Jersey Water Works Releases 2017 Work Plan

Jersey Water Works, the cross-sector collaborative focused on upgrading the state’s water infrastructure, released its work plan for 2017.

The work plan, to be executed by the collaborative’s committees, includes practical projects that will make water, sewer and stormwater systems more cost-effective and beneficial to the communities they serve. The projects advance best practices, better stakeholder engagement, and affordability for all ratepayers, among other goals. The work plan builds on the committees’ accomplishments from their 2016 work plan.

“Last year the American Society of Civil Engineers gave New Jersey a grade of C for drinking-water infrastructure and D for wastewater infrastructure,” said Mark Mauriello of Edgewood Properties, a co-chair of the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee. “This work plan, like last year’s, contains specific, implementable actions that will help the state improve its grades in both those categories.”

Among goals of the 2017 work plan:

  • The Finance Committee will publish a case study highlighting the financial benefits of good asset management;
  • The Municipal Outreach Committee will work with the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association to develop policy recommendations for upgrading their water infrastructure, to be announced at a fall event;
  • The Green Infrastructure Committee will work to further the implementation of “green streets” by recommending policy changes, promoting state and federal green infrastructure pilot projects, and expanding the Sustainable Jersey Complete Streets action to include green streets;
  • The Community Engagement Committee will develop tools and resources that combined-sewer system permit holders can use to help meet their permits’ public engagement requirements;
  • The Best Practices Committee will conduct a study of the legal impediments to establishing ratepayer assistance programs for water charges (similar to the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program), and will make policy recommendations to overcome those impediments.

“The level of commitment that Jersey Water Works committee members show is truly awe-inspiring,” said Jane Kenny of Whitman Strategy Group, who co-chairs the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee with Mark Mauriello. “These are smart, knowledgeable, dedicated people who are working tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to move the collaborative closer to its goals of world-class water infrastructure that supports engaged, healthy, vibrant communities across the state. The work plan is ambitious, but I have no doubt that together we will get it done.”

The collaborative will celebrate its committees’ 2017 accomplishments at its annual conference in December.

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