Flooding and Drought: A Proportionate Concern for New Jersey Counties

Spring has arrived and along with this change of seasons brings a continued concern for drought conditions for many counties within New Jersey.  A collection of data taken in recent months suggests that several reservoirs have fallen well below capacity. Several cities did not get as much snow and rain as it needed during the winter, but the good news is the rain and snow that did occur helped boost the overall water storage levels to nearly 90 percent capacity. However, the cities located in low-lying areas have a different concern-flooding. Many cities are making adjustments to their infrastructure systems in order to better prepare for future storms. Recently, Middlesex County began the construction of a 1,700-foot flood wall. Upon completion the wall is anticipated to reach up to 21 feet above sea level. This is one of many future planned initiatives to assist the state in its resiliency objective in order to be adequately prepared during major storm surges. The funding for these projects is assisted through the Statewide Assistance Infrastructure Loan program which is expressly for the purpose of providing aid for disaster relief projects. The Township is in the process of planning helpful seminars, as well as workshops, to inform local residents on how storm water runoff and flash flooding affect the environment.  The workshops will outline a strategy and detail a long-term control plan on prioritizing several green infrastructure initiatives. Interestingly, a recent evaluation of Best Management Practices for Green infrastructure shows green roofs to have the most expensive capital while also having one of the lowest maintenance costs. Additional County investments will also include projects for enhanced water infrastructure initiatives.

Interesting fact: A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Wow!


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