Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Water Infrastructure for Thriving Communities

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.

Strong communities depend upon reliable water infrastructure. Every resident and business in New Jersey deserves safe drinking water, clean rivers, and flood-free neighborhoods. The growing New Jersey Future water team is working to transform the state’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems through a multi-pronged approach to engage people, change state policy, and foster innovation. For more information on New Jersey Future’s work in this area, please contact Managing Director for Policy and Water Chris Sturm  (csturmatnjfuturedotorg)  , or any of the individual program leads noted below.

Jersey Water Works

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.

  • The collaborative has convened a Lead in Drinking Water Task Force to develop a practical, broadly supported agenda for eliminating lead in drinking water. The task force’s report, Lead in Drinking Water: A Permanent Solution for New Jersey, outlines actions New Jersey can take to virtually eliminate lead in drinking water in 10 years. In 2019-2020 and beyond, the task force will work on implementing the report recommendations.
  • The collaborative is creating a data dashboard to display the current condition of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, as well as progress toward improvements. By supporting continuous learning and action, the dashboard will accelerate the improvement of water infrastructure in the collaborative’s four goal areas.

New Jersey Future provides backbone staff support to the Jersey Water Works collaborative as well as serving on its Steering Committee. For more information or to join the collaborative, please contact Program Manager Paula Figueroa-Vega  (pfigueroaatnjfuturedotorg)   or Program Coordinator Lauren Belsky  (lbelskyatnjfuturedotorg)  .

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure aims to move green stormwater infrastructure practices into the mainstream. New Jersey Future is working with pilot towns to integrate green infrastructure into their community plans, capital projects and development review processes; partnering with developers and their professionals; facilitating innovative demonstration projects; and working with state agencies to update and improve rules, manuals, standards and programs to facilitate the use of green infrastructure. Among the resources the program has produced:

  • Developer’s Green Infrastructure Guide is an online and printed information resource, produced in collaboration with the New Jersey Builders Association, to facilitate the inclusion of green infrastructure in private-sector developments.

For more information on the Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure program please contact Director of Stormwater Kandyce Perry  (kperryatnjfuturedotorg)  .


Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers

New Jersey Future coordinates Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers, an action-oriented campaign in communities with combined sewer systems to to empower community organizations to engage residents and small business owners to shape the solutions that will be adopted in July 2020 to reduce localized flooding and the raw sewage dumped into our waterways. We also convene a peer support network for our partners working in other CSO cities. For more information or to join the Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers campaign, please contact Community Outreach Manager Mo Kinberg  (mkinbergatnjfuturedotorg)  .

Stormwater Utilities and Financing

New Jersey Future worked with the Flood Defense New Jersey coalition to protect communities from damaging floods and harmful stormwater pollution. Together, we supported the passage of legislation that enables the establishment of stormwater utilities as a stable funding source that local governments and utilities can use to create, maintain, or upgrade stormwater infrastructure. We are now providing support and resources to help communities establish stormwater utilities. For more information on stormwater utilities, please contact Senior Policy Manager Gary Brune  (gbruneatnjfuturedotorg)  .

Municipal Technical Assistance

  • Trenton Municipal Action Team
    New Jersey Future is working with the Rutgers Water Resources Program and Isles Inc. to pilot a community-based initiative addressing environmental health issues through the implementation of green infrastructure demonstration projects in the City of Trenton. New Jersey Future’s role is to help facilitate the Trenton municipal action team and to work with the city to review and recommend changes to its stormwater ordinance. For more information, please contact Director of Stormwater Kandyce Perry  (kperryatnjfuturedotorg)  .
  • Newark Green Stormwater Management
    New Jersey Future has provided technical assistance to the City of Newark on stormwater management and green infrastructure as the city prepares its combined sewer system upgrade plan. We organized study trips for city staff to Philadelphia and Buffalo; and helped staff integrate green infrastructure into city capital projects and private development, and advance green infrastructure demonstration projects. We also work with local partners to develop and promote consistent messaging on green stormwater management. For more information, please contact Director of Stormwater Kandyce Perry  (kperryatnjfuturedotorg)  .

Unlocking New Jersey’s Green Infrastructure Financing Program

New Jersey Future has worked with the New Jersey Water Bank to make it easier for cities to gain access to funding for green infrastructure projects that resolve combined sewer overflows. We are helping two cities advance through the funding process; we have prepared a user-friendly applicant’s guide; and have published a white paper that highlights program successes, identifies successful policies, and recommends strategies for applicants This work builds on our Build It Green initiative. For more information, please contact Managing Director, Policy and Water Chris Sturm  (csturmatnjfuturedotorg)  .

 

Recent Reports:

REAFC

 

 

New Jersey Future Blog
Oh, Sweet Relief! Stormwater Utilities as an Equitable Tool to Solve Flooding and Pollution

When we discuss the attributes of our favorite communities, chronic flooding or unswimmable lakes and streams do not make the list. However, many municipalities in New Jersey confront those problems and, for at least some of them, the creation of a stormwater utility could be the key to a more sustainable, prosperous future. In this session entitled Oh, Sweet Relief! Stormwater Utilities as an Equitable Took to Solve Flooding and Pollution, held during the 2021 Planning and Redevelopment Conference, co-hosted by New Jersey Future and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association, four speakers covered the basics of stormwater utilities, including typical program design, fee structures, and credits for stormwater mitigation projects.

Savvy Stormwater Strategies: How Planning at Every Level Can Help New Jersey Weather the Storm

A four-speaker panel, during the session Savvy Stormwater Strategies: How Planning at Every Level Can Help New Jersey Weather the Storm, held at the 2021 Planning and Redevelopment Conference co-hosted by New Jersey Future and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association, explored this issue from a regulatory, research, municipal, and policy standpoint. The session provided practical guidance on strategies to corral runoff and increase resiliency in the face of climate change, and identified important next steps to consider.

Water, Water Everywhere—Achilles Heel or Asset?

Water is essential for life, but the infrastructure that brings it into our homes—or keeps it out of our basements—is only considered when something goes wrong. At the 2021 New Jersey Planning & Redevelopment Conference session Water, Water Everywhere—Achilles Heel or Asset? panelists discussed why water can no longer be treated as an add-on issue that communities simply react to.

New Jersey Future Urges Congressional Delegation to Secure Funding for Lead Service Line Replacement

New Jersey Future sent the following letter on April 27, 2021 to New Jersey’s Congressional Delegation recommending a federal funding allocation to support lead service line replacement programs.

NJDEP Releases Guidance on Stormwater Utilities, a Tool for Equitable Stormwater Management

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently released guidance on the creation of stormwater utilities, a tool newly available to New Jersey communities to help mitigate flooding and pollution problems.

Articles and Stories
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.

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.

Revitalizing an Essential Urban Public Space

2015 Smart Growth Awards: Reactivation of a neglected landmark park in downtown Newark as a thriving public space.

Making a Successful Street ‘Complete’

2015 Smart Growth Awards: Plan for re-engineering 16 blocks of Washington Street in Hoboken to improve safety and comfort for cyclists and pedestrians

Grassroots Collaboration on Green Infrastructure

2015 Smart Growth Awards: Partnership of community organizations working to construct green and grey infrastructure to alleviate flooding in the city of Camden.

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

Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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