Flooding and Drought: A Proportionate Concern for New Jersey Counties

Apr 06

Flooding and Drought: A Proportionate Concern for New Jersey Counties

Spring has arrived and along with this change of seasons brings a continued concern for drought conditions for many counties within New Jersey.  A collection of data taken in recent months suggests that several reservoirs have fallen well below capacity. Several cities did not get as much snow and rain as it needed during the winter, but the good news is the rain and snow that did occur helped boost the overall water storage levels to nearly 90 percent capacity. However, the cities located in low-lying areas have a different concern-flooding. Many cities are making adjustments to their infrastructure systems in order to better prepare for future storms. Recently, Middlesex County began the construction of a 1,700-foot flood wall. Upon completion the wall is anticipated to reach up to 21 feet above sea level. This is one of many future planned initiatives to assist the state in its resiliency objective in order to be adequately prepared during major storm surges. The funding for these projects is assisted through the Statewide Assistance Infrastructure Loan program which is expressly for the purpose of providing aid for disaster relief projects. The Township is in the process of planning helpful seminars, as well as workshops, to inform local residents on how storm water runoff and flash flooding affect the environment.  The workshops will outline a strategy and detail a long-term control plan on prioritizing several green infrastructure initiatives. Interestingly, a recent evaluation of Best Management Practices for Green infrastructure shows green roofs to have the most expensive capital while also having one of the lowest maintenance costs. Additional County investments will also include projects for enhanced water infrastructure initiatives. Interesting fact: A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher....

Read More

New Jersey Cities Work Together to Improve Local Water Infrastructures

Jan 23

New Jersey Cities Work Together to Improve Local Water Infrastructures

Many cities throughout New Jersey are becoming more attune to the recommendations and benefits of sewer sustainable initiatives. Cities such as Newark, Camden, and Trenton have been awarded green bonds, or funding, to exhibit conscientiousness toward the need for green infrastructures.  The state has recently issued infrastructure bonds as “green bonds” to promote and amplify its commitment to financing water quality infrastructure projects that enhance water resources and protect public health.  Residents of communities across the state are doing their part by volunteering their time and energies in order to clean up local shorelines, rivers and creeks in the New York-New Jersey harbor estuary. Additionally, municipalities are participating in a certification program to promote water infrastructure best practices. Municipalities will be able to receive points for conducting a water loss audit, developing a green infrastructure plan and installing green infrastructure practices within their municipalities. A workshop dedicated to educating on this initiative will be scheduled for early February. A review of the new water infrastructure actions within the certification program will take place concurrently. The city of Hoboken has also recently announced its plan to develop the first Capital Improvement Plan- for intermediate and longer-term investments- in its water distribution system. The Improvement Plan will provide a well-planned approach that optimizes the funding required to maintain water systems in a state of good repair. The city will evaluate and recommend options for managing Hoboken’s water infrastructure and develop a sustainable financial implementation strategy. More strategies close to home: Thomas Edison State University is helping develop a Water Infrastructure Committee of their own. Specifically, as an objective to improve the water infrastructure systems in urban communities. The primary goal of the Water Infrastructure Committee will be to foster awareness regarding combined sewer overflows, as well as identify funding sources and best practices in the management of aging water...

Read More