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Model Water Conservation Ordinance

As the region's population increases to 12 million, withdrawals from Lake Michigan, groundwater sources and inland rivers must be balanced with demand projections to attain long term sustainability. Recommendations from GO TO 2040 and Water 2050 emphasize the importance of water use conservation in all sectors to maintain the demand at levels that are comparable to supplies. The CMAP Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance seeks to provide governmental bodies in the northeastern Illinois region a mechanism for adopting measures that promote better water use management. Adopting items from the Model Ordinance may result in indoor water use savings ranging from 2,400 gallons/household/year to 11,500 gallons/household/year. These savings may be achieved through simple household actions such as replacing showerheads, faucets, toilets, etc. Additional reductions in seasonal water use may occur as a result of adopting the outdoor use guidance and regulations.

In drafting the model ordinance, staff completed extensive review of relevant literature and water conservation ordinances and regulations nationwide. A panel of experts provided their input to the document during its formative stages. The ordinance addresses indoor and landscape water use in both the residential and commercial/institutional/industrial sectors with consideration to the latest available technologies and state of the art practices in the field. More than an ordinance, this document is a tool that contains commentary, potential water savings, current examples, and resources for further research. By adopting the requirements of the proposed ordinance, communities may achieve significant water use reductions while deferring to the future the need for water infrastructure expansion.

Ordinance review and update is part of CMAP's efforts in implementing GO TO 2040 and Water 2050. In 2011, the Village of Orland Park partnered with CMAP through the Local Technical Assistance program to incorporate water conservation ordinance language within existing regulations. Learn more at the Orland Park Water Conservation Ordinance webpage.

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