New Jersey Statewide Water Supply Plan
To guide future water resources management, the 1981 New Jersey Water Supply Management Act requires the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop and update the NJ Statewide Water Supply Plan (Plan). The 2023-2028 Plan is now in development and will be an update and replacement to the 2017-2022 Plan
The 1981 Act requires that the Plan address the following issues:
- Identify surface and ground water sources, and current demands on those supplies
- Make demand projections for duration of the plan
- Identify intended uses of land purchased for water supply facilities but not yet used
- Improvements, new construction, and interconnections
- Diversions for aquaculture
- Legislative and administrative actions to protect watershed areas
- Identification and purchase of land for water supply facilities
- Administrative actions to protect surface and ground water supplies
The DEP also may address additional or more specific issues as needed. For the 2023-2028 plan, DEP will focus on these priority areas:
- Address climate change implications for water availability and water supply demands,
- Extend the planning period from 2040 to 2050,
- Consider environmental justice and equity issues related to water supply management, and
- Make more specific water management recommendations for stressed water resources.
The Statewide Water Supply Plan is not a regulatory document. Instead, it provides a general direction for future protection, management, and improvement of the state’s water supply to ensure that the water needs of our people, environment, and economy are addressed in a sustainable manner.
DEP looks forward to hearing from you as we update the Statewide Water Supply Plan.
The Water Supply Advisory Council has statutory authority to advise the department on the preparation, adoption and revision of the plan and will serve as the primary forum for the department to engage interested parties. In addition, DEP is undertaking informal public input meetings. A draft Plan will be released in Spring 2023 and public meetings will be held to solicit input before the final plan is released.
Here are ways to learn more about the Plan and provide feedback:
- Attend a Water Supply Advisory Council meeting listed on the DEP Events Calendar,
- Provide feedback and comments through the topics sections below, and
- Look for the release of the draft Water Supply Plan in Spring 2023.
- Sign up for the DEP Division of Water Supply and Geoscience’s Water Supply Advisory Council emails to receive updates
Since the early 1980s, the DEP has been required to develop and periodically update the NJ Statewide Water Supply Plan to guide future water supply management. Find out more about the Plan and what DEP is looking at for the 2023-2028 update, including implications of climate change and source water contamination on water supply, extending the planning period from 2040 to 2050, equity issues, and a deeper look at stressed water resources.
New Jersey’s water comes from surface waters such as rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and reservoirs, as well as water resources within the ground. Learn more about the water resources New Jersey relies upon to provide water to our homes, schools and businesses.
With more than 9 million permanent residents, millions of visitors, and hundreds of thousands of commercial, manufacturing, governmental and agricultural users, New Jersey requires roughly two billion gallons of water per day for all uses. Learn more about how DEP manages the State’s water resources and some uncertainties in determining water availability that the Plan will examine.
Potable water use for indoor and outdoor activities makes up the majority of all demands on New Jersey’s water resources. We also use water for power generation, agriculture, commercial/industrial/mining uses, and other purposes. Learn more about how these uses have varied over time and what that means for future water use projections.
The NJ Statewide Water Supply Plan assesses available water supplies to recent and potential demands to better understand water resource stresses. Learn more about how DEP uses current water use data and water demand projections to determine potentially stressed water resource areas now and into the future.
New Jersey has several ways in which water can be conserved during normal times and demands can be limited through droughts. Learn more about how New Jersey can manage water demands and the questions taken into consideration during droughts.
New Jersey has many laws, regulations and programs that protect water supply resources. Learn more about these policies and the role of state, regional and local entities and what they do to help protect water supply resources.
Climate change is occurring and affecting New Jersey water resources. Our historic expectations about water supply conditions must change to address potential future conditions. Learn more about how the Statewide Water Supply Plan will examine the role of climate change and its impact on water supply and demand.