Chicago’s Water: Protecting Our Precious Resource

October 14, 2011

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Invasive species have destroyed the balance of the Great Lakes ecosystem and threaten further environmental and economic hardship. The Chicago River is still a conduit for periodic releases of raw sewage and suffers from the scars of an unregulated industrial past. Climate change may create more severe storms, exacerbating flooding problems in the region. Hundreds of millions of gallons of water are withdrawn from Lake Michigan every day, used once, and discharged into the waterways. Water supplies are diminishing in the suburbs.

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology and the Illinois Institute of Technology present a panel discussion on these challenges concerning Chicago’s water. Commissioner Debra Shore of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District highlights the urgency and scale of these problems and the need for a grand vision of water management. Also, a panel of experts representing different point of views discuss the potential roles played by government, industry, academia, and private citizens to better manage and sustain our water resources. Howard Learner, president and executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, moderates a panel that includes: Tinka G. Hyde, acting director of the water division at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5; Andrew Richardson, chief executive officer of Greeley and Hansen; and Martin Felsen, studio associate professor of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology and partner at UrbanLab.

Recorded Thursday, October 13, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.