Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Water and Sewer

Water is a fundamental resource both to New Jersey’s natural heritage and to its economic well-being. Water resources serve the needs of people, agriculture and industry. The regulatory system governing the use of water and wastewater not only affects our environmental health, but can also help rein in sprawl and support the smart, center-based development called for in the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

The state of New Jersey has a complex system of laws, regulations and programs that address planning for and management of water, wastewater and stormwater.  This system addresses both water quantity (supply) and water quality, and affects water infrastructure and land use decisions.

At the regional level, planning frameworks in the Highlands and Pinelands regions were established to protect those regions’ vulnerable water resources.

One of the first rules of land use is that development follows infrastructure. Where sewers are located largely dictates where development occurs. Similarly, where and how septic systems are regulated governs how larger-lot subdivisions are designed.

The New Jersey state Department of Environmental Protection administers the statewide Water Quality Management Planning (WQMP) rule, NJAC 7:15, in order to ensure water quality through a wastewater planning process and related mechanisms.

New Jersey Future has been actively engaged in researching, convening stakeholders and advising the wastewater planning process because of its impact on where and how growth occurs. Working with county planning departments and staff at the DEP Division of Coastal and Land Use Planning, we tracked progress in the adoption of updated Future Wastewater Service Area (FWSA) maps, which will likely affect where state government directs development incentives.

Other resources:

  • Background information on wastewater planning from ANJEC
  • DEP Water Quality Management Planning page, with links to the WQMP rule, statutes, and related items

New Jersey’s urban areas face particular water-infrastructure challenges, exacerbated by a coming deadline for establishing plans to control their sewer systems. Learn more and download our report, Ripple Effects, on our urban water infrastructure resource page.

 

  • Water Infrastructure for Thriving CommunitiesWater Infrastructure for Thriving Communities

    A resource page focused on initiatives to upgrade New Jersey's aging water infrastructure and reduce combined-sewer overflows.

  • Stormwater UtilitiesStormwater Utilities

    A resource page focused on stormwater utilities, an important tool available to communities to help manage stormwater-related polluted runoff and flooding.

  • Mainstreaming Green Infrastructurebioswale in Somerset, New Jersey, captures rainwater and reduces flood risk.

    Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure is a program to make green infrastructure the first choice for stormwater management in New Jersey.

New Jersey Future Blog
NJDEP Finalizes Water Infrastructure Investment Priorities for 2023

All New Jerseyans deserve to drink clean water, to avoid flooding and sewage backups in their homes and neighborhoods, and to pay affordable water and sewer charges. Every single one. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.

PFAS in the Garden State: What It Is and What We’re Doing About It

If the increased prevalence of the term “perfluoroalkyl” has you scratching your head, you’re not alone! Read on to learn about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), why you should care, and what we’re doing about it here in New Jersey.

New Jersey Future Shapes and Supports New Flood Disclosure Legislation

New Jersey has started down the path to join 29 other states that require home sellers to disclose past flood damages to potential buyers. Senate Bill 3110, which would benefit renters in addition to homeowners, was introduced last week at the Senate Environment and Energy Committee hearing on Thursday, October 6. This bill took shape two months after a joint Assembly and Senate Environment Committee hearing in which New Jersey Future testified on the need for robust flood disclosure legislation.

Clean Water in the Garden State: Reflecting on 50 years of Progress and Challenges

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the monumental piece of legislation known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA plays an important role in cleaning water pollution and protecting healthy waterways in the State of New Jersey for drinking water supply, healthy habitat for fish and wildlife, and economic and recreational activity. As we look ahead, we also acknowledge the work that still must be done to ensure that the CWA’s legacy is lived out in full.

New Jersey Future Provides Direction at Joint State Senate and State Assembly Climate Hearing

“As New Jersey works to advance decarbonization and resilience efforts, we must ensure that residents are able to make informed decisions for themselves, and their families, in the wake of growing climate risks,” said New Jersey Future (NJF) Policy Manager Kim Irby, at the August 11th joint legislative committee hearing hosted by State Senator Bob Smith (D-17) and State Assemblyman James Kennedy (D-22) last Thursday.

Articles and Stories
Growing Smart and Water Wise

Development in the Pinelands growth areas has affected water resources and will continue to exert pressures going forward. This report highlights what can be done by municipal, regional and state agencies to minimize their negative impacts. July 2014.

Ripple Effects

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.

2016 Smart Growth Award Winners

A redevelopment of a landmark downtown building; several projects designed to spur homeownership in historically disinvested areas; an urban farm; and a bold resiliency plan are the winners of New Jersey Future’s 2016 Smart Growth Awards. Al Koeppe is the recipient of the Cary Edwards Leadership Award.

2015 Smart Growth Award Winners

A redevelopment of a historic urban park; the expansion of an anchor institution in our capital city; a “complete” redesign of a major urban street; a landmark multi-use building that serves as a community anchor; two plans to revitalize neighborhoods near transit; and a pioneering collaborative effort to improve urban neighborhoods prone to stormwater flooding are the winners of New Jersey Future’s 2015 Smart Growth Awards. Anne S. Babineau Esq. wins the Cary Edwards Leadership Award.

Communicating Value to Consumers: Strategies for Water and Sewer Utilities

A one-hour webinar focused on consumer-facing communications strategies for water and sewer utilities. Thursday, May 14, 2015.

See all New Jersey Future Blog posts and articles in this category »
 

Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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