Chicago Mayor Proposes Increase in Water Rates to Fund Infrastructure Improvements

CNT welcomes Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s move to modernize Chicago’s water infrastructure through increased, and arguably fairer, rate prices. The decision will reduce the amount of water lost through leaks in crumbling pipes, and improve the system’s ability to deal with intense storms that cause flooding and wreak costly havoc on property owners.

The decision was unveiled in the city budget proposal for 2012 to the Chicago City Council today. Among the new initiatives it puts forward is an increase in the annual fee for water and sewer services. The water fee for property owners would increase by 25 percent next year and would begin to charge institutions, such as CNT, for water services that have historically received those services for free.

CNT’s Vice President of Policy Jacky Grimshaw served on the mayoral transition committee that recommended it to him. “Equitable and accurate rates for usage is essential for both system efficiency and managing long-term operational costs associated with water services in the City,” the transition document states.

As a leader and proponent of stormwater management techniques, such as green infrastructure, CNT and its Water program staff look forward to working with the mayor to ensure innovative, sustainable stormwater management measures are a significant part of the City’s water infrastructure modernization effort.