The Case for Fixing the Leaks: America’s Crumbling Water Infrastructure Wastes Billions of Gallons, Dollars

November 18th, 2013

Great Lakes Region Urged to Adopt Improved Water Management Practices

Every day in America, we lose nearly six billion gallons of expensive, treated water due to crumbling infrastructure. Leaky, aging pipes and outdated systems are wasting 2.1 trillion gallons annually. That’s roughly 16% of our nation’s daily water use. Or, enough to swallow several major American cities whole: 

  • Cover Image IllustrationManhattan under 298 feet of water
  • Minneapolis under 172 feet of water
  • Cleveland under 122 feet of water
  • Milwaukee under 104 feet of water
  • Detroit under 70 feet of water
  • Chicago under 43 feet of water

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on sustainable cities, today released a report titled The Case for Fixing the Leaks, part of a collaborative campaign focused on Great Lakes states, calling for leadership in improved water management.

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CNT Press Mentions November 2014

November 4th, 2014

CMAP pushes quarter-penny tax to fix crumbling infrastructureCrain’s Chicago Business | November 12, 2014
Slipping Through the CracksOn Earth | November 7, 2014
Jackson Street plan targets flooding in downtown SpringfieldState Journal-Register | November 5, 2014
Guest on The Infra Blog: Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Center for Neighborhood TechnologyInfrastructure USA | November 4, 2014
Transpo Leaders Brainstorm at the Shared-Use Mobility Center LaunchStreetsblog Chicago | November 3, 2014
America’s Crumbling Water InfrastructurePlanetizen | November 3, 2014

What’s the Secret Behind America’s Most Innovative Cities?

October 29th, 2014

FlickrCC -  zman z28

A recent CNN Money series showcased the most innovative cities in America. Chicago came in at #4, in part because “…[Chicago’s] Center for Neighborhood Technology has contributed to innovations on the local level, like car-sharing and energy efficiency in homes.” Wow. We’re honored! But wait, there’s more: CNT also had a hand in projects in Minneapolis and Cleveland, two more cities on the most innovative list.

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Illinois Gubernatorial Campaigns Neglect Public Transportation

October 28th, 2014

The November 4 Illinois gubernatorial election is just around the corner. While there are many important topics being debated, we’re hearing next to nothing about funding for improved and expanded public transportation.

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Helping America’s Utilities Start Fixing the Leaks

October 28th, 2014


CNT’s November 2013 report, The Case for Fixing the Leaks, offered a look at the disconcerting state of America’s water infrastructure. The report found that America’s pipes leak a whopping 2.1 trillion gallons of treated water every year. In a time when parts of the country have been facing record-setting droughts, protecting our drinking water supply is more vital than ever.

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Highway Boondoggles + The Illiana Expressway

October 7th, 2014
Photo by Brad/Flickr Creative Commons License

Photo by Brad/Flickr Creative Commons License

(This post also appears in Going Places, a policy blog by CNT’s Jacky Grimshaw)

I recently read the U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s excellent new report, Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future. I couldn’t help thinking about the decision(s) looming in CNT’s backyard about the proposed Illiana Expressway.

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CNT Press Mentions October 2014

October 7th, 2014

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water LostNPR | October 29, 2014
Public transit: Ohio funding that’s among lowest in U.S. likely to arise at Tuesday ODOT forumPlain Dealer | October 20, 2014
How Metra’s New 30-Year Plan Could Reshape Chicago Regional RailNext City | October 20, 2014
Transit Future Slowly Building Coalition to Fund Expanded TransitStreetsblog Chicago | October 13, 2014
Here is how you rebuild BronzevilleCrain’s Chicago Business | October 9, 2014
Steer growth to cities’ urban areas where services areThe Daily Herald | October 9, 2014
The most innovative cities in AmericaCNN Money | October 8, 2014
So Your City Is Adding HOT Lanes. Will They Work for Transit?Streetsblog USA | October 7, 2014
Sidestepping the Lowest BidderNational Journal | October 6, 2014
Experts Say ‘Good Jobs Are No Longer an Afterthought’ in Transportation SpendingMetro | October 3, 2014

New HUD Guidebook Offers Transportation Strategies for Small and Mid-Sized Cities

October 7th, 2014
FlickrCC -  Michigan Municipal League (Traverse City)

Traverse City, MI

For the average household, transportation is the second-highest expense after housing. In large, dense cities, public transit availability can dramatically decrease transportation costs. But what about smaller places – quiet suburbs, rural communities, regional centers – that don’t have the same level of public transit service? How can leaders in these communities find ways to reduce transportation costs to help low- and middle-income residents get ahead?

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Bay Area Parking Calculator Finds $140 Million in Unused Spaces

September 30th, 2014


Is there such thing as too much parking? For many Americans, the answer may be a quick “no.” But it’s actually not that simple.

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Urban Flooding Bill Introduced in Congress

September 23rd, 2014

Umbrellas - FlickrCC - Christopher Swerin

Urban flooding impacts people and communities all over the country, damaging homes and businesses, and polluting precious water resources. To address this issue, US Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Urban Flooding Awareness Act.

This federal legislation is designed to help develop a clear-cut definition of urban flooding, and requires a comprehensive study of the personal and social costs of urban flooding in America.

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CNT Press Mentions September 2014

September 9th, 2014

Transit Agencies Trade UpWall Street Journal | September 30, 2014
A new era in affordable transportationBetter! Cities and Towns | September 29, 2014
Saving homes from urban floodingChicago Reporter | September 8, 2014
What to do with all that water (letter)Crain’s Chicago Business | September 8, 2014