WBEZ | conagua http://www.wbez.org/tags/conagua 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