a Third World country, according to a state report.

Paterson to Study Sewer Flow From Neighboring Towns (Paterson Times). Paterson intends to award a $51,530 engineering contract to Iselin-based Mott MacDonald to investigate the sewage flow from neighboring towns, in the hope of billing those towns for their use of Paterson's municipal sewer system.

Emerson Seeks to Ease Flooding (NorthJersey.com). Borough Engineer Gary Ascolese presented the Borough Council with several options to build new stormwater retention pipes in order to mitigate the chronic flooding in a portion of town.

Congressman Warns N.J. Water Systems in 'Dire' Need of Fixing (NJ.com). U.S. Representative Frank Pallone Jr. warns that New Jersey's water infrastructure is in dire condition. During a visit to Perth Amboy the congressman highlighted recent efforts to secure federal funds for water infrastructure improvements.

Jersey City to Make $94 Million in Water and Sewer Improvements (Hudson Reporter). Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced that the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority will invest $94 million on improvements to city water and sewer infrastructure in 2016, much of which replaces century-old drinking water and wastewater pipes. 

Byram May Join Newton in Green Infrastructure Pilot Program (New Jersey Herald).  Byram Township is considering becoming one of three pilot towns to participate in a project administered by New Jersey Future that seeks to make green infrastructure the first choice for stormwater management.

New York State offers grants to help communities with monitoring, reporting of combined sewer overflows (NYDEC). New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that up to $500,000 in funding is now available for projects that will assist communities with the detection, monitoring and reporting of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to to meet the reporting requirements of the Sewage Pollution Right To Know Law. 


If  you have not submitted yet, applications for the Build it Green Competition (BIG) are due this Saturday, April 30, 2016!

Follow the application guidelines and submit your completed application via email.


Value of Water Coalition National Survey. This survey measured respondents' level of concern about water infrastructure and their willingness to pay more on their monthly water bill to maintain or upgrade it.

News4 New York's I-Team Lead Map. This interactive map shows high levels of lead discovered in more than 300 water systems in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut between 2012 and 2015.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility Customer Assistance Programs (EPA). This report documents how drinking water and wastewater utilities are implementing customer assistance programs to ensure better access to essential drinking water delivery and wastewater management services.


2016 New Jersey Urban Mayors Association Urban Agriculture Conference, May 5, 2016. Municipalities and partners across the state will explore the economic possibilities that exist through urban agriculture and demonstrate their commitment to the shared goals of creating jobs, growing our economy and improving our quality of life.

Complying with Stormwater Regulations Workshop, May 13, 2016. This outreach and technical assistance program will provide guidance and direction on the benefits and opportunities of implementing green infrastructure practices. Hosted by Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) and  Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program 

The New Jersey Water Environment Association 101st John J. Lagrosa Conference & Exposition, May 16-20, 2016. Don’t miss Jersey Water Works speakers, including Andy Kricun of Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority on improving operational performance and reducing costs, and Chris Sturm of New Jersey Future and Jennifer Gonzalez of Louis Berger on NJAIMS .

One Water Summit 2016. June 8-10, 2016, Atlanta. At this U.S. Water Alliance event, utilities, business leaders, policymakers, environmental advocates, community leaders, and researchers will gather and assess how water drives economic growth, environmental sustainability, and opportunity for all in the United States.

2016 New Jersey Sustainability Summit, June 15, 2016. This year’s summit will dig deeper into the energy and waste dimensions of sustainability and explore what communities can do in these areas.

2016 Mid-Atlantic Conference of the American Water Resources Association, Sept. 15-16, 2016, Wilmington, Del. The conference program will include a wide range of water resources topics directed to interested practitioners, researchers and students from a variety of disciplines.  Abstracts due May 2, 2016. Hosted by the Delaware section of the American Water Resources Association. 


Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program (USDA). Funding available for drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in rural areas. Applications for this program are accepted year round. 

New York / New Jersey Aquatic Trash Prevention 2016 Grant Program (EPA). Funding available for projects aligned with the goals of EPA’s Trash Free Waters program, for watersheds in both New York and New Jersey. Applications due May 10, 2016.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program. Funding available for projects that secure public access, improve recreational opportunities and preserve ecosystem benefits for local communities on federal public lands.  Applications due May 20, 2016.

2017 National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program. Grants available for developing a national urban forestry funding assessment and methodology or for understanding urban forest ecosystem/ecological services. Applications due June 17, 2016.

Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance - National Park Service. Facilitation and planning expertise available for community-led conservation and outdoor recreation projects. Project ideas can include a bike path, a water trail, or a park. Applications due June 30, 2016.

Jersey Water Works is a collaborative effort working to transform New Jersey's inadequate water infrastructure through sustainable, cost-effective solutions that provide communities with clean water and waterways; healthier, safer neighborhoods; local jobs; flood and climate resilience; and economic growth.

Jersey Water Works welcomes individuals and organizations committed to working towards transforming New Jersey’s inadequate water infrastructure through sustainable, cost-effective solutions that provide communities multiple benefits.