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 backbone staff support to the Jersey Water Works collaborative as well as serving on its Steering Committee.


Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure
Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure is a program of New Jersey Future aimed at moving 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.

Empowering Communities To Shape Water Infrastructure Investments
New Jersey Future is cultivating local stakeholders in Bayonne, Harrison and Kearny to promote just and sustainable water infrastructure solutions that resolve their cities’ combined sewer overflow (CSO) problems. We facilitate local teams that engage residents, businesses and elected officials; design and build green infrastructure projects; and shape CSO plans. We also convene a peer support network for our partners working in other CSO cities.

Advancing Sewer and Stormwater Solutions in Newark

New Jersey Future provides technical assistance to the City of Newark on stormwater management and green infrastructure as the city prepares its combined sewer system upgrade plan. We are helping city staff integrate green infrastructure into city capital projects and private development, advance green infrastructure demonstration projects, and learn best practices from other cities. We also work with local partners to develop and promote consistent messaging on green stormwater management.

Unlocking New Jersey’s Green Infrastructure Financing Program

New Jersey Future is working with the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program 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; preparing a user-friendly applicant’s guide; and publishing a white paper that highlights program successes, identifies successful policies, and recommends strategies for applicants This work builds on our Build It Green initiative.

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 job-skill training and 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.

Water Affordability Policy Development

New Jersey Future is facilitating the development of policy recommendations for low-income customer assistance programs for water and wastewater services in New Jersey. We are researching options from other states and supporting the Jersey Water Works Best Practice committee as it interviews stakeholders, develops recommendations and solicits feedback.

Stormwater Utilities and Financing

New Jersey Future is working with the League of Conservation Voters and other partners to establish stormwater utilities as a stable funding source that local governments and utilities can use to create, maintain, or upgrade stormwater infrastructure. In the 40 other states that have authorized this tool, participating localities have resolved persistent flooding problems and reduced polluted run-off.


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
New Model Ordinance Will Help Reduce Polluted Runoff in New Jersey

Sustainable Jersey’s new model ordinance will help New Jersey communities manage stormwater that pollutes local waterways and contributes to costly urban flooding.

Eleven Great One Water Ideas From the Jersey Water Works Membership Meeting

At the Jersey Water Works membership meeting, participants were asked to discuss current or anticipated projects that embody the concept of One Water. Here are some of the best ideas.

One Water Awards Nominations Open, Partnership Expands

The Jersey Water Works awards program recognizes sustainable solutions to the state’s water challenges and welcomes two additional sponsoring organizations.

Exploring Green Infrastructure Options for Your Project? These Tools Can Help.

An overview of several tools that allow developers and local officials to understand how various green infrastructure practices can fit into a development project, and what the impact would be of development on stormwater infrastructure.

Water Infrastructure a Major Topic at Budget Hearing for DEP

Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Catherine McCabe responds to questions on water infrastructure, asset management, and lead in school drinking water during the Assembly Budget Committee’s hearing.

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

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478

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