The One Resolution Governor Christie Needs to Make and Keep in 2016

New Jersey Pinelands

When the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve people across the country made their resolutions. Sometimes these resolutions are fun ways to motivate ourselves to make improvements in the coming year and other times they serve as critical promises to address the pressing challenges in our lives. As we move into a new legislative year, we wanted to offer Governor Christie a suggestion for a resolution of the latter variety.

The one resolution that Governor Christie needs to make and keep in 2016 is to take urgently needed action to protect our drinking water supply and release a comprehensive Water Supply Master Plan.

To provide some context, New Jersey has been without a comprehensive, up-to-date plan to manage the increasing threats to our drinking water supply for almost two decades. That means that New Jersey’s existing plan is operating on 20-year-old assumptions about demand for water, population growth, environmental conditions such as drought and other important factors. Communities throughout New Jersey are already feeling the effects, and if Governor Christie doesn’t act, we could face widespread water problems, some of which already exist.

A draft of an updated Water Supply Master Plan has been sitting on the Governor’s desk. When asked why the Administration won’t release the plan for public review, we are given the same answer time and again: “We’ll release it soon.” To be fair, past administrations from both parties have failed New Jersey in this area but, the reality is, there isn’t any more time to waste.

Protecting water supplies isn’t just a New Jersey issue, as evidenced by the drought in California and lead contamination in Michigan, it is also a national issue.

As aquifers dry up, weather patterns become more unpredictable, and pressures on water increase, communities across New Jersey and the nation will have to figure out how to cope with higher costs and less available drinking water. We see the writing on the wall. It is possible to mitigate the impact of threats to our drinking water only if those who are in power choose to act today.

Governor Christie has an opportunity to show real leadership before it’s too late by releasing an updated and comprehensive Water Supply Master Plan.

Save H2O NJ Coalition

  • Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions
  • Pinelands Preservation Alliance
  • American Littoral Society
  • Highlands Coalition
  • New Jersey League of Conservation Voters