By John Schneidawind, vice president of public affairs, ARTBA

Investing in New Jersey’s drinking water, wastewater and storm-water infrastructure provides an immediate economic boost while creating long-lasting benefits for businesses and residents, ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Black said in July 23 testimony to the New Jersey Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources.

“New Jersey residents and businesses rely on infrastructure to supply clean drinking water, treat wastewater and provide reliable power generation,” Dr. Black testified. “Increased investment will not only help prevent future disruptions and potential public health hazards, but also have enormous positive impacts on the state’s economic productivity and job creation.”

Dr. Black’s testimony is sourced to ARTBA’s comprehensive 2019 analysis conducted for the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey (UTCA), an association chapter. It estimated that an additional $1 billion annual investment dedicated to improving New Jersey’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems would generate $3 billion in economic benefits and support nearly 14,000 jobs.

UTCA Director of Government Affairs Zoe Baldwin also testified.

“Water work is a win-win-win for jobs, public health, and the environment, and now more than ever, we need those kinds of odds,” Baldwin stated. “State and federal resources are stretched far too thin in an effort to cover the mounting needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we need to be sure that our public investments are doing double, if not triple-duty. Investment in water infrastructure certainly fits the bill.”

Among the other key findings in the report highlighted by Dr. Black:

  • Sales and output by businesses in all sectors will increase by $2.1 billion for every $1 billion invested;
  • 13,787 jobs would be supported or created throughout the state economy every year;
  • Those workers will earn a cumulative $739.5 million per year and will generate $143 million in additional state and local tax revenues, including $62.8 million in state and federal payroll taxes, $61.1 million in state income tax and corporate business tax revenues, and $19.3 million in state and local sales and use tax revenues; and
  • These investments will contribute $1.2 billion to the state’s GDP annually.

Learn more about ARTBA’s custom reports.