Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Upgrading Water Infrastructure

New Jersey’s cities and towns face a multi-billion-dollar price-tag to fix drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The cost of not fixing them will be even higher.

New Jersey Future is working to facilitate sustainable, cost effective investment in New Jersey’s water infrastructure, laying the groundwork for economic development and healthy communities.

New Jersey Future’s current work includes:

Jersey Water Works is a cross-sector collaborative focused on transforming New Jersey’s inadequate urban water infrastructure by investing in sustainable, cost-effective solutions that provide communities with clean water and waterways; healthier, safer neighborhoods; local jobs; flood and climate resilience; and economic growth.

New Jersey Future provides administrative support to the Jersey Water Works collaborative as well as serving on its Steering Committee.

Empowering Communities To Shape Water Infrastructure Investments

New Jersey Future is cultivating stakeholders to promote just and sustainable water infrastructure solutions that resolve their city’s combined sewer overflow (CSO) problem and also provide broader community benefits. We will work directly in two to three cities and provide a peer support network for our partners working in other cities.


In 2015 New Jersey Future joined with design+finance firm re:focus partners to create the Build it Green (BIG) Initiative, a project to help New Jersey communities design, finance, and implement integrated projects aimed at addressing CSOs alongside other urgent community priorities.

Advancing Sewer and Stormwater Solutions in Newark

New Jersey Future is expanding the City of Newark’s capacity to upgrade its sewer and stormwater infrastructure in an efficient, green and financially sustainable manner by integrating green infrastructure into new development and redevelopment projects, engaging the business community, and, with our partner The Nature Conservancy, supporting the establishment of new funding mechanisms.

‘Connecting with Stakeholders’ Program for CSO Communities

To help cities and utilities with combined sewer systems make the case for water infrastructure investments, New Jersey Future has engaged one of the best communications organizations in the industry, DC Water.  Their experts will share their expertise at kick-off meetings hosted by mayors and two in-depth workshops and they’ll provide customizable materials and free follow-up assistance.

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure is a program of New Jersey Future aimed at moving green stormwater infrastructure practices into the mainstream. Years ago, green-building standards such as LEED were considered eccentric and expensive. Now, they are mainstream – understood to be the smart way to build. The same thing is beginning to happen with green infrastructure.

Recent Reports:



Ripple Effects

This report explores urban water infrastructure in two ways:

Part 1: The State of Water Infrastructure in New Jersey Cities
Part 2: Why Water Infrastructure Matters – Stories From Four Cities

An Agenda for Change

Twenty-one participants from diverse perspectives met in Jersey City on May 20-21, 2014, to build consensus on an Agenda for Change to catalyze the transformation of New Jersey’s urban water infrastructure (water supply, wastewater and stormwater). The group established Guiding Principles for improving urban water infrastructure, identified the Drivers for Action and recommended a set of Action Steps to stimulate progress.

Water Infrastructure in New Jersey’s CSO Cities: Elevating the Importance of Upgrading New Jersey’s Urban Water Systems

This report was developed by Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey team led by Daniel J. Van Abs Ph.D. PP AICP. It focuses on the 21 New Jersey municipalities that have combined sewer systems and examines issues regarding water supply and wastewater capacity for these municipalities. Water and Sewer System Ownership and Management Map: A detailed review of water and sewer system ownership and management, including collection systems and treatment plants, in New Jersey CSO municipalities.

Charting New Waters
Developing an Agenda for Change for New Jersey’s Urban Water Infrastructure

In May 2014, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread partnered with New Jersey Future and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to convene a diverse group of New Jersey leaders to develop an agenda for change aimed at catalyzing action to address urban water infrastructure challenges in the state. The convening resulted in two products: 1) a three-page consensus Agenda for Change for New Jersey’s Urban Water Infrastructure, which captured the collective priorities of the group, and 2) this report, which elaborates upon the consensus document and presents The Johnson Foundation’s synthesis of the broader range of information, insights and ideas shared during the convening.

Future Facts
Water Conference Urges Action From New Jersey’s New Administration

More than 300 people from across the water sector attended Jersey Water Works’ third annual conference, focused on priorities for the incoming Murphy administration.

A Year One Clean Water Agenda for the New Governor

A group of public-sector, private-sector and nonprofit organizations has proposed Year One Clean Water Agenda for Governor-elect Phil Murphy, urging him to prioritize investment in clean water during the first year of his administration.

Gubernatorial Candidates on Key Issues Facing New Jersey

We asked the Democrat and Republican candidates for governor how they would approach some of the key issues the winner will face when he or she takes office. Here is what they said.

Sound Management, Transparency Key to Ensuring Reliable, Reasonably Priced Drinking Water

New Jersey Future’s statement on newly enacted legislation that will require water utilities to develop plans for regular maintenance and investment in their drinking water systems.

McKinsey’s Smart Economic Vision for New Jersey

A new report from McKinsey & Company on ways to accelerate New Jersey’s economic growth includes many smart-growth recommendations that New Jersey Future’s gubernatorial platform also addresses.

Articles and Stories
NJDEP Issues Sewer Permits That Will Launch Generational Investments

03/12/2015: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today issued final permits to the 25 cities and utilities that operate combined-sewer systems (CSSs), a first step to updating decrepit infrastructure, minimizing flooding and keeping raw sewage from reaching public waterways.

New Jersey’s Urban Water Systems: A Challenge, and an Opportunity for Collaboration, Engagement, Innovation, Vision

How can New Jersey turn this urban water infrastructure crisis into an opportunity for long-term prosperity. August 2014.

Experts Agree on Action Agenda To Address State’s Water Infrastructure Problems

This report and related case studies summarize the state of urban water infrastructure in New Jersey and how it affects residents and businesses. May 2014.

New Report Highlights New Jersey’s Water Infrastructure Crisis

This report and related case studies summarize the state of urban water infrastructure in New Jersey and how it affects residents and businesses. May 2014.

New Jersey Future Op-Ed Button
A Grownup’s Christmas Wishlist for New Jersey (from a land-use perspective)

Dec. 15, 2014 — New Jersey Future’s wish list for 2015 — adequate transportation funding; homes that are affordable; updated statewide water supply plan; a new tunnel under the Hudson River; protection from future storms and a new State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

See all Future Facts and Articles in this category »

Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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