What is a model water use conservation ordinance?
The 2010 ordinance is an update of the 1980 Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance completed by the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC). The need for this model ordinance resulted from recent federal acts, advances in water efficiencies as well as from the findings of Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan adopted on January 26, 2010. This document serves as a tool for local governments implementing Water 2050 conservation recommendations and looking to update their current ordinances to include water conservation components.
The 2010 ordinance provides draft language that may be directly incorporated into local ordinances and codes.
Why use this document? What are the benefits?
Recommendations of Water 2050 emphasize the importance of water use conservation in all sectors to maintain the demand at levels that are comparable to supplies. The 2010 CMAP Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance will give governmental bodies in the northeastern Illinois region a mechanism for adopting measures promoting better water use management.
A thorough review of a municipality's current water related ordinances is recommended in order to evaluate what components of the model ordinance would be appropriate versus what already exists at the local level. Often water conservation ordinances will overlap topics with other municipal ordinances/codes such as a landscape/irrigation ordinance or plumbing codes, and this also needs to be taken into consideration.
CMAP recommends local governments undertake a 1-2 year public information campaign prior to adoption or modification of existing ordinances. It is also important that local governments inform the public about the enforcement program that will be employed. The public information campaign will be most successful if it continues even after the ordinance has been adopted to increase compliance and maintain a presence for the need for water conservation in the community.
Municipalities may choose to adopt the entire ordinance and insert it as a chapter in their codes, adopt portions of it or modify existing ordinances to include relevant items. It should be noted that water conservation ordinances may need to be updated periodically as local situations change and water efficient technologies continue to advance.
Ordinance review and update is part of CMAP's efforts in implementing 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 project website.