The Technical Advisory Committee
(TAC) had its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Several members noted instances of frozen water service lines during the past month which is quite unusual for March. In fact, this is the first time that a few members have had frozen water service lines at this time of the year. Service lines at the greatest risk are those located above the frost line which can be as deep as five feet.
The McHenry City Council unanimously passed the NWPA conservation ordinance
on March 17, 2014. The goal of the NWPA ordinance
is to implement uniform watering hours and drought status criteria across DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry counties to protect the region’s aquifers and the Fox River. The adoption of this ordinance is a great step forward for McHenry and the region.
The City of Batavia held a Fix a Leak Week event
on March 22, 2014 at the Batavia public library. Activities at the table included a kid's fishing game to draw in children and parents; flyers about water efficiency, a toilet rebate program, Batavia's lawn watering ordinance, etc.; and give-away items like ISAWWA dye tablets to detect toilet leaks, WaterSense and AWWA coloring books, and ISAWWA shower timers. It was a successful morning, and the staff was able to talk to a lot of residents as they passed through the library.
John Dillon, water and sewer division superintendent at the City of Batavia, and Carl provided information about water efficiency at a Fix a Leak Week event.
Over 20 water suppliers submitted data via NWPA's online water reporting tool
following it's launch in March. Water suppliers should use their IEPA Facility ID as the username and password to log-in as a first-time user. As a reminder, monthly data submission from January 2014 through December 2014 will take the place of the annual IWIP reporting requirement. Please contact Kaitlyn McClain
with any questions about data submission.
To learn more about NWPA
and participate in our planning process, please attend our Technical Advisory Committee meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at The Centre at Elgin at 10:00am. The next TAC meeting will be on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
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World Water Day Offers an Opportunity for Reflection
World Water Day
, which took place on Saturday, March 22, offered an opportunity to reflect upon progress made to effectively manage water supplies during the previous year and to promote sustainable water supply practices for the future. Begun in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly, World Water Day is an annual event that brings worldwide attention to critical water issues like water security and access to safe drinking water.
The Northwest Water Planning Alliance
, roughly 80 municipalities working together to plan for and steward shared river and groundwater resources, has been hard at work addressing regional water supply concerns by promoting collaborative planning and water efficiency. NWPA has made significant progress during the past year. Some of NWPA’s accomplishments
- The development and passage of its first Strategic Plan, detailing methods to achieve the group’s three overarching goals—build organizational capacity, provide education and outreach to raise awareness of the value of water as a finite asset and develop sustainable water-use policies that are widely adopted and protective of water supplies.
- The creation of a user-friendly water reporting tool for member water providers. The tool was developed in partnership with the Ill. State Water Survey and went live this month. This dataset will allow NWPA to better understand consumer demand and make informed planning decisions. And as an added incentive, monthly data submission takes the place of the annual Illinois Water Inventory Program submission requirement.
- The introduction of a monthly e-newsletter to keep stakeholders up-to-date about water supply issues within the NWPA region. Subscribe here!
- The production of the Lawn and Landscape Practices for NWPA Communities manual with support from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. The manual provides an overview of NWPA communities' water sources and conservation ordinances. It also discusses efficient lawn care practices that utilize minimal water amounts while maximizing lawn performance.
- The promotion of U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program and the importance of water efficiency. NWPA has a WaterSense partner participation rate of nearly 50 percent!
NWPA will continue to take a forward-thinking approach to water supply management in 2014
and work with its partners to advance the goals set forth in the Strategic Plan. Most notably, NWPA will work with the Ill. State Water Survey to develop an estimate of available water supplies and optimal well networks and will promote its regional lawn watering conservation ordinance. The group will also continue its ongoing outreach efforts to elected officials and the public with new educational materials about the importance of water efficiency and conservation.
World Water Day
reminds us all about the importance of maintaining a sustainable water supply for the health of our region’s people, economy and environment. NWPA is excited to continue to implement sensible, collaborative solutions to groundwater and surface water supply management concerns in northeastern Illinois. Let’s all make the best use of our water resources this year and work to ensure the availability of water for generations to come.
The Illinois State Water Survey issued a report in 2013 entitled Groundwater Supply Studies for Water Supply Planning in Kendall County, Illinois
. To assist Kendall County with water supply planning for its quickly growing population, the Illinois State Water Survey conducted a series of investigations that included an assessment of groundwater quantity and quantity and the impacts of growing water demand. The study found that current aquifer water quality is generally very good. Groundwater modeling results from all three scenarios—less resource intensive, current levels, and more resource intensive— indicate that water levels in the deep aquifers will continue to decline and potentially reach levels that adversely affect water supplies.
The Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA), formed by intergovernmental agreements, seeks to collaboratively plan for and steward our shared river and groundwater resources to ensure a sustainable water supply for the people, economy, environment, and future generations.
For more information or to contribute to the newsletter, contact Kaitlyn McClain.