From the Pinelands Preservation Alliance Newsletter:BEHR655 said:Why did they purchase Wharton Track?
Unlike northern parts of the state where most drinking water is obtained from surface water sources such as rivers and reservoirs, in South Jersey approximately eighty (80) percent of the water is derived from groundwater. As the deeper aquifers become overdrawn, the pressure to use the shallow Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer increases. The pressure to use this shallow aquifer has existed for many years. In the late 1800â€™s there was a plan by Joseph Wharton to connect a series of shallow ponds, reservoirs, and canals and sell water from this shallow aquifer to the City of Philadelphia as one of its primary sources of municipal water. Fortunately, the State Legislature learned of the plan and had the good sense to pass a law preventing the export of any of the state's water beyond state boundaries. It was this same abundant and clean water resource that prompted the State to purchase the 97,000 acre Wharton tract during the 1950's and establish what is currently known as Wharton State Forest.