New Jersey does not have a groundwater management act. New Jersey’s groundwater management activities are regulated by the Water Supply Management Act, which deals with various surface water and groundwater supply issues. A separate act on groundwater management can be formulated for New Jersey, which will provide step by step guidelines and a definite timeline to achieve sustainable management for New Jersey groundwater resources.
Improve Sustainable Groundwater Management
New Jersey’s groundwater management can be improved by several actions:
1) Identifying groundwater management areas throughout the state. The next step should be prioritization of those areas based on population, water use for drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes as well as risk from overexploitation and contamination. It would be easier to manage if labeled from high, medium, low to very low concerned areas. New Jersey DEP has developed a map for critical areas (Fig 3) that would be helpful for this purpose. It identified Upper Maurice, Salem‐Gloucester, Rancocas Creek, Blacks Creek, Salem River upstream of Salem Canal, and Cape May as critical areas. However, detail analysis is needed for final basin prioritization.
2) Forming local and regional groundwater agencies (GSAs) like California. This can be particularly helpful to Southern Jersey, which is suffering from groundwater shortage and sea water intrusion in costal aquifers. NJDEP, as an overall authority, will provide necessary incentives, legislations, tools, and guidance to local and regional groundwater agencies. However, if GSA’s fail to form or execute improperly, NJDEP will oversee the groundwater management of that area until GSAs can perform adequately.
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...inants, increase clean up rate, and establish sufficient protection measures and recommendations. The Licensed Site Remediation Professional program can also aid to help decontamination of existing contamination sources.
Groundwater for ecosystem
Groundwater is needed to meet human as well as ecological and environmental needs (aquaculture, irrigation) for broader public benefits. Climate change and declining water resources threatened California’s biodiversity by declining native fish population and loss of wildlife habitat. This lead to declining fishing and tourism, economic benefits, as well as cultural, spiritual and ecological practices of California’s Native American tribes. New Jersey can learn from California’s lessons. New Jersey can establish acts and rules and allocate its water resources to human use as well as environmental uses to avoid such problem.
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