Progress from CMAP
Since the unanimous approval of Water 2050, the Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan, by the Regional Water Supply Planning Group in March 2010, CMAP has worked with numerous partners to support implementation efforts across the region. This newsletter summarizes major accomplishments to date as well as upcoming projects. We are interested in your ideas for heeding the call of Water 2050 and ensuring that the region avoids any water demand and supply imbalances in the future while providing for a diverse and growing number of users. Please send your comments to Tim Loftus (312-386-8666 or email@example.com). Thank you for your interest and support.
Water resource forums. In 2011, CMAP cohosted four well-attended Water 2050 forums on topics including groundwater quality and regulations; regional flooding and stormwater management; the science and planning behind groundwater protection; and the true, full value of water.
CMAP Model Water Ordinance. To help decision makers throughout region implement Water 2050, CMAP developed the 2010 CMAP Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance to provide a thorough roadmap for practicing sensible demand management. The ordinance covers application areas of residential, commercial, rainwater harvesting, water waste, and pricing.
Water 2050 Bill Insert Program. In the spirit of implementing Water 2050 and assisting public water suppliers, CMAP created a Bill Insert Program to serve as a method of public information outreach. The five inserts (available for both electronic and paper distribution) cover a variety of topics including aging infrastructure, household leaks, lawn watering, groundwater recharge, and Lake Michigan policy.
As an early result, Illinois American Water used the program to provide public information to their customers about water issues in the region. Both the lawn watering and infrastructure needs inserts were distributed to 290,000 customers to increase awareness of the importance of outdoor water conservation and the value of water service. Provision of public information to customers has been found to be a cost-effective way to promote water conservation behavior, with reductions in water use averaging two percent for a cost of as low as $0.02 to $0.10 an insert according to a 2009 study. In winter 2011, CMAP began working with two Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA) members, the City of Batavia and McHenry County, to include the groundwater bill insert in their publications. McHenry County included the insert in their December 5, 2011, E-news publication, reaching 1,400 residents across 40 communities. Batavia included the insert in their January/February 2012 Neighbors of Batavia publication (page 19) that reaches nearly 14,000 people. In 2012, all 80 NWPA member communities are expected to distribute one or more of the bill inserts to their communitiesas part of a larger public information and outreach effort.
Regional watershed planning. CMAP staff and local stakeholders developed four watershed plans in 2011 for Ferson-Otter Creek, Blackberry Creek, Silver Creek / Sleepy Hollow Creek, and Hickory Creek. In addition to addressing the plan components required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), plans also address groundwater protection as an outcome of what was learned during the Water 2050 planning process. All CMAP-developed watershed plans can be found on-line. Additionally, a fifth plan, led by The Conservation Foundation with assistance from CMAP, was developed for the Lower DuPage River.
Water outreach and education. CMAP staff members have given numerous Water 2050-related presentations to a variety of audiences throughout the region, state, and across the nation. Presentations have been a staple of our outreach and education efforts. The issues covered always elicit questions and lively discussion. Select presentations are available on-line, and the CMAP staff is available for presentation to a particular audience that is eager to learn about regional water resources and circumstances. Contact Tim Loftus (312-386-8666 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
LTA water conservation and efficiency plans. Both the Village of Oak Park and the City of Evanston are developing water conservation and efficiency plans through CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. The plans outline specific actions that each community and their residents can take to reduce water use including many that align with the recommendations made in Water 2050. Conservation coordinators, leak detection and repair, fixture rebate programs, outreach and education strategies, and outdoor water use are all addressed in the plans among other topics. Both plans will be finished this summer.
A new water conservation code for Orland Park. On June 4, 2012, the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees reviewed the final draft report for the Orland Park Water Conservation Program. As part of the implementation of Water 2050and through the LTA program, CMAP and the Village of Orland Park partnered to incorporate elements from the 2010 CMAP Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance into existing ordinances and regulations. This eight-month process was conducted with the assistance of a Steering Committee including Village Staff and community stakeholders and was overseen by the Village’s Plan Commission and the Development Services Committee. Comments and input from the public were solicited during February and March open houses and during several commission and committee meetings. The Village of Orland Park is one of the first communities in northeastern Illinois to demonstrate leadership in increased water conservation practices by considering the incorporation of ordinances and programs.
