WHEREAS, Governor Christine Todd Whitman issued Executive Order No. 98 on August 5, 1999, for the purpose of declaring a state of water emergency throughout New Jersey due to unusually hot, dry weather conditions and significantly depleted surface and ground water levels, including unprecedented low stream flows across the State; and
WHEREAS, Administrative Order No. 1999-08, as amended and supplemented by Administrative Order No. 1999-10, imposed Phase I - Mandatory Restrictions, as set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:19-13 et seq., on water users throughout the State; and
WHEREAS, public compliance with water use restrictions, coupled with more normalized rainfall in late August and September, dramatically improved drought conditions across much of the State; and
WHEREAS, Governor Christine Todd Whitman issued Executive Order No. 100 on September 14, 1999, for the purpose of terminating the water emergency in the counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem; and
WHEREAS, Administrative Order No. 1999-11 rescinded Administrative Order Nos. 1999-08 and 1999-10, modified the water emergency area consistent with Executive Order No. 100, revised the Phase I - Mandatory Restrictions and, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:19-13.1(d), designated the aforementioned eight southern New Jersey counties to be in a "Drought Warning" condition; and
WHEREAS, an abundance of rainfall throughout New Jersey, due in large part to the remnants of Hurricane Floyd, contributed significantly to eradication of the year-long precipitation deficit, restoration of stream flows and replenishment of water supply storage in critical northeastern New Jersey reservoirs; and
WHEREAS, the year-long precipitation deficit, while moderated by recent rains, continues in many areas of the State, and the rainfall associated with Hurricane Floyd resulted in widespread flooding and surface water runoff rather than sustained groundwater replenishment; and
WHEREAS, concerns regarding long-term climatic trends suggest that considerable attention must still be devoted to the stabilization of available water supplies through efficient management and prudent use of the resource; and
WHEREAS, by Executive Order No. 102, signed by Governor Christine Todd Whitman on this date, September 27, 1999, Governor Whitman has terminated the state of water emergency due to the drought in those counties in which it was not previously terminated by Executive Order No. 100, issued on September 14, 1999, but has further declared that "concerns regarding long-term climatic trends suggest that considerable attention must still be devoted to the stabilization of available water supplies through efficient management and prudent use of the resource;" and
WHEREAS, Governor Whitman, in Executive Order No. 102, has further declared that "it is appropriate and necessary to remain vigilant by continuing voluntary water conservation practices that are beneficial and essential to the preservation of available water supplies;" and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate and necessary to maintain such vigilance through implementation of the Department’s non-emergency "Drought Warning" authority, such that the continuation of voluntary water conservation practices is beneficial and essential to preserve available water supplies;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert C. Shinn, Jr., Commissioner, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Executive Order No. 98, and by the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., and its supporting regulations, hereby adopt the following Order, which shall supersede Administrative Order No. 1999-11:
- I designate the entire State of New Jersey to be in a "Drought Warning" condition.
- VOLUNTARY CONSERVATION -- All citizens, businesses and governmental entities are urged to practice water conservation and voluntarily reduce water use in order to avert a water shortage and avoid the imposition of mandatory restrictions in the future.
- Nothing in this Order shall be construed to supercede or modify any water use restrictions imposed by a municipality, county or applicable water supplier.
Robert C. Shinn, Jr.