, March 29, 2019 -- Today the Jersey Water Works collaborative released its
2019 work plan
, detailing the projects its committees will tackle this year. This year's efforts build on the
work plans that resulted in concrete, measurable accomplishments towards meeting the collaborative's larger goal of transforming New Jersey's inadequate water infrastructure.
"This work plan reflects actionable opportunities to upgrade and transform New Jersey's drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems -- issues receiving a new level of attention from state and local government and multi-community collaboration," said Jane Kenny, Jersey Water Works co-chair. "The work is challenging and requires a collaborative effort of unlikely partners from different sectors and from all perspectives, but we know from statewide polling that the public cares deeply about these issues. This work plan helps guide that collaboration, holds us accountable for the work we commit to, and demonstrates that there is no problem facing New Jersey that is too big to tackle."
Made up of more than 500 members, Jersey Water Works is 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.
Through this work plan, the collaborative advances improvements to water infrastructure and seeks to advance equitable outcomes by addressing the areas of asset management and finance; education and outreach; green infrastructure; and combined sewer overflows.
Some of the highlights from this year's work plan include:
- Issuing a report assessing drinking water utility capital investments in New Jersey.
- Implementing a pilot schools program to educate grade-school students on water infrastructure.
- Working with EPA to create and promote a Green Streets handbook for New Jersey communities.
- Reviewing the Development and Evaluation of Alternatives reports due to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on July 1 and developing a summary document highlighting:
- Consideration of green and gray infrastructure
- Consideration of community input
- A list of the alternatives considered in each report with descriptive information on its review
- Innovative ideas.
"This will be an exciting year for the collaborative," said Mark Mauriello, Jersey Water Works co-chair. "We are pleased to see the scope and breadth of this year's projects and their focus on timely issues, including stormwater utilities, combined sewer overflow long-term control plans, and the Water Quality Accountability Act. Jersey Water Works has been successful in bringing cross-sector stakeholders to the table to discuss the problems facing New Jersey's aging water infrastructure, and by ensuring that diverse perspectives are heard, Jersey Water Works is cultivating fresh ideas to solve old problems. This work plan is a result of those discussions, and lays out the path towards meaningful improvements."