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NJ Reservoirs Drained While The Christie DEP Diddled

No Water Supply Plan –

No Demand Management and Conservation During Summer


[Update: 10/21/16 – This pretty much sums things up. Keep in mind that DEP Assistant Commissioner Dan Kennedy is a licensed professional planner – but just look at how he rejects the concept of and need for planning, just to serve his political hack boss Bob Martin: (Bergen Record):

At Thursday’s hearing, environmental advocates also urged the DEP to release an updated state water master plan. The plan was last updated in 1996 — 20 years ago — even though state law requires the agency to update it every five years.

Kennedy said an update is in the works but could not say when it might be ready. “We have all the data and tools we need to manage any water crisis regardless of the age of the master plan,” he said.

At some point, the professionals must start telling the truth or just resign. ~~~ end update.]

After months of sitting on the sidelines and ignoring scientists warnings while drought conditions worsened, today, the Christie DEP finally is holding a public hearing regarding declaring a drought warning.

While DEP diddled, the reservoirs were drained by high summer demand.

Declaring a drought warning in the fall is like declaring a snow emergency in July.

The opportunity to reduce demand and conserve water has been lost – summer is peak demand.

The Christie DEP has abdicated its legal responsibility to plan for and manage public water supply. It tacitly has delegated that responsibility to private water companies and local government.

The DEP focus is now on inter-basin transfers of an inadequate and depleted water storage system – as DEP itself admits:

 The DEP has already been consulting with major water suppliers to discuss cooperative transfers among systems.

NJ already has far too little reservoir storage capacity per capita, so allowing reservoirs to be depleted is a serious example of mismanagement by DEP.

High summer demand and low rainfall put extreme pressure of this already deficient reservoir system.

High pollution levels in rivers (and low flows) limited the ability of water purveyors to divert river flows to reservoir storage.

Given the Christie Administration’s privatization and anti-regulatory policies, I seriously would not be surprised if former private sector corporate consultant Bob “Customer Service” Martin entered into a private – public partnership with FedEx to manage the State’s water – after all, Commissioner Martin views water as a commodity.

So why not put the world’s private logistics expert in charge?


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