New Jersey Law to Accelerate Private Participation

26 Feb 2015
Available with corporate subscription

On 5 February 2015, New Jersey’s governor signed into law the Water Infrastructure Protection Act. The law removes the requirement that municipal system owners of less than 270,000 residents hold a referendum for transferring system ownership if the system is declared in a state of significant disrepair. Municipalities can transfer, lease, or sell water and wastewater assets to qualified entities that demonstrate capabilities to finance system upgrades and improve operations within municipal budget constraints.

New Jersey municipalities require more than US$40 billion of investment for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure over the next 20 years. Non-revenue water in New Jersey stands at an average of 20%-22% across 590 community systems. Between 2003 and 2013, the state’s number of public water systems that are significantly non-compliant environmentally climbed from 29 to 54.

Bluefield Takeaways

  • System assessments shape addressable market for private participation
  • Law provides inside track for entrenched investor-owned utilities
  • New Jersey PPP experience points to new management models prioritizing cash