An Editorial from the President Kari K. Steele - Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
As the world is overwhelmed by the many challenges of current events, we should never lose sight of the essential role that water has in the world as the most vital resource for sustaining life. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, protest, unrest and presidential election, water and wastewater systems continue to do one of the most important jobs in the world.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is essential in the world's water infrastructure and has continued to be fully operational without interruption. As Imagine A Day Without Water (Oct. 21) raises awareness and educates America about the value of water and as President of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which is home of the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world, our Board of Commissioners and staff joins them in their national education campaign.
Our jobs would cease without water and so would all forms of life. As we educate our communities on the value of water, the MWRD shares the equal importance of water conservation. We continue to encourage builders, developers, and communities to include green infrastructure to capture substantial amounts of free-flowing water into the ground, to help prevent overwhelming traditional sewer systems.
We educate communities throughout Cook County on reducing the amount of water used during heavy downpours. Some of the smallest tasks such as taking a shorter shower, holding off on loading the dishwasher or turning off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth can save thousands of gallons of water. Imagine a Day Without Water is a day where everyone should pause to truly consider how an entire day without water would directly impact their quality of life.
As the MWRD continues to make milestone achievements in the building, developing, monitoring and maintenance of our "Deep Tunnel," the nation's largest public works project, we never lose sight or take for granted how so much more remains to be done to preserve our efforts for future generations. We continue to thrive forward by improving and expanding our Capital Improvement Program that is committed to the preservation of infrastructure, improvement to environmental quality and a commitment to communities to aide and assist in reservoir expansion projects, green infrastructure, storm water management improvements partnerships throughout Cook County. In addition to energy efficiency projects that reduces our carbon footprint, as well as serving as an resource for grant opportunities that promote innovative readiness and technology upgrades that are current and futuristic.
The nine member Board of Commissioners and staff at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago have chosen to contribute and serve as change agents for one of the most fascinating and remarkable jobs in the world...Wastewater treatment and storm water management. Imagine a Day Without Water is a national education campaign that brings together diverse stakeholders to highlight how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment. Today and every day, water should be valued and never be taken for granted.
Let's all work harder to remember the value of water, conserve water when possible and keep our waterways clean of pollutants, in hope of never living the reality of A Day Without Water. Remember water is life.