New Jersey Falls Short in Funding the Delaware River Basin Commission
Budget Includes $693,000 Instead of Full Share Funding
In the just-released New Jersey 2020 fiscal year budget, funding fell $200,000 short for the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a four-state agency charged with overseeing water quality and quantity of the Delaware River Basin. In response, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, a network of over 140 nonprofits located within the four states of the Basin (NY, NJ, PA, DE) have prepared the following statement:
“The Delaware River Basin Commission continues to face significant budget gaps, though we rely on them to ensure the future of the Delaware River. We are discouraged by New Jersey’s decision to not fund the Delaware River Basin Commission at the full share level of $893,000. The Basin provides 1.9 million New Jerseyans with water for drinking, washing, and farming; and takes up about forty-percent of the state’s land area, making it a critical resource that must be invested in,” says Sandra Meola, Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “Since 2014, New Jersey has not met the funding needs of the Delaware River Basin Commission, impacting the commission’s ability to hire staff, conduct monitoring, and move forward research that our water resources rely on. All four basin states and the federal government must contribute their agreed upon funding in order to support the Commission’s clean water programs, research, and protections.”
Under an agreement reached in 1988, the annual contribution of each state to the DRBC should be: New Jersey $893,000 (25%), Delaware $447,000 (12.5%), New York $626,000 (17.5%), Pennsylvania $893,000 (25%) and the United States $715,000 (20%). Including water diverted out of the Basin via the Delaware & Raritan canal, the number over New Jerseyans served jumps to 2.6 million.
For more information, contact Rita Yelda, Rita.Yelda@njaudubon.org, 732-979-0655.