December 2019
A Flood of Ideas
Over 300 conference attendees hear updates on the work of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and how it affects New Jersey. Throughout the day, participants explored the topics of ingraining trust in our water systems, the challenges posed by emerging contaminants and resilience, and connecting to water through art.

Speaker: Walter Mugdan, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region 2
Jersey Water Works Conference Gathers Water Leaders and Innovators
The fifth annual JWW conference brought together a record-breaking number of stakeholders to hear from national, state, and local leaders on innovative solutions and proven approaches for addressing the state's water infrastructure. This year’s conference featured three afternoon breakout sessions; conference attendees were able to dive deeper with a range of cross-sector experts and advocates on lead in drinking water, NJDEP’s new green infrastructure requirements, and Camden’s equitable water future.

Members from across the state announced their commitments to action in 2020 , projects or initiatives they plan to undertake that will further the collaborative's goals. Winners of the 2019 One Water Awards were recognized for their holistic water infrastructure projects and programs. John Keller of coLAB Arts shared how to use art in our communities to facilitate conversations around our relationship with water, as described in this blog post .
  • What steps can you, your business or organization, or your municipality take to make a difference and have a hand in helping fix our water systems? Choose what Your Water Actions will be; stop by to pick one up at our office or let us know if you want us to mail you some!

Find photos, videos, and presentations here . Missed the event? Stay tuned for blog posts recapping the day! 

Walter Mugdan was interviewed after speaking at the Jersey Water Works Conference:
A New Way to Tell Your Water Story

This comic by Blake Nelson at NJ.com helps illustrate the process of how lead can get into our drinking water. It walks the reader through water treatment plants, corrosion control, lead service lines, and where problems can arise in the process. The footnotes include reports from experts in the region and citations. Photo credit: Blake Nelson , NJ.com

Legislative Updates

  • S4110/A5854, which would allow municipalities to adopt an ordinance to enter properties to perform lead service line replacements, has passed both houses and is awaiting the Governor's signature. This allows utilities and municipalities to ensure lead service lines get replaced while realizing the significant cost savings associated with replacing lines in a methodical neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach.

  • Since the Jersey Water Works Lead in Drinking Water Task Force released its recommendations, the governor and the legislature has been working toward permanent, holistic, and cost-effective solutions to eliminate lead in drinking water. Many bills have been introduced in the last two months, the most significant of which is perhaps S4177/A6013, which would require utilities to develop lead service line inventories and replace lead service lines.

  • At the end of 2018, the Senate passed S276, which permits utilities to reduce water and sewerage rates for low-income customers. The companion bill A3864 was voted out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week. It is not yet scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly.

  • NJDEP adopted changes to a stormwater rule earlier this month. The changes to the rule, which are intended to control pollution from stormwater runoff with the use of green infrastructure, will be available when published in the New Jersey Register.


Funding Opportunities and Resources


This report, Opportunities in Distributed Water Infrastructure , outlines the differences between distributed and centralized water infrastructure, how and where distributed water infrastructure can be applied, and how distributed infrastructure plays out in urban and rural settings.
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.
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