WBEZ | water technology http://www.wbez.org/tags/water-technology Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Governor's trade mission to Mexico focuses on water technology http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/governors-trade-mission-mexico-focuses-water-technology-106553 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/quinn-testa-cesar.jpg" title="Gov. Pat Quinn, left, with Peter Testa and Cesar Dovalina, founders of Testa Produce and Cristina Foods, respectively. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" /></div><p>Against the backdrop of some 154 solar panels and Chicago&rsquo;s first freestanding (and only utility-scale) wind turbine, Gov. Pat Quinn drank in the green roof atop Testa Produce, a south side wholesaler of fruits and vegetables that is the first LEED Platinum facility of its kind in the nation.</p><p>The $24 million refrigerated food distribution center was the site of Quinn&rsquo;s debriefing of sorts from a trade trip he just took to Mexico &mdash; the first time an Illinois governor had made such a visit in 13 years. Water technology, he said, would be a key industry for both nations as they grapple with economic and environmental challenges.</p><p>With 1.6 million Mexican-Americans in the state, Quinn said, Illinois has a special relationship with its second largest trade partner (Canada is first). And in parched Mexico City, water technology is a growth industry. Dwindling resources have driven Mexico City to <a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/message-from-mexico-u.s.-is-polluting-water-it-may-someday-need-to-drink">drill more than one mile into the Earth for clean water</a>, an unprecedented depth typically considered too expensive to tap in the U.S. The country recently committed $2.8 billion to a Water Sustainability Program, promoting conservation as a way to slow the disappearance of aquifers that in some cases have already dropped hundreds of feet.</p><p>The governor met with Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera, two Mexican governors and representatives of the Mexican National Water Commission (CONAGUA). He brought reps from a Wood Dale, Ill.-based company. In-Pipe Technology is one of 100 wastewater companies that Quinn said stand to benefit from a growing demand for water technology south of the border. In-Pipe recently signed a contract with Mexico City for a pilot waste treatment program there.</p><p>In Mexico Quinn also found Lake Michigan a new sister in Michoac√°n state&rsquo;s Lake P√°tzcuaro, a small lake about 200 miles from the capital that is populated by indigenous groups and egrets, and does not drain to the sea.</p></p> Tue, 09 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/governors-trade-mission-mexico-focuses-water-technology-106553 Milwaukee Mayor and former WI gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett explains hopes for regional collaboration http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/milwaukee-mayor-and-former-wi-gubernatorial-candidate-tom-barrett-explains-hopes <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6125_AP060417021171%281%29_0.jpg" title="(AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)" /></div><p>Last week, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson came to Chicago to <a href="http://metroplanning.org/multimedia/audio/585">discuss</a> &ldquo;mega-regional priorities&rdquo; at the Metropolitan Planning Council&rsquo;s annual luncheon. (Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was scheduled to attend, but couldn&rsquo;t get out of a City Council meeting in time.)</p><p>There&rsquo;s a push underway for the region to work more collaboratively and revamp its image.&nbsp; Many say the &ldquo;Rust Belt&rdquo; should trade in its nickname for something catchier like the &ldquo;Fresh Coast,&rdquo; which reflects the area&rsquo;s strengths and uniqueness.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s time that we as a region promote America&rsquo;s &#39;Fresh Coast&#39; because that is who we are,&rdquo; Barrett explained at the luncheon.</p><p>Milwaukee has been trying to capitalize on its proximity to Lake Michigan for a number of years, and the efforts go beyond just branding--it wants to become the next Silicon Valley of water technology.</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.thewatercouncil.com/">Milwaukee Water Council</a>, the area is already home to over 130 &ldquo;water technology companies.&rdquo; Chicago&rsquo;s own <a href="http://bluetechalliance.org/">Blue Tech Alliance</a> exists to promote similar businesses in the Chicago area.</p><p>Wednesday on <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, Milwaukee Mayor and former gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett joins us for a primer on the water technology industry. He&#39;ll also explain the ways in which he thinks the region should be working more collaboratively.&nbsp; Do Gary and Milwaukee need Chicago more than we need them? What could we stand to gain by working together, and what exactly do those efforts look like? Tune in to hear Barrett&rsquo;s thoughts just after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.</p></p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/milwaukee-mayor-and-former-wi-gubernatorial-candidate-tom-barrett-explains-hopes