Conference to help shape Illinois water management plan - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Conference to help shape Illinois water management plan

Illinois plan in the works since ’06 will get boost from Midwest, international experts at 5/16 symposium

(Chicago) … Illinoisans use 18 billion gallons of water daily, and Southern Illinois University researchers predict that number will climb to 23 billion gallons per day by 2025. To meet the water demand of a growing population--as well as thirsty industrial and agricultural uses, including, potentially, substantially increased ethanol production--a 2006 executive order called for the creation of a statewide framework for water supply planning and launched two regional water supply planning initiatives in northeastern and central Illinois .

Despite progress made by the regional pilot groups, Illinois still has more questions than answers when it comes to its water future. To help guide the development of a state plan for effective regional water management, water experts and professionals from Illinois and across the Great Lakes will come together at “Beyond Showerheads and Sprinklers: Water Governance Solutions for Illinois,” an all-day conference on Friday, May 16, 2008, in Chicago. Sponsored by Openlands, Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, the conference is designed for state and local officials, agricultural and industrial water users, planners, utility representatives, conservation specialists, wastewater and stormwater management professionals, and other stakeholders.

Attendees will hear from internationally and locally recognized water experts and learn what other Great Lakes states, including Minnesota and Ohio , are doing to balance the need to preserve water quality and quantity with the need to grow and develop. Scheduled speakers include Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, Oakland, Calif; Mary Ann Dickinson, executive director of the Alliance for Water Efficiency; and Samuel W. Speck, former director of the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, former chair of the Great Lakes Commission, and chair of the Water Management Working Group of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

Conference attendees also will review a white paper written by Jack Wittman, president of Wittman Hydro Planning Associates, Inc., a nationally recognized watershed hydrologist and groundwater scientist. Feedback from attendees will help shape a plan for managing Illinois ’ water.

What: “Beyond Showerheads and Sprinklers: Water Governance Solutions for Illinois ,” a conference to develop recommendations for a statewide water management plan in Illinois

Peter Gleick, Ph.D., President, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, Oakland, Calif.
Gary Clark, Director, Ill. Office of Water Resources, Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources
Bonnie Thomson Carter, Chair, Regional Water Supply Planning Group of Northeastern Illinois
Brent O’Neill, Chair, East Central Illinois Water Supply Planning Committee
Mary Ann Dickinson, Executive Director, Alliance for Water Efficiency
Otto Doering, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University
Kent Lokkesmoe, Director, Division of Water, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
Samuel W. Speck, Ph.D. former Director of the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources
Jack Wittman , Ph.D., President, Wittman Hydro Planning Associates, Inc., Bloomington, Ind.

Friday, May 16, 2008
Check-in and breakfast: 8 to 8:45 a.m.
Program: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including a luncheon address

Where: Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago

Registration: The deadline to register is May 12. Register here. Space is limited; early registration is encouraged. The cost of $50 covers breakfast and lunch.

Media registration: Members of the media may register free of charge by contacting Mandy Burrell Booth, Metropolitan Planning Council, at 312-863-6018, or; or Chuck Mutscheller, at 312-863-6260, or

Additional information: For more information, prospective participants may contact Josh Ellis, Metropolitan Planning Council, at 312-863-6045, or; or Lenore Beyer-Clow, Openlands, at 312-863-6264, or .

Please note that the Union League Club has a “Business Casual” dress code requirement. Jackets and ties are not required, but shirts must have collars. Athletic attire and jeans are prohibited.

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