The New Jersey Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman calling on the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to update the Statewide Water Supply Plan.
“Failing to update the Statewide Water Supply Plan puts the public health, safety, and welfare of our residents at risk,” Senator Bateman said. “We cannot use a plan that is more than 20 years old to solve the current drought crisis, let alone develop a coordinated strategy to avoid future water shortages. It is critical that the legislature take action to urge the NJ DEP to release this report, before we have a true emergency on our hands.”
Failing to update the Statewide Water Supply Plan puts the health, safety, and welfare of our residents at risk. https://t.co/GKSU4MwWhn
— Senator Kip Bateman (@KipBateman) January 23, 2017
A drought watch or warning is in effect in the majority of New Jersey counties, with reservoirs falling nearly 20 percent below normal levels. The 1996 plan is unable to properly address current water shortages or make projections for current Statewide and regional water supply demands and is not up-to-date with current Statewide and regional ground and surface water supply sources.
Senator Bateman’s resolution, SR-93, also respectfully urges Governor Christie to issue an official proclamation urging residents to take action to conserve water.
“A drought emergency could have a significant financial impact on New Jersey consumers,” Senator Bateman added. “During a drought emergency in 1985, water suppliers were given permission to issue a surcharge on water usage in excess of 50 gallons a day per person. Until we get a new state water management plan in place, we all should do everything possible in our homes to conserve water.”
Senator Bateman urged all residents to consider the NJ DEP’s suggestions for conserving water:
- Install water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators in the bathroom and kitchen (available at most home improvement stores and some supermarkets);
- Do not let faucets run when brushing your teeth or washing the dishes;
- Run washing machines and dishwashers only when they are full, or select the properly sized wash cycle for the current laundry load;
- Use a broom to sweep the sidewalk, rather than a hose;
- Use mulch and native plants to conserve water in the garden;
- Use a rain barrel to capture water from a downspout to use later for watering gardens and plants.