Category Archives: Stream of Consciousness

News, happenings, and commentary about water issues in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana

Unseasonable Chicago weather highlights need for resilient water infrastructure

By Abby Crisostomo If you’re like me, you may have woken up the last couple mornings to get ready for your day and been a bit confused about how to deal with the weather. Do I bundle up in my … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humanity’s Water Footprint: An international comparison of water consumption

By Lauren Contorno Which country is the world’s largest consumer of freshwater? What factors lead to higher per-capita consumption of water? Which countries rely heavily on imported “virtual water”, and therefore deplete water resources beyond their borders? These are a … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Environmental Grant Program open for applications

Illinois American Water is now accepting applications for the 2013 Environmental Grant Program. They are seeking innovative and collaborative programs that result in positive and sustainable environmental changes. Watershed protection activities, biodiversity projects and hazardous waste collection efforts are just … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Collaborative planning key to tackling regional water issues

By Matt Nichols In the Chicago suburbs, the Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA) has taken great strides toward regional collaboration on water supply planning, including passing a uniform lawn watering ordinance that will reduce strain on shared aquifers as it goes … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Water vs. the Economy: How Do Americans Value Water?

By Lauren Contorno Much of our nation’s water infrastructure is outdated and in dire need of repair. Every day, 7 billion gallons of water are lost to water main breaks—enough to supply water to the entire state of California. Every … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Oil and water: heavy industry’s reliance on water

A century ago, the Chicago region was known for its plethora of food-processing plants, steam-powered rail lines, and massive steel mills. What did all of these industries have in common?  An insatiable demand for water.  Today, instead of traditionally water-intensive … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Grey and green: an all-of-the-above approach to stormwater management

While maintaining existing “grey” infrastructure – pipes and pumps – is important, building new isn’t always the most cost-effective option. To best manage large volumes of rain, the Chicago region needs to repair outdated grey infrastructure, build new systems where … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Leave a comment

Closing the water-energy loop at Kirie plant

Photo credit: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago By Matt Nichols In May, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) opened a new energy recycling system at the James C. Kirie water reclamation plant in Des Plaines which will … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

New research confirms graywater safe for irrigation use

As you’ve likely noticed, we’re big fans of graywater reuse. But we confess the same question has crossed our minds as has likely occurred to many of you: Wait…reusing water from showers or washing machines to irrigate plants?  Isn’t the … Continue reading

Posted in Stream of Consciousness | Leave a comment

Blue Island schools recognized for green infrastructure efforts

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the U.S. Green Building Council will recognize the hard work of schools across Illinois that worked to make their campuses more sustainable during the 2012 Green Apple Day of Service.  The event will take place from … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Stream of Consciousness | Leave a comment