Posted on February 09, 2012 2:04 PM
Water 2050 Update, 2-9-12
Progress from CMAP
Fox River Watershed restoration and education report. CMAP has completed the "Fox River Watershed Restoration & Education" report. It highlights four individual projects aimed at controlling nonpoint source (NPS) pollution within the Fox River Basin from the Village of Streamwood, Dundee Township, the Village of West Dundee, and the St. Charles Park District. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) receives federal funds through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act to help implement IEPA's NPS Management Program. The program supports several types of activities to protect water quality by controlling NPS pollution. CMAP provided financial, administrative, and technical assistance to each grant recipient during design and implementation of various best management practices for NPS pollution control. Project highlights include:
- The Village of Streamwood stabilized approximately 2,160 feet of eroding streambank along a 1,080 foot segment of the South Branch of Poplar Creek located between the Streamwood Oaks Golf Course and Whispering Drive.
- Dundee Township conducted, reclaimed, and restored a 160-acre site on Jelkes Creek, a tributary of the Fox River, located southwest of the Village of Sleepy Hollow.
- The St. Charles Park District implemented streambank and streambed stabilization of a 1,700 foot segment of Norris Woods Creek, a tributary of the Fox River located in the Norris Woods Nature Preserve.
- The Village of West Dundee constructed two bioretention facilities near the Fox River. One facility is approximately 1,000 square feet in size and is located at the end of Oregon Street, and the other facility is approximately 600 square feet in size and is located at the end of Fay Avenue.
New water conservation code for Orland Park. On February 22, 2012, the Village of Orland Park and CMAP will hold the first public meeting for the development of a new water conservation code at Orland Park Public Library (14921 Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park)from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Village is seeking to tailor the CMAP Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance and use recommendations from the Water 2050 and GO TO 2040 plans to emphasize water conservation and efficiency through Orland Park's codes and programs. The new water conservation code will recommend ordinance language for increased water conservation practices in a unified Water Resources Chapter to be added to the Village Land Development Code. This project is part of CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, which is sponsored by a three-year $4.25 million HUD Sustainable Communities grant that helps local governments, nonprofits, and other organizations to help implement the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.
GO TO 2040 implementation report. CMAP recently released its first annual GO TO 2040 implementation report, which includes water-related case studies that implement recommendations from Water 2050 as well as GO TO 2040. A poster/brochure accompaniment to the report is available upon request (contact Justine Reisinger).
Progress in the Region
Physical barriers against invasive species. The Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, with support from six funders, has completed “Restoring the Natural Divide: Separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basin" to identify engineering options for Chicago’s waterway system that will prevent interbasin movement of aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp. Initiated in July 2010, the study also examined potential improvements to the waterway’s roles in commercial navigation, recreational boating, flood and stormwater management, and water quality. CMAP staff participated as a member of the project advisory committee that included representatives from throughout the Great Lakes Basin. Watch this video explaining the study.
MWRD approves green infrastructure for stormwater management. In January, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) established new guidelines for implementing its Sewer Permit Ordinance (SPO) to allow the use of green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff. Since the 1970s, the SPO has regulated drainage from developed properties in Cook County, requiring the use of detention basins or other facilities to slow down runoff during heavy rain storms to protect downstream property owners from flooding. Under the new guidelines, developers can employ “green infrastructure” techniques that mimic natural systems, such as devices that promote uptake of rainfall by plants or that allow water to filter into the soil. Since green infrastructure keeps part of the runoff onsite rather than draining it offsite, using green infrastructure can now be counted toward part of the SPO’s required detention. On smaller sites, all of the detention can be provided through green infrastructure, while on larger sites a quarter of the detention requirement can be met this way. As a result, developers can now expect to save money on site infrastructure costs while simultaneously enhancing water quality and maintaining the SPO’s flood control benefits. Read more about this development in CMAP's Policy Updates blog.
New pollutant discharge tool. A new discharge pollutant loading tool is available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). It allows stakeholders to access important information about pollutants that are released into local waterways under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. With the tool, users can easily search and create maps of water pollution into waterways by watershed, company, local area, industry sector, and pollutant. Users can view when discharges are above permitted levels, violations, and enforcement actions taken by the U.S. EPA to address the violations. The tool can be used to protect the health of the community and the region.
Sustainability handbook. A new handbook, "Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities," is available to help water sector utilities build sustainability considerations into their planning. The handbook will help ensure that water infrastructure projects, including those funded through the state revolving loan fund programs, support long-term sustainability. It is an important milestone in the U.S. EPA's ongoing efforts to implements its clean water and safe drinking water infrastructure sustainability policy, which was initiated in September 2010.
