Situated along the shore of Lake Michigan, metropolitan Chicago has benefitted for centuries from an abundance of fresh water. The infrastructure necessary for delivering water and removing wastewater is primarily underground: out of sight and out of mind. Recognition of the status of water infrastructure and the resulting challenges faced by our community water suppliers has been building. At the same time, a new regional understanding has emerged regarding the role of water price in the effective provision and management of our water resources.
The long-range GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan specifically recommends full-cost pricing as fundamental to addressing both the need for investment in water infrastructure and the challenge of accommodating millions more residents in livable communities by mid-century. CMAP, in partnership with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the University of Illinois Extension, has developed an expert-reviewed manual that explores full-cost pricing as a tool for local decision makers interested in sustainably managing community water supply -- Full-Cost Water Pricing Guidebook for Sustainable Community Water Systems.
Local governments are the primary investors in water infrastructure in the U.S. Revenues generated by water rates are the primary source of revenue for most community water systems. Setting water rates that recover full costs can contribute to financial resiliency and create enough revenue to maintain the system. Sustainable rates enable communities to meet water demands reliably and safely. Recovering full costs is especially important because poor infrastructure poses one of the top three challenges for northeastern Illinois water utilities and failing infrastructure can impose high costs on communities in terms of damage and inconvenience.
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For additional information, contact Margaret Schneemann (email@example.com or 312-676-7456).