Grim Forecast

Aug 01, 2018

To the Editor:

During the last part of Gov. Christie’s administration the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released its Water Management Act of 2017. This program was last published in 1996 and was supposed to be done every five years. Now we are 22 years behind, and much has changed in this state since 1996.

With ever-growing development planned and executed since then, our water forecast looks grim. More construction is planned in Ocean County alone, from Jackson Township (at the Heritage Mineral site) to Lacey Township to Barnegat, and in Manahawkin the Walters Homes Co. plans to bring more development.

Just considering traffic issues – and not just during the summer months when tourists want to reach the shore towns – we here in Ocean County are already choking on traffic year ’round, and the state does not have the resources to fund all new roads.

The Water Management Act of 2017 clearly states that there will be drinking water shortages in many areas of New Jersey. Our area suffers from a water deficit by 58.5 million gallons per day in the Maurice, Salem and Cohansey Water Management Area. We may be out of water by 2020 and so will some northern areas. With water shortages, these new homes in planned development areas will turn on their spigots and no water will come out. That will bring saltwater intrusion with rotting water and sewer lines and complete failure of private wells.

Records show that in 1950 Lacey Township had 966 residents. Of course that changed after the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant was built and lower property taxes brought in many new residents. Barnegat had 1,173 people, Stafford Township had 1,347 people and Jackson Township had 3,513 people, according to Ocean County records. Now one has to wonder what a lack of clean drinking water will hold for the future in these areas. Remember, the date for lack of water is forecasted to be close: 2020 – a year and a half from now.

Margit Meissner-Jackson

Acting Chair and Conservation Chair

Sierra Club, Ocean County Group


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