NEW JERSEY HAS BIG WATER PROJECT.
The New Jersey State Water Supyly Commission proposes to buy the Wharton estate in the counties of Atlantic and Burlington to conserve its water supply. Some figures have been furnished the Governor by the State Commission which give the plan and object of the acquisition. The studies so far made show that it is possible to construct a large impounding reservoir at Batso at elevation thirty which would hold over 21,000,000,000 gallons, or about three times the capacity of the Boonton reservoir of the Jersey City supply, from which that city is now drawing 50,000,000 gallons per day, and also that a reservoir holding 25,000,000,000 gallons can be built on the higher portions of the Mullica River watershed at elevation 100. This reservoir, however, would not be entirely upon the lands of the Wharton tract. The representatives of the Wharton estate have informed the commission that the estate will sell the property for $1,000,000, but no option or agreement is held by the commission to this effect. The commission feels that the authorization of the issue of bonds should be secured, so that the advantages of the ownership of this tract of lands by the State can be consummated provided terms satisfactory to the commission and the Governor can be arranged. The tract comprises approximately 170 square miles and is valued at $1,029,000. The commission is advised by its engineers that the probable first utilization for potable water supply purposes can be very cheaply inaugurated by using the water power on the several streams included in the holdings of the Wharton estate to pump water directly from the streams without the immediate necessity for the construction of storage reservoirs. Such an arrangement would make available a supply of from 20,000,000 to 60,000,000 gallons per day, depending upon how many branches of the Mullen River were so used. The uses to which the state could put these properties, and concerning which the commission is advised of a demand from departments of the state government, are primarily, conservation of potable water supplies and economical development of the same for the benefit of all contracting municipalities. The property controls the water rights of the Batato, the Atsion and the Wading rivers, which are estimated to be capable of a dcvelopincnt of 400,000,000 gallons of daily supply. The commission, however, would place a conservative estimate of 350,000,000 gallons per day as a possible development of these streams. As stated herein, the entire ownership of all the available reservoir sites is not in the Wharton estate, but it would be possible to develop a yield of at least 150,000,000 gallons per day upon the property of the estate. To make available the waters from the flow of the streams, as the first development suggested, by the use of water power for pumping, it is estimated that an additional supply of 10,000,000 gallons of water per day for Atlantic City could be pumped over the divide between the Mullica River watershed and Absecon Creek, now being used by Atlantic City at an initial cost of under $250,000. Regarding the cost of delivery to the several municipalities, it is impossible to give any definite estimate because of the varied conditions under which such delivery would be made, but the commission might say from its experience and studies made on the Wanaque and other watersheds, that the cost would not exceed the sum of $30 per million gallons of daily supply based upon a minimum development of 20,000,000 gallons per day.