The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has contracted with Rutgers for assistance with updating the 2017-2022 New Jersey Water Supply Plan to reflect current conditions and water challenges. The principal investigator is Daniel Van Abs, professor of professional practice in the Department of Human Ecology.
The plan will focus on ensuring that future water demands will not exceed the availability of water supplies, with consideration for climate change, protection of drinking water quality, and environmental justice issues. According to Van Abs, this is an ambitious undertaking with a tight timeline especially with the broad scope of topics and activities that must be analyzed, documented, and vetted with other Department and state programs, while also allowing extensive, valuable input and comments from water experts, water utilities and consumers, and the general public.
“Having been NJDEP’s project manager for the 1996 NJ Statewide Water Supply Plan, I’m looking forward to helping my colleagues at the department with this latest iteration of the plan,” said Van Abs. “Without adequate water, our economy is damaged, and we have faced that situation in the past. We can’t afford to be wrong.”
To facilitate this process and ensure successful outcomes, Rutgers will provide project oversight, ensure critical issues are identified, draft content, ensure policy consistency, provide general subject matter expertise, and other related tasks. The total cost of the Rutgers contract is roughly $200,000.