Source Water Protection has long been recognized as one of the most effective means for ensuring long-term viability of water supply and maintenance of water quality. In recent years, the New Jersey Water Supply Authority created and instituted a comprehensive Source Water Protection program. The Source Water Protection program consists of several components, including the Watershed Protection Unit and the Land and Resource Preservation Program.

The Watershed Protection Unit was created to protect the water resources in the watersheds of the Raritan River, the Manasquan River, and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The Land and Resource Preservation Program was designed to identify, acquire, and manage critical watershed parcels toward protection of water supply.

NJWSA Preserved Properties

Land Preservation And Management  

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority first launched the Spruce Run Initiative (SRI) to preserve critical watershed properties in the vicinity of the Spruce Run Reservoir in 2001. The Spruce Run Initiative involved outreach to landowners within the Spruce Run watershed, exploring the possibilities of Authority-led acquisition of critical parcels. This outreach was guided by the Watershed Protection Programs' report, Preservation of Critical Areas in the Spruce Run Reservoir Watersheds, as well as GIS-based critical area mapping provided by the Watershed Protection Programs. Since that time, the Authority expanded its land preservation efforts to include lands within the watersheds of the North and South Branches of the Raritan River as well as the Lockatong and Wickecheoke watersheds, utilizing the WPP's critical area mapping as a tool for identifying target properties.

The Authority has formed partnerships with non-profit, municipal, County, State, and Federal entities to maximize its watershed acquisitions. The Authority, along with its partners, has taken a strategic approach at preservation with the intention of creating contiguous areas of preserved open space. In addition, these partnerships have allowed the Authority to cost-share, and to designate management of properties to other entities who wish to utilize the properties for mutually acceptable purposes.

Funding Source Water Protection

The Authority instituted a Source Water Protection (SWP) rate component on July 1, 2002 to fund the SWP program. Since that time, the Authority has utilized this dedicated portion of the rate, paid by water customers, to assist in protection and preservation of critical watershed properties. To our knowledge, the Authority is the first entity in the State to utilize ratepayer funds for preservation purposes.
This ongoing source of dedicated funds allows the Authority to finance land acquisitions through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) at very favorable interest rates. The NJEIT is a low interest loan program available to public entities for, among other things, the acquisition of properties benefiting drinking water quality.


Natural Resources Conservation Service
NJDEP Division of Parks & Forestry
NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife
NJDEP Green Acres Program
New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee
North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council


D&R Greenway Land Trust
Hunterdon Land Trust
New Jersey Audubon Society
New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Raritan Headwaters Association
Schiff Natural Lands Trust
Tewksbury Land Trust
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey
The Trust for Public Land
Washington Township Land Trust


Borough of Califon, Hunterdon
Borough of High Bridge, Hunterdon
Township of Chester, Morris
Township of Clinton, Hunterdon
Township of Bedminster, Somerset
Township of Bethlehem, Hunterdon
Township of Delaware, Hunterdon
Township of Franklin, Hunterdon
Township of Kingwood, Hunterdon
Township of Lebanon, Hunterdon
Township of Mendham, Morris Township of Raritan, Hunterdon
Township of Roxbury, Morris
Township of Union, Hunterdon
Township of Washington, Morris 


Hunterdon County Open Space Trust Fund
Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation
Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority
Morris County Open Space Trust Fund
Morris County Park Commission


For more information on the NJWSA's Land and Resource Preservation Program, contact Julie Anne Shelley, Property Administrator, at (908) 638-6121 x260 or