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Administrative Order 2003-01

WHEREAS, Governor James E. McGreevey issued Executive Order No. 11 on March 4, 2002, for the purpose of declaring a state of water emergency throughout New Jersey due to an accumulated precipitation shortfall dating back to 1998, along with significantly depleted surface and ground water levels, including unprecedented low stream flows across the State; and

WHEREAS, Administrative Order No. 2002-05, as amended and supplemented or superseded by Administrative Order Nos. 2002-07, 2002-14, 2002-15, 2002-17, 2002-18, 2002-20, 2002-21, 2002-23 and 2002-25, imposed Phase I - Mandatory Restrictions, as set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:19-13 et seq., on water users throughout the State; and

WHEREAS, coordinated water management measures exercised by water suppliers, citizens, businesses, institutions, municipalities, counties, and the State, including water conservation efforts and voluntary and mandatory water use restrictions, effectively curtailed water use demands and allowed for the preservation of available supplies during the critical summer months; and

WHEREAS, abundant precipitation since mid-September 2002 has contributed significantly to eradication of the protracted statewide precipitation deficit, substantial restoration of stream flows and ground water levels throughout much of the State, and replenishment of water supply storage in critical New Jersey reservoirs; and

WHEREAS, Administrative Order No. 2002-25 rescinded Administrative Order Nos. 2002-23, effectively lifting the Phase I - Mandatory Restrictions in the Northwest, Northeast and Central Drought Regions, but continued such Mandatory Restrictions in the Southwest, Coastal North and Coastal South Drought Regions; and

WHEREAS, surface water reservoirs recover relatively quickly in response to more normalized precipitation, while substantially depleted groundwater supplies may take years to be replenished following successive drought episodes; and

WHEREAS, by Executive Order No. 44, signed on this date, January 8, 2003, Governor James E. McGreevey has terminated the state of water emergency throughout New Jersey based upon substantially improved climatic and water supply conditions, while underscoring the need for continued vigilance to achieve stabilization of available water supplies through efficient management and prudent use of the resource, in addition to "continuing voluntary water conservation practices"; and

WHEREAS, Governor McGreevey's Executive Order No. 44 directs me to continue to scrutinize applications for development in the Atlantic County Townships of Egg Harbor, Galloway and Hamilton "to ensure that new development and new water connections can be supported by the water supply on a sustained yield basis; and

WHEREAS, the Governor's Executive Order No. 44 also directs me to coordinate with the Pinelands Commission Chairman and members as well as affected mayors in developing strategies for growth management in the three Atlantic County Townships and other Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan designated growth areas; and

WHEREAS, as part of the Governor's overall charge to me in Executive Order No. 44 to strengthen protection of New Jersey's water supply on a short and long-term basis so as "to reduce the frequency and severity of drought emergencies" in the State, it is appropriate and necessary to continue to impose a reduced level of water use management through implementation of the Department's non-emergency "Drought Warning" authority;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Executive Order No. 44, and by the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., and its supporting regulations, hereby adopt the following Order, which shall supersede Administrative Order Nos. 2002-25 and 2002-27:

  1. In order to carry out Governor McGreevey's Executive Order No. 44 calling for continued vigilance to protect the water supplies of the State, I designate the Coastal South and the Southwest Drought Regions to be in a "Drought Warning" condition.
  2. I hereby direct and encourage all citizens, businesses and governmental entities to use water wisely and conservatively in order to preserve and protect New Jersey's water resources so an adequate water supply is available to support our citizens' quality of life and to sustain smart growth throughout the State.
  3. Pursuant to Executive Order No. 44, I hereby order and direct that all Department permitting programs exercise applicable statutory and regulatory authority to ensure that new development and new water supply connections in the Atlantic County Townships of Egg Harbor, Galloway and Hamilton can be supported on a sustained basis.
  4. I order and direct that the terms and conditions of all water allocation permits, water registrations and water connection permits issued by the Department be strictly enforced.
  5. I further direct that the appropriate Department programs and staff provide expertise and support to efforts by the Pinelands Commission to develop short-term and long-term strategies to address growth management needs in the Pinelands.
  6. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to supersede or modify any water use restrictions imposed by a municipality, county or applicable water supplier.
  7. This Order shall take effect immediately.

Date: January 8, 2003 _________________
  Bradley M. Campbell
Commissioner

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 14, 2003