Flickr CC/Ken Schneider
After last summer's hot, dry weather, winter's snow (and a little rain) is a welcome relief. The drought of 2012 is not yet over, however, and neither is the work of protecting our water supplies. For those municipal and private suppliers who manage, transport, treat and distribute the water we use and consume, the drought strained their ability to operate systems, forced increased spending on supplies and energy, and tested municipal conservation efforts. From water shortages to main breaks to infrastructure failures to lawn watering bans, communities and utilities throughout northeastern Illinois have much to learn from each other on how to handle future droughts in the face of fiscal constraints, aging infrastructure, and uncertain climate.
MPC has invited public works officials and private water suppliers to share their experiences and lessons from the 2012 drought and the work they're doing now to prepare for future drought in our blog series, Experiencing Drought. Check back here for updates as the series progresses.
Aurora balances river and groundwater for a growing population by Dave Schumacher
A critical need for water appreciation and sustainability in Moline by Greg Swanson
Low river levels pose water quality challenges for Elgin by Kyla Jacobsen
Crystal Lake's lawn watering ordinance put to the test by Andrew Resek
Illinois American Water makes long-term infrastructure investments for reliable water supplies by Michael Smyth
Other drought resources:
U.S. Drought Monitor Midwest - updated every Thursday
Illinois State Water Survey drought updates - updated periodically
Illinois Drought Response Task Force
National Drought Impact Reporter