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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 11/6/00
130/00
CONTACT: Amy Collings or Loretta OíDonnell
609-984-1795 or 609-292-2994

DEP DEVELOPS STATEWIDE WATER WITHDRAWAL DATA

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released a report on statewide water use, including water withdrawals by county, watershed, use and aquifer

"Water Withdrawals in New Jersey, 1990-1996," compiled by DEPís New Jersey Geological Survey (NJGS), shows that surface and ground waters are used for a variety of purposes in New Jersey, including drinking water supply, power generation, and industrial, agricultural, mining, irrigation and commercial uses.

"This report underscores the need to continuously improve the quality of our water supplies and the importance of protecting our surface and groundwater to ensure a sufficient quantity of water to meet present and future water demands," said DEP Commissioner Bob Shinn.

The greatest demand is for drinking water. Annual withdrawals for drinking water ranged from 418 to 452 billion gallons (bg) between 1990 and 1996, and averaged 436 bg during that period.

Total withdrawals decreased between 1990 and 1996 from 1,037 to 877 bg. This decline is attributed mostly to a drop in water used for power generation (430 bg in 1990, compared to 301 bg in 1996). Average annual withdrawals during the period for other uses were (1) industrial: 94 bg; (2) agricultural: 49 bg; (3) mining: 33 bg; (4) non-agricultural irrigation 3 bg, and (5) commercial: 0.6 bg.

On average, 75 percent of total water withdrawals and 59 percent of water withdrawn for drinking purposes in New Jersey are from surface water. The report shows that the relative importance of ground and surface water as a source of potable water varies by county. Ground water supplied 100 percent of the potable water physically withdrawn in Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hudson and Warren counties during period 1990-96.

In contrast, ground water supplied only 4 percent of potable water withdrawn in Passaic County. These numbers are not always indicative of the source of water actually consumed in each county. For example, most of the surface water withdrawn in Passaic County is exported to Hudson and Bergen counties.

Average total withdrawals in New Jersey correspond to approximately 15 percent of annual rainfall, on a statewide average. Withdrawals for drinking water are between 5 percent and 8 percent of precipitation. Withdrawals for irrigation and agriculture increase during the growing season. This increase is greater in drier years as more water is needed for irrigation to make up for the lower rainfall.

NJGS is the geoscience organization within DEPís Division of Science, Research and Technology. Founded in 1835, the mission of the NJGS is to map, research, interpret and provide scientific information regarding the state's geology and groundwater resources. For additional information, contact the NJGS at (609) 292-1185. The report, "Water Withdrawals in New Jersey, 1990-1996" is available for $10 from DEP's Maps and Publications sales office at (609) 777-1038. The information also available for download via the internet as Digital Geodata Series 00-4 at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/geodata/index.htm

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NOTE: The table below presents average total and potable withdrawals by county over the period 1990-1996, in millions of gallons. This table shows where water is withdrawn, not where the water is used. It does not identify which counties are net importers or exporters of water. These data are based on reports filed with the DEP Bureau of Water Allocation which is responsible for regulating all water users who withdraw more than 100,000 gallons per day.

Total and average withdrawals by county, 1990-1996, in millions of gallons.

County

Average total withdrawals, 1990-96

Average potable withdrawals, 1990-96

Source

Total

Source

Total

surface water

ground water

surface water

ground water

mg

%

mg

%

mg

%

mg

%

Atlantic

1,220

6.9 %

16,515

93.1 %

17,735

386

3.0 %

12,637

97.0 %

13,023

Bergen

50,095

82.6 %

10,587

17.4 %

60,682

49,341

84.0 %

9,400

16.0 %

58,741

Burlington

47,570

62.4 %

28,668

37.6 %

76,238

1,425

8.2 %

15,937

91.8 %

17,362

Camden

1,450

5.5 %

24,868

94.5 %

26,318

0

0.0 %

24,135

100.0 %

24,135

Cape May

825

9.4 %

7,972

90.6 %

8,797

0

0.0 %

5,884

100.0 %

5,884

Cumberland

19,210

55.6 %

15,358

44.4 %

34,569

0

0.0 %

7,542

100.0 %

7,542

Essex

3,688

27.8 %

9,562

72.2 %

13,250

3,642

28.7 %

9,057

71.3 %

12,700

Gloucester

19,135

57.7 %

14,035

42.3 %

33,170

0

0.0 %

9,406

100.0 %

9,406

Hudson

0

0.0 %

205

100.0 %

205

0

1.2 %

4

98.8 %

4

Hunterdon

48,361

90.8 %

4,887

9.2 %

53,248

31,793

89.6 %

3,690

10.4 %

35,483

Mercer

190,392

97.6 %

4,609

2.4 %

195,001

11,605

73.2 %

4,259

26.8 %

15,863

Middlesex

762

3.7 %

19,573

96.3 %

20,335

566

4.1 %

13,194

95.9 %

13,760

Monmouth

18,267

66.4 %

9,258

33.6 %

27,525

17,669

67.3 %

8,569

32.7 %

26,239

Morris

18,939

47.1 %

21,299

52.9 %

40,238

18,466

49.8 %

18,636

50.2 %

37,102

Ocean

2,035

8.7 %

21,401

91.3 %

23,436

1,340

6.9 %

18,220

93.1 %

19,561

Passaic

180,334

98.3 %

3,187

1.7 %

183,522

79,341

96.3 %

3,018

3.7 %

82,359

Salem

6,874

60.4 %

4,505

39.6 %

11,379

495

18.3 %

2,206

81.7 %

2,700

Somerset

38,596

92.9 %

2,931

7.1 %

41,527

38,517

94.4 %

2,304

5.6 %

40,821

Sussex

593

8.7 %

6,220

91.3 %

6,813

546

12.5 %

3,810

87.5 %

4,356

Union

4,782

46.0 %

5,610

54.0 %

10,391

1,825

31.9 %

3,891

68.1 %

5,715

Warren

73,818

91.0 %

7,307

9.0 %

81,125

15

0.4 %

3,292

99.6 %

3,306

Yearly total:

726,945

75.3 %

238,557

24.7 %

965,502

256,972

58.9 %

179,090

41.1 %

436,063

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