MPC and Openlands Forum: Choosing our Water Future - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC and Openlands Forum: Choosing our Water Future

May 12, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to Noon

This is a past event

Metropolitan Planning Council Conference Center 140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400 Chicago

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Registration is closed for this event.

For generations, many Americans have viewed our water supplies as more or less limitless, resulting in waste and inefficiency.  However, in 2010 Northeastern Illinois completed its first-ever stakeholder driven regional water supply plan, which concludes that without proactive investment, our current water use practices could lead to water shortages in the coming decades. 

As a result, we are forced to rethink our water future.  Can we make the choice now to manage our water resources, for both supply conservation and quality assurance, sustainably in the future?  What is the role for corporate stewardship and philanthropic engagement in water policy?  What are the opportunities for reforming how federal, state and local governments invest in water resources management? 

"Choosing our Water Future," co-sponsored by MPC and Openlands, with the generous support of Harris Bank, will tackle those questions.  Nationally renowned water expert Robert Glennon, author of Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It, will make his first Illinois appearance in 2010. He will deliver the keynote address exploring potential water futures for the U.S.— one driven by passivity, the other by foresight.  Two expert panels will then explore national shifts in government, private sector, and philanthropic ideas on water resources management, and opportunities in Illinois and the Chicago region for implementation of the regional water supply plan.


Keynote Address: Robert Glennon – Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Arizona, author of Unquenchable and Water Follies (watch him on the Daily Show).

Panel 1: Choosing the sustainable path: Shifts in federal water policy, infrastructure management, corporate stewardship, and catalytic philanthropy

  • Laurent Auguste – President and CEO, Veolia Water Americas; and Board Member, Milwaukee 7 Water Council
  • Lynn Broaddus – Director, Environment Programs, Johnson Foundation
  • David Monsma – Executive Director, Energy and Environment Program, Aspen Institute 
  • Betsy Otto – Vice President, Conservation and Strategic Partnerships, American Rivers

Panel 2: The choice for Illinois: State, regional and local collaboration on integrated water resources management

  • Tim Loftus – Principal, Water Resources, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
  • Richard Sustich – Lake Zurich Village Trustee; Industrial and Governmental Development Manager, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Board Member, Clean Water America Alliance 

The cost of the forum, which includes a light breakfast, is $40 for MPC and Openlands donors, and $55 for all others.  Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required.

Thanks to Harris Bank for sponsoring this event.



Additional funding was generously provided by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.

“Choosing our Water Future” is the launch event for a summer roundtable series highlighting such key issues as:

  • the overarching need for public discussion on water supply issues
  • the need for federal water policy and investment reform
  • implementation of the regional water supply plan
  • connections between water consumption, energy use, and climate change
  • supply expansion vs. demand management
  • water footprinting and corporate stewardship
  • full cost pricing 
  • development of alternative water sources
  • prioritizing investments in water-related infrastructure
  • the role of green infrastructure and urban design in water resources stewardship
  • the impacts of water demand on sensitive and unique natural ecosystems in the region

Check back for future events soon.

This page can be found online at

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

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