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New Jersey Drought Information -
Administrative Order 2003-03

WHEREAS, the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A et seq., and its implementing regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:19-1 et seq., authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) to designate a drought warning condition in all or portions of the State in order to reduce the likelihood or severity of a water emergency; and

WHEREAS, due to a long-term precipitation deficit, declining water supply reservoir storage, and depleted stream flows and ground water levels, former Commissioner Robert C. Shinn, Jr., issued Administrative Order No. 2001-09 on November 21, 2001, which declared a drought warning condition in the Northwest, Southwest and Coastal South Drought Regions. Thereafter, under Administrative Order No. 2002-03 signed on January 24, 2002, I expanded the drought warning designation to include the Northeast and Coastal North Drought Regions and

WHEREAS, despite voluntary water supply management efforts undertaken between the Department and water purveyors, in addition to voluntary water conservation by all water users, worsening drought conditions prompted Governor James E. McGreevey's Executive Order No. 11 water emergency declaration for the entire state on March 4, 2002; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Executive Order No. 11, I issued Administrative Order No. 2002-05, imposing Phase I - Mandatory Restrictions on non-essential, outdoor water uses throughout much of New Jersey, followed by a series of administrative orders instituting varying statewide Phase I - Mandatory Restrictions through November 2002; and

WHEREAS, more normalized precipitation that began in September 2002, in combination with water transfers between water purveyor systems and curtailed customer demand in response to mandatory water use restrictions, has resulted in a dramatic recovery in the State's water supplies; and

WHEREAS, the improved water supply conditions prompted Governor McGreevey to issue Executive Order No. 44 (January 8, 2003) terminating the state of water emergency, and which also led to my issuance of Administrative Order No. 2003-01 (January 9, 2003), which rescinded all mandatory water use restrictions statewide; and

WHEREAS, notwithstanding the water supply improvements across much of New Jersey, Administrative Order No. 2003-01 continued the drought warning designation for the Coastal South and Southwest Drought Regions even after the state of water emergency had been terminated, based upon ongoing concerns over ground water depletion and saltwater intrusion in the southern part of the State; and

WHEREAS, continued improvements in drought indicators throughout the Coastal South and Southwest Drought Regions since January 2003 now warrants further administrative action by the Department;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., HEREBY RESCIND the remaining drought warning designation in the Coastal South and Southwest Drought Regions established pursuant to Administrative Order Nos. 2001-09 and No. 2003-01.

Date: March 21, 2003 _________________
  Bradley M. Campbell

Commissioner Campbell signed the original Administrative Order Number 2003-03 on March 21, 2003 and filed it with the Office of Legal Affairs.


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