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NJ Crowding May Slow Growth

Newark, N.J.'s Budweiser plant is competing with suburban irrigation systems for the state's limited water supply.

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, with a population density of 1,165 people per square mile, which exceeds that of Japan at 875 people per square mile.

The fact will likely lead to additional regulation of construction and water use in the state.

Structures and paved surfaces create large volumes of storm water runoff, which flows out to sea instead of replenishing ground water supplies and reservoirs.

"What would the Newark Budweiser plant do without water?" asked Harry Gerken, retired executive director of the Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority and past president of the state's Association of Environmental Authorities.

That iconic symbol of suburban life, the lawn, is a big offender, water conservation advocate David Peifer said. Not only do lawns, which he called "green concrete," contribute to runoff, that runoff is often polluted with herbicides and fertilizers, he said. And lawns consume large amounts of water, especially those with automatic-sprinkler systems.

"I advocate de-lawning," he said.

Source: Gannett New Jersey

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June 18, 2019, 6:42 pm PDT

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