Land & Resource Preservation

Index by Topic


Programs and Units




Source Water Protection Pelio Fall

Source Water Protection (SWP) 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 (Authority) created and instituted a comprehensive SWP program. The SWP program consists of several components, including the Watershed Protection Unit and the Land and Resource Preservation Program.

The Watershed Protection Unit (WPU) 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.

Land Preservation and Management

photo2In 2001, the Authority commenced the Spruce Run Initiative (SRI) to preserve critical watershed properties in the vicinity of the Spruce Run Reservoir. The SRI 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 WPUs report, Preservation of Critical Areas in the Spruce Run Reservoir Watersheds, as well as GIS-based critical area mapping provided by the WPU.  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 WPUs critical area mapping as a tool for identifying target properties.

The Authority has formed partnerships with non-profit, municipal, County and State 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. A list of project partners may be found at the bottom of this page.

Funding Source Water Protection photo1

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.


photo3To date, the Authority and its partners have participated in the preservation of more than        3,100 acres of critical watershed property, valued at more than $66,000,000. In addition, the Authority holds conservation easements on 316 acres, valued at nearly $2,600,000.  The Authority has forged successful partnerships with more than 30 different entities, both for cost sharing and management responsibilities on preserved parcels. A list of the partners can be found at the bottom of this page.

For more information on the NJWSAs Land and Resource Preservation Program, contact Julie Shelley at (908) 638-6121 x260 or

Preservation Partners

Municipal (Hunterdon County)

Township of Bethlehem

Borough of Califon

Township of Clinton

Township of Delaware

Borough of High Bridge

Township of Franklin

Township of Lebanon

Township of Raritan

Township of Union

Municipal (Morris County)

Township of Chester

Township of Mendham

Township of Roxbury

Township of Washington



Municipal (Somerset County)

Township of Bedminster




Hunterdon County Open Space Trust Fund Program

Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation

Morris County Park Commission


Natural Resources Conservation Service

NJDEP Division of Parks and Forestry

NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife

New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee

North Jesey Resorce Conservation and Development Council



Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance

New Jersey Audubon Society

New Jersey Conservation Foundation

Schiff Natural Lands Trust

South Branch Watershed Association

The Land Conservancy of New Jersey

The Trust for Public Land

Upper Raritan Watershed Association

Washington Township Land Trust

D&R Greenway Land Trust



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