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Rice Bill For Water Supply Projects Receives Final Legislative Approval

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice, which would appropriate $53 million from the voter approved “Water Supply Bond Act of 1981” for essential water supply projects, received final legislative approval today in the Assembly by the vote 44-27-7.

“One of the most important emergency water supply interconnections in New Jersey is between the City of Newark and the Elizabethtown Water Company,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “This interconnection has proven valuable in several recent droughts. The ability to deliver Raritan Basin water to the Passaic Basin has been an important part of the State’s drought response efforts.”

Senator Rice’s bill, S-2693, would provide $53 million in funding for water supply projects through the State.

According to Senator Rice, $30 million dollars would be used to enhance the transfers between the Raritan and Passaic basins. Also, $10 million dollars would go to conduct planning and feasibility studies for the engineering and design of the Confluence Pumping Station and Pipeline Water Supply Development Project, added Senator Rice.

Senator Rice stated that $2 million would be used to conduct a pilot regional planning and feasibility study of surface and ground water supplies in Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland counties, and $10 million would go towards a planning and feasibility study of future reservoirs and other sources of water supplies throughout the State.

The bill also calls for $1 million to pay for the costs associated with the treatment of water supplies in Berlin Township, Camden County.

“Water covers the majority of the earth’s surface and a sufficient supply of water is essential for life,” said Senator Rice. “Water projects help increase access to safe and adequate water supply and sanitation, enhance natural environments, and improve the quality of life for all residents of New Jersey.”

The bill now heads to the Governor’s office for enactment.