What Our Water's Worth is a campaign led by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Openlands to raise awareness about the value of water in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana

Watch the Video

By Matt Nichols

You don’t have to be an expert in stormwater management to make improvements that can help prevent flooding in your neighborhood. With assistance from a slew of project partners who have diverse expertise and missions, the City of Blue Island, Ill., in south suburban Cook County, is energizing community members to be part of an effort to reduce flooding in one city neighborhood. Known as Blue Island, Blue Water, this Illinois Millennium Reserve model project is using native gardens, rain barrels, and other green infrastructure to reduce the frequency and severity of costly sewer and basement backups, all while beautifying the neighborhood and empowering local residents.

Read on to learn learn more about this project through the eyes of the community participants, including short video interviews with each.

Conservation Tips

October 2012

Illinois American Water (lead sponsor)

Upcoming events

Nov 27 MPC and Openlands Roundtable - Neighborhood Solutions to Wetter Weather: Local Approaches for Stormwater Management 12:00 PM–1:30 PM

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WOWW Factors

  • During a one-inch rainstorm, 600 gallons of water fall on a 1,000 square foot roof.  With two rain barrels each at four downspouts, you can keep more than 60% of that water out of overflowing sewers and capture it to water your lawn or garden later for free.
  • If you and your neighbors commit to install 100 rain barrels on your block, that would capture as much water as a tanker truck – water that’s kept away from building foundations, basements, and backed-up sewers.

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