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 Leaky, aging pipes and outdated systems are wasting 2.1 trillion gallons annually.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 + Army Corps Collaborate to Help Cities Get Rain Ready

August 11th, 2014
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Flooding in Midlothian, IL

Urban flooding is a problem with a broad range of causes. The way neighborhoods are developed, the capacity of sewer systems, regional weather variations – all of these, and more, affect flood risk. This means it will take a diverse array of expertise to develop effective solutions to a community’s flooding problems.

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Transit Deserts

August 4th, 2014

Transit Deserts

Like food deserts, transit deserts have demonstrable demand but a dearth of supply. Those who live in transit deserts face restricted mobility and limited access to jobs and amenities.

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CNT Press Mentions August 2014

August 4th, 2014

How Transit, Walkability Help Make Cities More AffordableHuffington Post | August 25, 2014
Bay Trail North: FundedNorth Coast Journal | August 23, 2014
Agency proposes fixes to transit desertsWBEZ | August 21, 2014
Transit DesertsChicago Newsroom | August 21, 2014
El gran problema de los desiertos de tránsito en IllinoisUnivision Chicago | August 18, 2014
Reasons to encourage downtown densityBusiness in Savannah | August 10, 2014
One Woman’s Quest to Design Parking Lots People Don’t Hate CityLab | August 5, 2014
Concerns grow over ‘transit desert’ in Chicago WGN | August 4, 2014
Study Identifies Chicago’s ‘Transit Deserts’ Planetizen | August 4, 2014
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Address Urban Flooding and Ensure Cleaner Drinking WaterBloomberg Businessweek | August 4, 2014
‘Transit deserts’ don’t serve workers, study saysChicago Tribune | August 3, 2014
Tucson pushing to solve affordable-housing crisisArizona Daily Star | August 2, 2014
Metra Can Follow Toronto’s Lead and Run All-Day, Frequent ServiceStreetsblog Chicago | August 1, 2014

Legislation Will Help Make Illinois Water Infrastructure More Resilient

July 23rd, 2014

FlickrCC - Mouin

Illinois Governor Signs Clean Water Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ryan Kilpatrick, CNT, 773.269.4041
Josh Mogerman, NRDC, 312-651-7909

CHICAGO (July 23, 2014) – Governor Patrick Quinn signed into law today legislation that will help Illinois cities better prepare for the impacts of climate change.  The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) worked with the legislature and with Governor Quinn’s administration to develop the legislation and worked to support the bill’s passage.

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CNT’s 3rd Urban Sustainability Apps Competition Creates Pocket-Sized Solutions to Big City Issues

July 22nd, 2014

For the third straight year, CNT paired community leaders and mobile developers to create apps that tackle the challenges of urban living. On Saturday, June 28 at TechNexus, 80 participants and guests joined forces at CNT’s 2014 Urban Sustainability Apps Competition to produce 13 apps that connect Chicago residents to crucial information, like environmental data and crime reporting, that can make urban neighborhoods safer and more sustainable.

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This Pavement Can Help Keep Basements Dry

July 21st, 2014

Permeable pavement can be made out of concrete, plastic or stone, but it all works the same way: its porous surface allows water to disperse through the pavement rather than pooling on top. Permeable pavement can be used in parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks, and uses green technology to reduce flooding and pollution in urban environments.

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Flood-Relief Funds: Does Your City Have One?

July 14th, 2014
FlickrCC - Rachel

Photo by Rachel/Flickr Creative Commons License

The economic and social costs of home flooding can be considerable, for homeowners and their communities. Some municipalities have or are launching flood relief incentive programs to help fund the cost of home flood relief systems, such as the installation of an overhead sewer, a measure taken to readjust a home’s plumbing system to be more resilient to sewer back-ups.

CNT researched these programs in Cook County, Illinois, where urban flooding is prevalent and 82% of the county’s one million residential properties are vulnerable to flooding from sewer back-up or water seepage.

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Cutting Pollution through Cargo-Oriented Development

July 11th, 2014

Credit - (c) 2014 Brandon Townley

On June 27, the Chicago Tribune published a lead story about air pollution linked to freight transportation. The story cites new research that found higher than average diesel soot pollution near a Chicago-area rail yard. It’s time that railroads and community leaders start seeing the opportunities to transform freight rail from noisy polluter to sustainable urban revitalizer.

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CNT Press Mentions July 2014

July 7th, 2014

How to Cope with Urban Flooding (letter)Washington Post | July 25, 2014
Rain Ready: Taking on the Mighty ThorAmerican Water | July 24, 2014
Metra Ridership Rising Unevenly; Development Could Maximize Its PotentialStreetsblog Chicago | July 24, 2014
Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots Washington Post | July 23, 2014
Tech Shift: Climate change app ranks environmental sustainability of Chicago neighborhoodsWBEZ | July 21, 2014
Skyscrapers reach for greener energy goalsChicago Tribune | July 18, 2014
Stormwater Systems as Development IncentivesPlanetizen | July 8, 2014
Stormwater causes problems for river WBEZ | July 7, 2014
How Green Is Your Neighborhood? New App Reveals Surprises Both Good, BadDNAinfo Chicago | July 7, 2014

CNT Initiative Helps America Become “Rain Ready”

July 2nd, 2014

Action-oriented website, videos, and guides promote better water management in face of climate change

RR Website

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