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Executive Order No. 44

WHEREAS, a state of water supply emergency was declared in 1995, 1999 and 2002; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey has suffered from unusually dry weather conditions since 1998, with precipitation throughout the State during 2000 and 2001 among the lowest on record; 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, Executive Order No. 11 was issued on March 4, 2002, for the purpose of declaring a state of water emergency due to drought conditions throughout New Jersey, characterized by a protracted period of dry weather conditions and significantly depleted surface and ground water levels, including unprecedented low stream flows across the State; and

WHEREAS, coordinated water management measures exercised by water suppliers, citizens, businesses and 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; and

WHEREAS, abundant rainfall across the State this fall and early winter contributed significantly toward eradication of the precipitation deficit, restoration of stream flows, and replenishment of water supply storage in critical northeastern New Jersey reservoirs; and

WHEREAS, concerns regarding long-term climatic trends suggest that considerable attention must still be devoted to the stabilization of available water supplies through efficient management and prudent use of the resource; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate and necessary to remain vigilant by continuing voluntary water conservation practices that are beneficial and essential to the preservation of available water supplies;

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. The state of water emergency declared by Executive Order No. 11 is hereby terminated in all six New Jersey drought regions based upon the facts and circumstances set forth above.


  2. The Department shall strictly enforce the terms and conditions of all water allocation permits and water registrations.


  3. With respect to the Atlantic County Townships of Egg Harbor, Galloway, and Hamilton, the Commissioner is to continue to exercise the authority and discretion granted to him by statute and regulation to ensure that new development and new water connections can be supported by the water supply on a sustained yield basis.


  4. With respect to the Townships of Egg Harbor, Galloway, and Hamilton, and other growth receiving areas under the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan, the Commissioner shall coordinate with affected mayors and with the Chairman and Members of the Pinelands Commission in developing a long-term strategy to address growth management needs in the area.


  5. With respect to Statewide water supply challenges, the Commissioner is directed to develop and implement a short-term and long-term strategy to strengthen protection of New Jersey's water supply, and to reduce the frequency and severity of drought emergencies affecting our communities.


  6. All persons are encouraged to use water wisely and to comply fully with any water use measures imposed by applicable municipalities and counties, or water suppliers servicing their areas.


  7. This Order shall take effect immediately.



  8.   GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 8th day of January
    in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Three, and of the Independence of the United States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Seventh.

    /s/ James E. McGreevey

    Governor


    [seal]


    Attest:

    /s/ Paul A. Levinsohn

    Chief Counsel to the Governor


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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2003
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 14, 2003