State of New Jersey
Executive Order #11

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, New Jersey has suffered from unusually dry weather conditions since 1998 and precipitation throughout the State during the past twelve-month period has been among the lowest on record; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey has had to declare water supply emergencies as recently as 1999 and 1995 and the unusually dry weather conditions over these time periods highlight the importance of preserving and protecting the State's water resources to sustain our natural resources and economy; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is divided into six drought regions, based on watershed location and other conditions relevant to water supply, as follows: Central Drought Region (Middlesex, Somerset and Union Counties, and parts of Hunterdon, Mercer and Morris Counties); Coastal North Drought Region (parts of Monmouth and Ocean Counties); Coastal South Drought Region (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties, and parts of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem Counties); Northeast Drought Region (Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and parts of Essex and Morris Counties); Northwest Drought Region (Sussex and Warren Counties, and part of Hunterdon County) and Southwest Drought Region (parts of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth and Salem Counties); and

WHEREAS, on January 24, 2002, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a drought warning for the Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, Coastal South and Coastal North Drought Regions, due to the precipitation deficit, record low ground water levels and stream flows, and depleted reservoir levels; and

WHEREAS, voluntary efforts to curtail nonessential consumption of water resources and the transfer of water among the Northeast Drought Region reservoir systems have not succeeded in maintaining adequate storage levels of existing water supplies in that region; and

WHEREAS, the consumption of water in all of the drought regions of New Jersey must be managed and reduced in order to preserve an adequate and dependable supply of water for the State; and

WHEREAS, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection has found that there exists or impends a water supply shortage, resulting from the prolonged drought, of a dimension which endangers the public health, safety and welfare of the residents and industry of the State of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the full cooperation of every person in the affected regions, including every business, State agency and political subdivision, is urgently needed in order to avert more severe restrictions on water use; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that steps be taken immediately to ensure the maximum conservation of all water resources in the State and to provide for the equitable distribution of the existing water supply; and

WHEREAS, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Drought Coordinator, with the assistance of the Water Emergency Task Force, have the authority pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 7:19-1 et seq., to adopt such rules, regulations, orders and directives as deemed necessary to help alleviate a water emergency;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. A state of water emergency exists in each of the six drought regions by reason of the facts and circumstances set forth above.

  2. I invoke such emergency powers as are conferred upon me by the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., and the Disaster Control Act, N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33 et seq., and all amendments and supplements thereto.

  3. The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Water Emergency Task Force and the Drought Coordinator are directed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 7:19-1 et seq., and other relevant authority, to take whatever steps are necessary and proper to alleviate the water emergency and to effectuate this Order, including the following:

    • Identify and impose such water use restrictions and conservation measures to the extent deemed necessary for each specific drought region, taking into consideration region- specific hydrogeologic conditions, infrastructure characteristics, and other relevant factors.

    • Identify and implement Statewide strategies for the use of alternate water supplies, including the restoration of surface and groundwater resources currently not available for potable use.

    • Identify and implement measures to establish Statewide priorities for the distribution of any water supply so as to mitigate and prevent drought through protection of surface and groundwater resources, and other natural resources.

    • Work with State departments and agencies to identify and implement water conservation measures in order to reduce the consumption of water at those departments and agencies.

    • Develop appropriate processes to incorporate stakeholder input in order to identify the above Statewide measures and strategies.

  4. It shall be the duty of every person in the State, including every business, State agency and political subdivision, to fully cooperate in all matters concerning this water emergency, and to comply with the mandatory restrictions on adjustable uses of water as defined in the Administrative Orders to be issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.

  5. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Order or shall impede or interfere with any action ordered or taken pursuant to this Order shall be subject to the penalties provided by law under N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. App. A:9- 49 et seq., and N.J.A.C. 7:19-1 et seq.

  6. Furthermore, pursuant to the Laws of 1942, Chapter 251, as supplemented and amended (N.J.S.A. App. A:9-40), no municipality, county or any other agency or political subdivision of this State shall enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance or resolution which in any way conflicts with any of the provisions of this Order, or which will in any way interfere with or impede the achievement of the purposes of this Order, or any Administrative Order issued under authority of this Order by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.

  7. This Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until terminated by action of the Governor.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 4th
day of March in the Year of Our Lord,
Two Thousand and Two, and of the
Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twenty-Sixth.






Chief Counsel to the Governor