Each winter, the Chicago region uses more than 270,000 tons of road salt to control ice on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. While maintaining public safety is absolutely necessary, the amount of salt used is excessive and is polluting our drinking water. Salt concentrations in groundwater have been rapidly rising across the Chicago region since the 1960s.
The Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA) is urging municipalities, private contractors, and homeowners to reduce use of road salt to reduce the contamination entering our river and groundwater resources. As a coalition of local and county governments that includes more than 80 communities in the Chicago region, the NWPA was formed to protect the shared water resources to ensure a sustainable water supply. “I commend our members who are actively working to reduce the use of road salt and protect our drinking water,” said Elgin Mayor David Kaptain and NWPA Chairman, “and encourage more communities to join us and save money at the same time.”
Northwest Water Planning Alliance heeds World Water Day call through collaborative efforts to protect the groundwater and fox river for future generations
Cooperative effort between municipalities and counties yielding tangible results for residents and businesses
On March 22 members of the Northwest Water Planning Alliance celebrated World Water Day and the International Year of Water Cooperation, a United Nations designation, by reflecting on two years of significant progress in its combined efforts to protect shared groundwater and Fox River resources. Representing five councils of government, approximately 80 communities (including Aurora and Elgin), five counties (DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry), and 1.3 million people, the Northwest Water Planning Alliance’s mission is to improve research, policies and outreach on water supply protection in the region.
“Northeastern Illinois’ regional water supply plan, Water 2050, made it clear that collaborative efforts between communities sharing the same finite water sources were going to be absolutely imperative if we want to ensure economic growth, ecological integrity, and a high quality of life,” said Aurora Mayor and NWPA Chairman Thomas Weisner. “Today, on World Water Day, I cannot commend our members enough for all of our success to date. But we can’t forget there’s a lot left to do.”