With support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has partnered with the Northwest Water Planning Alliance and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) to develop a water supply sustainability plan for the NWPA region. Later this year, the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) will release sustainable yield values for each water source by county. This data will, for the first time, identify the amount of water that can be withdrawn from each water source sustainably. The Water Supply Sustainability Plan will use the yield values to explore voluntary water conservation strategies that could help establish a path toward long-term sustainable use of water resources in the NWPA area. Additionally, the plan will serve as a model to encourage municipalities in other parts of the region and state to develop their own water sustainability plans.
CMAP and IISG will work with the NWPA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Executive Committee (EC) throughout the plan’s development. Together, they will develop a water sustainability goal for the area that is informed by the ISWS sustainable yield estimates. The team will then evaluate the potential water savings of different conservation strategies and assess how effective their implementation could be toward meeting their sustainability goals.
Potential strategies could include active and passive water conservation actions, such as reducing water loss, metering with volumetric rates, reusing water, retrofitting plumbing, and upgrading appliances to water-efficient models. The expertise of NWPA members, as well as water conservation and demand management experts, will help guide the selection of feasible strategies and set appropriate implementation timelines.
The involvement and expertise of municipal staff in the NWPA area will be critical to the plan’s success. By attending the NWPA TAC meetings, municipal staff can help guide the development and evaluation of strategies and ensure the selected strategies can help the area achieve a long-term sustainable water supply. To maintain a sustainable water supply in the NWPA region (see map below), we need your help. Join an upcoming NWPA Technical Advisory Committee meeting to get involved in the planning process.
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