Going with the flow

Drop of water
Falling a drop of water

Get ready to pay more for tap water in New Jersey.

The state Board of Public Utilities is considering a proposal, initially made by the N.J. American Water Company, to allow providers to pass along some of the cost of infrastructure upgrades to consumers.

According to BPU President Lee Solomon, this would encourage upgrades now, rather than in the (presumably more expensive) future.

“I believe water will be the crisis of the 21st century,” Solomon told a Rider University roundtable sponsored by NJ Spotlight on Monday.

Regardless of how one feels about the notion that big utilities need our help to do what they’re supposed to do– maintain their systems, for example – the era of relatively inexpensive water is coming to an end.

Tom Belton, a longtime New Jersey environmental scientist I interviewed for my column Sunday, also believes that water issues will inevitably become “critical” in the state.