Water quality was among the top six climate resilience concerns identified in New Jersey’s 2021 Climate Change Resilience Strategy.
From 2018 through 2021 PSEG used about than 7.5 million cubic meters of water annually. Following the sale of fossil plants, that number dropped to about 1.45 million cubic meters in 2022. We measure water inflows and outflows by source in accordance with various permit levels and internal performance monitoring systems, including the quarterly reporting of well pumpage and levels to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Our Water Conservation Plan is updated and submitted for review to NJDEP biennially.
As part of our responsibility to protect our environment, PSEG has protocols related to the discharge of water that comply with state and federal regulations. The federal Clean Water Act prohibits releasing pollutants into U.S. waters from point sources, except with a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the EPA or from a state through a federally authorized state program. New Jersey is among the states that EPA has delegated authority to administer the NPDES program.
We also have ownership interests in facilities in other jurisdictions with laws and regulations to control discharges to their surface waters and ground waters. When operating in those jurisdictions, PSEG implements policies to comply with all relevant regulations. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act authorizes the imposition of technology-based and water quality-based effluent limits to regulate the discharge of pollutants into surface waters and ground waters. We have implemented treatments and processes to monitor PSEG's discharges and assess if they remain below those limits.
The power generation industry requires water use, so water availability is critical for effective operations. PSEG uses several assessment tools to monitor water stress, supply, demand and seasonal variability risks. Among these is a collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI). Using climate forecasts and hydrological simulations, WRI developed the Water Risk Atlas, which identifies potential water resource challenges for the next 25 years. WRI’s water risk assessment for New Jersey is presented in the maps on this page. The assessment considers 13 global water stress indicators and is weighted for the power industry's water use, including water quantity, quality and regulatory and reputational risks. The risk analysis reflects trends over the past half-century.
Based on this analysis, we don’t expect to encounter water stress issues. While some regions of New Jersey may experience increased water stress resulting from increased demand for water and reduced availability, our assets in those locations are not water-intensive.