New CNT initiative takes on deteriorating water infrastructure in the Great Lakes region
CNT has launched a “Smart Water for Smart Regions” initiative to transform water service and infrastructure in the Great Lakes region. The initiative will help communities deliver water services to homes and businesses more efficiently, effectively, and transparently, while sustaining the region’s water resources.
Communities in the Great Lakes region, stretching from Minnesota to New York, are paying the price for deteriorating water infrastructure: unreliable service, rising water rates, and flooded neighborhoods. Our environment suffers as well, with increased pollution of rivers and lakes and severe physical damage to landscapes and habitat. CNT will work with communities large and small to find practical, innovative, cost-effective ways to address these widespread problems.
The “Smart Water for Smart Regions” initiative has already begun with a survey of more than 100 Great Lakes utilities and municipalities about their water service policies and practices. Preliminary survey results show that the challenges are pervasive, as is enthusiasm for collaborating together to overcome them. The full survey findings will be released this summer.
As part of the initiative, CNT will:
- Establish collaborative programs with water supply utilities in the Great Lakes states who are seeking to reduce the volume of leakage and increase public awareness of the problem.
- Work with the largest stormwater utilities and municipalities to strengthen flood control strategies with a focus on simple, low-cost tools such as building rain gardens, repairing private lateral sewage pipes, and installing water permeable paving.
- Pioneer the nation’s first a one-stop wet weather retrofit or “Wetrofit” service to reduce flooding and waste in the Chicago region.
- Advocate for model state legislation that governs water utilities, including developing stronger targets, and public reporting on infrastructure and efficiency investments.
- Mobilize leaders, communities, and individuals across the Great Lakes to demand smarter infrastructure investment to efficiently conserve water.