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Josh Ellis »

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Weather Proof: Collaborative stormwater solutions through optimization, communication and integration
This past weekend was a rainy one, followed by a rather jarringly snowy Monday, followed by a damp Tuesday melt. It was April 15, and pardon the pun, but the whole thing was pretty taxing for two groups of people—the system of actors involved in managing stormwater, and the system of actors…
Watershed Management Ordinance trainings light the path to reduced flooding and cleaner water
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Caroline Rendon
  • Apr 2, 2014
Spring is here, which means May 1, the official day the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD) Watershed Management Ordinance goes into effect, is fast approaching. What’s exciting about this? In short, Cook County municipalities will have more and greener…
Measurable progress on our Immeasurable Loss
I like getting to comment on progress, and so I'm happy to note that a couple of weeks ago the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) posted proposed rule changes related to Lake Michigan water use permits for First Notice with Illinois' Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. That kicks off a…
Three bills to curb flooding worth passing now
As I write this it is raining, snow (and lots of it) is melting, combined sewers are overflowing and, unfortunately, in a lot of places throughout the Chicago region I'm sure river levels are rising and many basements are starting to fill with a cold, nasty mix of stormwater and sewage. For…
Taking action: Pursuing government efficiency strategies
Across the country, governments are investing in efficiency. Motivated by budget crunches, scarce resources, service duplication and the desire to spur economic development, public officials are exploring consolidation, collaboration and other means to better serve their constituents. In this…
Taking action: Consolidating 9-1-1 dispatch
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Jamie Makatche
  • Jan 29, 2014
Across the country, governments are investing in efficiency. Motivated by budget crunches, scarce resources, service duplication and the desire to spur economic development, public officials are exploring consolidation, collaboration and other means to better serve their constituents. In this…
MWRD Consent Decree approved: Great, now let's get to work!
Some good and long-awaited stormwater news quietly dropped the other day—a federal judge approved the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's (MWRD) Consent Decree, which is a binding agreement detailing very specific steps MWRD will take to move toward full compliance…
Separation anxiety, part 7: Read the report
This is the latest in the Separation Anxiety series, detailing Josh Ellis' reactions and reflections as an advisory committee member for the Great Lakes Commission and Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative's Restoring the Natural Divide: Separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River…
Small changes, big impact? A look at MWRD’s recent policy shifts
  • By Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Jamie Makatche
  • Dec 9, 2013
The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) recently commended the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Disctrict of Greater Chicago (MWRD) for its bold action on stormwater management. Despite MWRD’s desire to continue to innovate and improve its processes, its own legal structure prevents some…
Holiday gift ideas from MPC - 2013 edition
In years past we've shared fun, unique holiday gift ideas for your friends and family that also resonate with MPC's mission of building a more socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically competitive region. For the next three weeks we'll be adding one new idea a day to this…

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