Coastal planning resource. The National Ocean Council launched a new website as a one-stop resource for data and information to support coastal planning -- including in the Great Lakes region. The website includes data, tools, technical guidance, regional planning resources, and a networking forum for all those engaged in protecting our coastal resources.
Mayoral water conservation challenge. From March 30 to April 30, mayors can pledge to conserve water and cut pollution in the third annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. Through this nonprofit competition, mayors will be asking their residents to undertake water conservation and energy saving measures such as fixing leaky faucets, walking or biking short distances, and washing only full loads of laundry. CMAP encourages mayors in the northeastern Illinois region to participate in this challenge and is willing to offer assistance where needed. Read more at American City & County.
Sense of Water contest. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. EPA is focusing this year's Rachael Carson Intergenerational "Sense of Wonder" Contest on water. Contest submissions must be on the properties of water and what water means to individuals and the region. Submissions may include poetry, essay, a dance video, or photography. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2012.
Marketing summit highlighted.The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s (IISG) Asian Carp Marketing Summit is featured in the Telegraph's top 10 local stories of 2011 as the summit invited restaurants, commercial fishing, processing and related businesses, agencies, and academic institutions to discuss the Asian carp threat and foster solutions.
Funding water infrastructure projects. In January, the Regional Infrastructure Improvement Zones Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would allow private businesses or individuals to contribute tax-deductible funds to support the construction or maintenance of public infrastructure, including transportation and water projects. Read more about the bill at CMAP's Policy Updates blog. In related news, the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread released a report outlining strategies for financing water infrastructure in January. The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report on financing stormwater retrofits as well.
Fix a Leak Week. March 12 to 18 marks the fourth annual Fix a Leak Week, sponsored by the U.S. EPA's WaterSense Partnership Program. In addition to featuring a pledge, information will be available on WaterSense partner events throughout the week.
Lawn to Lake Spring 2012 Natural Lawn Care Workshops. The calm before the growing season provides a perfect opportunity to learn new water-friendly lawn care practices. Did you know that the water requirements of natural lawns range 30 to 50 percent lower compared to conventionally maintained lawns? The Lawn to Lake program is partnering with CMAP and other national and regional lawn experts to offer several workshops on Natural Lawn Care this spring, including:
- From March 21 to 22, learn about the latest in natural lawn care techniques at Indiana Natural Lawn Care workshops featuring nationally known expert Chip Osborne. The March 21 Natural Lawn Care workshop is targeted to professionals and municipalities. The March 22 workshop will be for schools and childcares looking to learn about how to use Natural Lawn Care, comply with pesticide regulations, and protect children’s health.
- From March 30 to 31, the Illinois Lawn and Landscape Summit will offer techniques to create and care for lawns and landscapes using organic methods at the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, Ill. The summit will feature Paul Tukey, founding editor and publisher of People, Places & Plants magazine and author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual. On March 30, the all-day summit will be directed to the needs of lawn care professionals. On March 31, homeowners can take part in presentations and discussions that run all morning.
- On April 13, the Division of Water Resources from McHenry County's Department of Planning and Development and partners will host the McHenry Natural Lawn Care and Sustainable Landscapes Workshop. The workshop will introduce natural lawn and sustainable landscaping techniques, resources, and implementation; address contract and ordinance review; and discuss managing stormwater with rain-friendly landscaping. For registration materials visit http://www.mchenryh2o.com/ or call 815-334-4560.
World Water Day. Water and food security will be the theme for the 2012 World Water Day on March 22. Started by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992, the day was designated for global action on implementing UN recommendations and water activities.
Water pricing and planning for climate change. On April 25, Margaret Schneemann, Water Resource Economist with CMAP and IISG, will present "Reducing Water Supply Vulnerability in the Chicago Metro Region: Water Pricing as an Adaptive Climate Change Strategy" to the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). The presentation will discuss the role of water pricing to promote sound regional water management, provide at-risk water systems options to manage climate impacts, and will ensure ongoing infrastructure adequacy as communities face increasing uncertainties. Visit the ISTC calendar for more information.
NWPA. In January 2012, the Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA) Executive Committee agreed that all members should also become WaterSense Partners in an effort to promote a unified outreach and education message throughout all 80 groundwater-dependent member communities. A WaterSense partnership is a free and easy way to support water efficiency and conservation in your community, and there are already 26 WaterSense promotional partners in our region. For more information, contact Cary McElhinney at McElhinney.Cary@epa.gov or 312-886-4313.
WaterSense Fact. If one of every ten homes in the U.S. were to install WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories in their bathrooms, it could save six billion gallons of water per year and more than $50 million in the energy costs to supply, heat, and treat that water. Learn more about how you can save water and help make a positive impact. CMAP is a WaterSense partner.