Jersey Water Works members on stage at the collaborative’s 2018 conference, after announcing commitments to improving New Jersey’s water infrastructure.

Green infrastructure projects are being used to alleviate some of New Jersey’s aging water infrastructure issues. At their fourth annual conference Dec. 9, 2018, members of the Jersey Water Works collaborative renewed their commitment to work together to transform New Jersey’s inadequate water infrastructure. Environmental Justice Organizer Kim Gaddy talked to Jon Hurdle of NJ Spotlight about fulfilling Clean Water Action’s Jersey Water Works 2018 commitment to building rain gardens in two sections of Newark. “Oftentimes, people don’t connect these community gardens with green infrastructure,” said Gaddy. “That’s what people see, and they can identify with that and then they get it on a larger scale which we are asking residents to support.”

In his article Rain Gardens in New Jersey: Small Projects Help Alleviate Problems with Stormwater, Hurdle highlights how the commitments made by these organizations add up.  “The City of Elizabeth has committed in 2019 to completing a stormwater control project that includes land acquisition, installing green infrastructure and new pipework, and educational signage. The New Jersey Sustainable Business Council plans to educate businesses on the role of clean water and sewer systems in a vibrant economy. And the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, a major source of financing for water upgrades, has agreed to provide technical assistance and help with financing applications for green infrastructure, and to communicate that process through blog posts.” While few projects scattered across New Jersey may not address the $25 billion in upgrades that Jersey Water Works says is needed, Hurdle points out, “when combined with dozens of other commitments by the collaborative’s approximately 300 member groups, they begin to create overall change.”

Read Jon Hurdle’s full story.

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