Lake County water quality planning. With a grant from the IEPA Bureau of Water, CMAP will lead a new planning process in southwestern Lake County to improve water quality and restore designated uses in nine lakes. The purpose of the Clean Water Act grant is to develop a TMDL (total maximum daily load) implementation plan for the lakes and their combined watersheds. The two-year project will follow a watershed-based planning process and will begin with a meeting at the Wauconda Village Hall on June 20 at 3:00 p.m. Contact Tim Loftus (312-386-8666 or email@example.com) or Holly Hudson (312-386-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Facility Planning Area reviews. One of the many objectives of the region’s Areawide Water Quality Management Plan is the “reduction, by all practical means, of wastewater volumes in the region.” Water 2050’s emphasis on demand management, particularly conservation and efficiency, supports this objective. Volumes 1 and 2 of the plan are available on our website As part of CMAP’s staff Facility Planning Area review of applicant ordinances in place to protect water quality, staff now recommends adoption of some or the entire model water use conservation ordinance. Such a review practice and subsequent recommendations promote integrated planning in the region.
Enhanced water web pages. Remember to visit the updated Water section of CMAP’s website. Changes include new web page about Volunteer Lake Management Program and other water quality planning activities, updated information on Water 2050 Implementation programs, and additional resources for increasing water conservation and efficiency throughout the region.
IISG Partnership. CMAP has partnered with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) to bring a water resource economist to the Water 2050 implementation program and launch several collaborative projects throughout the region. With grant support from the NOAA Coastal Communities Climate Adaptation Initiative,CMAP and IISGundertook the Managing Drought Impacts to Regional Water Supplies project. A grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Great Lakes Restoration Initiative helped this partnership launch a collaborative effort to reduce pesticide, fertilizer, and water inputs to the Great Lakes Basin. The effort promotes and implements sustainable lawn and landscape practices at the community and household level. CMAP and IISG have also developed a series of training initiatives to help communities develop and implement sustainable water services financing. Both agencies are working in region to form technical assistance partnerships and provide information and guidance to other agencies, public water suppliers, city councils, and the general public on full-cost pricing.
IISG 30th Anniversary Water 2050 intern. As part of the IISG's 30th anniversary celebrations, a new summer internship program has brought Sahana Rao, a water supply economics and planning intern to CMAP this summer. Sahana will be working with CMAP’s water resource economist on programmatic implementation, focusing on outdoor water conservation and pricing.
Toilet rebate conservation program. Water 2050 provides regional direction for guiding local actions and integrating water supply issues into planning decisions and programs. Demand management is one of the main strategies of Water 2050 that can be implemented through local conservation programs. One of the early results of the new water supply plan is a rebate program in Batavia that provides a $50 incentive to residents who replace their toilets with high-efficiency models. These toilets use an average of 1.28 gallons per flush and are on the U.S. EPA WaterSense list. To qualify to be on that list, toilets need to use 20 percent less water than the 1992 Energy Policy Act standard of 1.6 gallons per flush. About 35 residents took advantage of the program in 2010 and a similar number is expected for 2011 results. The City of Aurora also administered a rebate program in the summer of 2010.
Progress in the Region
Lake Zurich water plan. The final report of findings and recommendations for Lake Zurich’s water supply is now available on-line. On March 7, 2011, the Lake ZurichVillage Board signed a memorandumthat approved hiring an integrated water resources management team to advise the community as it develops its future water plan. The team, led by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), included CMAP, IISG, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). It was tasked with assisting the village with exploring strategies for addressing its water, wastewater, and stormwater needs. In addition to the team, this year-long project incorporated experts from a wide variety of backgrounds from academic to consulting to review village data and policies to provide insight on the integration of water supply, wastewater, and stormwater systems.
Northwest Water Planning Alliance. As an outcome of Water 2050’s call for self-organization and collaborative management among the groundwater-dependent communities in our region, the NWPAwas established in September 2010. The Alliance was formed via intergovernmental agreements between five counties (Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, and Kendall) and five Council of Governments (COGs -- Lake County Municipal League, McHenry County COG, Barrington Area COG, Metro West COG, and Northwest Municipal Conference).
