State of New Jersey
Executive Order #98

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

This executive order revised by EO #100 and terminated by EO #102 Whitman

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey, like many other states across the Northeast, has suffered from unusually hot, dry weather conditions since July 1998; and

WHEREAS, during the past twelve-month period, measured precipitation throughout the State has been at its lowest level in thirty years, and is among the lowest levels on record; and

WHEREAS, an extended period of above-average temperatures has significantly increased the demand for water and exacerbated the drain on available water supplies; and

WHEREAS, sources of water supply, both surface and ground, including private wells, have been seriously depleted; and

WHEREAS, water courses throughout the State have sustained unprecedented daily low stream flows; and

WHEREAS, cooperative, voluntary efforts to curtail non-essential consumption of water, in addition to mandatory water use restrictions imposed by certain municipalities, counties and water purveyors, have not succeeded in maintaining adequate levels of existing water supplies; and

WHEREAS, the consumption of water throughout the State must be reduced in order to preserve an adequate and dependable supply of water for the region; and

WHEREAS, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection has found that there exists a water shortage resulting from the natural cause of a prolonged drought which endangers the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents and industry of the State; and

WHEREAS, without more normalized precipitation, the full cooperation of every person throughout the State, including every resident, visitor, business, State agency and political subdivision, is urgently needed in order to avert more severe restrictions on water usage, which restrictions may potentially lead to disruptions in the local or Statewide economy; and

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

WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Water Emergency Task Force and the Drought Coordinator 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 the severity of a water emergency.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of the State of New Jersey by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of this State and in accordance with the findings of Robert C. Shinn, Jr., Commissioner of Environmental Protection, made pursuant to the Water Emergency Rules set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:19-1 et seq., do hereby declare a state of water emergency for the entire State of New Jersey, and do hereby DECLARE, ORDER and DIRECT as follows:

1. I declare that a state of water emergency exists throughout New Jersey, as described 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:9-30 et seq., and all amendments and supplements thereto.

3. The Commissioner 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 laws, to take whatever steps are necessary and proper to alleviate the water emergency and to effectuate this Order.

4. It shall be the duty of every person in the State, which includes every business, State agency and political subdivision in the emergency area, to fully cooperate in all matters concerning this water emergency.

5. All persons are urged to use water wisely, and to comply fully with voluntary or mandatory restrictions either advised or imposed by the Department of Environmental Protection, applicable municipalities or water purveyors servicing their areas.

6. 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.

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

8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this Fifth day of August in the Year
of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety-Nine and of the
Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twenty-Fourth.

Christine Todd Whitman


Richard S. Mroz
Chief Counsel to the Governor