Even with the rain we had earlier this week, New Jersey still faces drought conditions as we head into fall with reservoirs and groundwater levels well below normal. With record temperatures and a drought watch recently issued by the DEP for five counties, the environment and public health are at risk.
There is not enough water in the northern part of the state during dry periods, especially in the five counties impacted by the recent drought advisory. At many of our major water supply intakes, the water is either too low or too dirty to take in during drought conditions.
Sprawl and overdevelopment have had tremendous impacts on our water quality and quantity. Too much impervious cover prohibits water from soaking into the ground to recharge streams and aquifers. Instead, it turns into stormwater, causing flooding and water quality problems. Because of overdevelopment, the Ramapo River hits its 10 year drought level every other year.