Posted on June 09, 2011 5:00 PM
Water 2050 Update, 6-9-11
Progress from CMAP
Water 2050 forum. Today, CMAP hosted its fourth and final water forum of the fiscal year, "Sustaining the Triple Bottom Line: The Full Value of Water Resources." Part of the ongoing water resources forum series and in collaboration with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG), this event explored water resource sustainability by calling for leadership in meeting financial, environmental, and social objectives -- the triple bottom line. More information on this and past Water 2050 forums can be found on-line.
Watershed planning. CMAP and partners, The Conservation Foundation and Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, are continuing watershed planning efforts in the Fox River Basin. Upcoming meetings will discuss potential plan recommendations and projects. For more information about upcoming meetings and the planning process, please visit the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership watershed planning website.
Lake Zurich taps into water supply planning. The latest issue of IISG's newsletter The HELM covers a number of pressing issues in the Great Lakes and southern Lake Michigan region. It includes including an article on water planning in Lake Zurich, involving a water resources management team led by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), and including CMAP, IISG, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).
LUC Summit. On May 20, CMAP participated in the 16th Land Use Council (LUC) summit organized by the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Sycamore. CMAP's Hala Ahmed, along with a panel of presenters, provided information on regional water supply planning and implementation. Attendees learned about the recent findings in water supplies, as well as activities that CMAP is undertaking for the implementation of Water 2050.
Progress in the Region
Lawn to Lake. A new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) program, Lawn to Lake (L2L), promotes healthy landscape practices for healthy lakes. IISG released a new L2L factsheet, What’s in Your Watershed?, explaining watersheds in the Great Lakes Basin in Indiana. For more information, or to discuss partnering opportunities, contact the L2L project lead, Margaret Schneemann (MSchneemann@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-676-7456).
Future water rates. The Elmhurst Press reports that a committee reporting to the city council is preparing a report that would recommend an eight percent increase in water and sewer rates for Elmhurst. The council has been weighing options in response to cost increases projected by the DuPage Water Commission, which provides certain communities with water purchased from Chicago.
Lake Michigan Consortium Pact. Lake Zurich trustees voted recently to reject the Lake Michigan Consortium Pact. This agreement would have required the Village to invest toward a plan to bring Lake Michigan water to a consortium of Lake County communities. While Lake Zurich is interested in participating in the public education portion of the pact, they are exploring alternatives to remaining a member of the North-West Lake County Lake Michigan Water Planning Group. Lake Zurich believes there might be other, less expensive options than remaining with the consortium given nearby water agencies also bringing Lake Michigan water to the area.
Water in the News
Cleaning the Chicago River. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) demanded that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) improve the Chicago River’s water quality, starting with disinfection of the water released to the waterway. The Chicago River earned a spot on American Rivers’ annual list of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers.” Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, along with other supporters, cited significant economic benefits resulting from increased recreation opportunities if environmental conditions of the river were improved. MWRD had opposed the demands, saying that disinfecting water released to the waterway would be costly. After the Illinois Pollution Control Board issued an order on June 2 requiring all Chicago waterways to be safe for “primary contact,” MWRD voted on June 7 to drop opposition to the U.S. EPA mandate and begin efforts to disinfect partially treated wastewater.
New tools to battle Asian Carp. Efforts continue this spring in the battle to keep Asian carp out of Chicago waterways. Federal and state officials introduced new tools this season to step up resistance to the invasive species. New strategies include an underwater camera, fine nets to capture larvae, and a water gun that emits sound waves to discourage the approach of the fish. Greater effort to stop small fish was this year’s new goal after studies found the water gun to be more effective on larger fish.
Great Lakes Restoration. IISG, with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),developed Great Lakes Restoration: Best Management Practices to help those interested in restoring Great Lakes. You can participate in the National Ocean Policy Regional Listening Session on Monday, June 13, 2011, co-hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. EPA. The Strategic Action Plans currently in development will implement the first National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes.
Water efficiency and management. The U.S. Green Buildings Council-Illinois Chapter's West Suburban Branch will host "Water Efficient Landscaping: From Airports to Your Own Backyard" on June 16 in Chicago. Registration and event information is available on-line.
UCOWR/NIWR 2011 Conference. The Universities Council on Water Resources will host "Planning for Tomorrow's Water: Snowpack, Aquifers, and Reservoirs" from July 11 to 14 in Boulder, CO. To view the preliminary program and register, visit www.ucowr.org.
CZ 11 Conference. The Coastal Zone 11 conference, "Winds of Changes: Great Lakes, Great Oceans, Great Communities!", will be held July 17 to 21, 2011, in Chicago. This is a biennial international symposium bringing together coastal management professionals to address challenges and forge solutions confronting our coastal resources. Register on-line.