The NWPA formed to address growing concern for demand on the deep-bedrock aquifer that is thought to be unsustainable and overpumping of the shallow-aquifer system. The NWPA’s goal is to “provide a sustainable water supply for the NWPA region in a manner that is both economically and environmentally sound.” NWPA features an Executive Committee and a Technical Advisory Committee. CMAP staff supports the NWPA Technical Advisory Committee as they discuss developing a recommendation to the Executive Committee for an outdoor lawn watering ordinance. Other notable accomplishments include member use of the CMAP water-bill insert library of educational messages and becoming a U.S. EPA WaterSense Partner.
CNT Wetrofit Service Survey. CNT is working with three communities to pilot its Wetrofit program. The program aims to provide families a one-stop wet weather retrofit, or Wetrofit service, and is currently recruiting 100 households in Wilmette, Chicago’s Albany/North Park, and Rogers Park neighborhoods to install and test fixes for flooding with a focus on rain gardens. To work with CNT to reduce flooding in your property or neighborhood, fill out the survey on-line or contact Ryan Wilson (email@example.com or 773-328-7014).
LTA 2012 call for projects. For the second year, CMAP is making staff resources and grants available for community-based projects through the GO TO 2040 LTA program. Municipalities, counties, multijurisdictional groups, or nongovernmental organizations (in partnership with local government) are encouraged to apply for CMAP staff assistance by responding to the new LTA 2012 Call for Projects. Applications related to watershed-plan recommendations and other water related ideas are encouraged. Applications are due by Wednesday, August 1, 2012. For more information, please contact Pete Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8654). Applicants that would prefer to receive grant funds should consider applying for funding through CMAP's Community Planning program -- see http://rtachicago.com/community-planning/community-planning.html for more details.
ISWS report. The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) has released Contract Report 2012-03 “Opportunities and Challenges of Meeting Water Demand in Northeastern Illinois.” The ISWS was called out in Executive Order 2006-1 to coordinate with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in defining a comprehensive program for state and regional water supply planning and management and more. ISWS modeling and participation was instrumental during the regional water supply planning process that culminated with publication of Water 2050, which summarized preliminary ISWS findings. The new report suggests that the study results “should be viewed with optimism” despite concluding that the deep-bedrock aquifer is being mined and the withdrawals from shallow aquifers have the effect of reducing discharge to wetlands and surface waters (e.g., headwater and tributary streams.) As for the region’s two inland river sources, the Fox River is thought to be underutilized as a source of water, while the Kankakee River awaits further study to determine its potential for additional withdrawals. Lake Michigan, serving over three-quarters of the region’s population, is expected to remain in compliance with the Consent Decree while still accommodating an increase in domestic water use allocations. The report concludes that there is still 10-30 years to pursue source and management alternatives, but given the time it takes to construct and implement projects and plans, “planners should act now.”
Graywater reuse and rainwater harvesting. Water 2050 calls attention to graywater reuse and rainwater harvesting as viable options for either indoor nonpotable use, such as toilet flushing, or outdoor irrigation. Illinois House Bill 4496 amends the Illinois Plumbing License Law. It provides that by January 1, 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) shall amend the language of the law to reflect current thinking, codes, and recommendations so that the State’s plumbing code standards are consistent with the leading technologies and methods that more efficiently utilize natural resources while continuing to protect public health. New language is expected to allow for rainwater harvesting and graywater reuse, as Water 2050 recommends. Our colleagues at MPC have facilitated a number of roundtable discussions to assist IDPH with the pending new language. HB 4496 passed both houses on May 15 and awaits Governor Quinn’s signature.
Sustainable infrastructure planning workshop. On June 18 and 19, McHenry County will host a sustainable infrastructure planning workshop developed as part of CMAP's Water Financing Program. This training assists communities in identifying actions to foster sustainability, including project development, water conservation, energy efficiency, and asset management. Register on-line. For more information, contact Bud Mason (email@example.com) or Margaret Schneemann (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lawn to Lakes retail program. An outreach program for lawn product retailers to promote availability of phosphorous-free and natural lawn care products is underway this summer. Participating stores are listed in an interactive mapas a local resource for consumers. Lawn to Lake project coordinators are also providing stores with display materials and to hold on-site educational events and staff trainings. For more information, visit www.lawntogreatlakes.org.