With an average rainfall of 45 inches per year, New Jersey is often considered a “water rich” state. However, when considering that New Jersey is also the most densely populated state in the country, our current and future demands are likely to exceed the sustainable supply of our water resources. The average New Jersey resident uses 100 gallons of water per day, a number which increases dramatically during the summer months. In fact, in some cases, New Jersey communities that engage in outdoor irrigation increase their average water use by up to 85 gallons per day in the summer months.
Even in areas where water seems abundant, water conservation is important. In addition to saving money on utility bills, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers, and local watersheds. Water conservation extends the life and reliability of septic systems, public and private infrastructure and prevents or postpones the need to fund and build expanded public works systems.
New Jersey’s water demands are quickly approaching the resource’s limits. Water will likely influence the future of New Jersey in regard to the natural environment, the overall landscape, statewide development, local zoning, and the State's economy.