Week 2: The Truth About Drinking Water

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Water: A City's Basic Necessity

Do you know where we get our drinking water from? This foundational session will introduce you to the water systems in Northeastern Illinois, including sources of drinking water and the infrastructure that carries this water into our homes, schools, and businesses. Learn how local planning decisions influence water quantity, quality, and affordability, as well as how climate change impacts our region's future drinking water supply. Nora Beck, a senior planner at CMAP, will join this conversation in discussing CMAP's water planning initiatives. By the end of the session, you will have gained a deeper understanding of the current issues surrounding the region's drinking water.

About this Page

This is the landing page for our second week, which is on drinking water. Like last week, feel free to explore the tools below and to the right of this post to gain a better understanding of what you can look forward to in this session.

  • Before Thursday's session, take a look through the Pre-session Content and Activity tabs below to familiarize yourself with relevant resources put together by the sessions leaders. These tools will help you form a foundation for the week's session.
  • Let's Talk functions the same as the one found on the FLIP homepage and from urban street festivals last week. The only difference is that discussions are catered toward drinking water. Share your observations and knowledge on drinking water!
  • Show off your water knowledge in Water Trivia. Answer correctly to get the chance to earn a gift card!
  • Share your favorite picture of a beach, lake, pond, river - or any other body of water - in the Photo Board.
  • Session documents can be found to the right. There, you will find relevant resources to help you start building a foundation of what you can expect for this week. Take a look through them before the session on Thursday.
  • You can find out more about your session leaders under Meet the Team.

Click here to go back to the FLIP homepage.

Water: A City's Basic Necessity

Do you know where we get our drinking water from? This foundational session will introduce you to the water systems in Northeastern Illinois, including sources of drinking water and the infrastructure that carries this water into our homes, schools, and businesses. Learn how local planning decisions influence water quantity, quality, and affordability, as well as how climate change impacts our region's future drinking water supply. Nora Beck, a senior planner at CMAP, will join this conversation in discussing CMAP's water planning initiatives. By the end of the session, you will have gained a deeper understanding of the current issues surrounding the region's drinking water.

About this Page

This is the landing page for our second week, which is on drinking water. Like last week, feel free to explore the tools below and to the right of this post to gain a better understanding of what you can look forward to in this session.

  • Before Thursday's session, take a look through the Pre-session Content and Activity tabs below to familiarize yourself with relevant resources put together by the sessions leaders. These tools will help you form a foundation for the week's session.
  • Let's Talk functions the same as the one found on the FLIP homepage and from urban street festivals last week. The only difference is that discussions are catered toward drinking water. Share your observations and knowledge on drinking water!
  • Show off your water knowledge in Water Trivia. Answer correctly to get the chance to earn a gift card!
  • Share your favorite picture of a beach, lake, pond, river - or any other body of water - in the Photo Board.
  • Session documents can be found to the right. There, you will find relevant resources to help you start building a foundation of what you can expect for this week. Take a look through them before the session on Thursday.
  • You can find out more about your session leaders under Meet the Team.

Click here to go back to the FLIP homepage.

Water affordability and Equity

Water affordability is a growing concern facing all municipalities in our region. To better understand and explore the extent to which communities are facing challenges to water affordability, Metropolitan Planning Council, Elevate Energy, and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant developed a dashboard tool that breaks down water affordability statistics by municipalities in metropolitan Chicago. Explore the data on your own and join the live session to share your findings and discuss how to address water equity in a time of rising costs. 

Select the community you live in or a community you are familiar with or are interested in knowing better, and post your responses to the following questions: 

  • What is the average water bill? How does it compare to other essential monthly expenses (i.e. housing and transportation costs)? Hover over the “Essential Monthly Costs” bar 
  • Has the average water bill increased or decreased since 2008? Why might the water bill have gone up or down?        
  • Has the water bill outpaced the growth in income? If so, by how much? 
  • How many hours does a low-income household need to work to pay their water bill? 

You need to be signed in to share your story.

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    Chicago

    by kwaxman, almost 2 years ago

    In Chicago, the 2018 average water bill was $40/month. In comparison to other essential costs, (i.e. transportation, housing) the water bill is not particularly burdensome, as the other essentials total over $2000/month. The water bill has increased by 79% since 2008. I imagine this is due in part to the need to replace old piping from the previous century to comply with new safety standards.

    Water bill growth has far outpaced income growth, which in the previous decade grew only 27%. In order for a low income household to work off their water bill, they must work 11 hours.

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    Aurora

    by Fatima.Vazquez, almost 2 years ago

    Aurora's average monthly water bill is $40. Compared to transportation and housing costs, it is really cheap. Transportation expenses are $804 while housing costs are $1,688. The water bill in Aurora has increased close to 80% since 2008. This may be because Aurora has become more developed and dependent on a larger water supply. The water bill has outpaced the growth of income by more than 50%. That's insane! A low-income household must work 11 hours in order to pay their monthly water bills.

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    Wheaton

    by thiandim, almost 2 years ago

    Wheaton's average monthly water bill is $58. It's very little compared to housing costs($2,282) and transportation($1,084). The water bill has increased by 116% since 2008 and I think it's because of the limited water supply. The water bill has outpaced the growth in income by 90%. A low-income household would need to work 5 hours to be able to pay for their water bill.

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    Chicago

    by linneasjones, almost 2 years ago

    The average water bill is $40. It is cheaper than housing and transportation costs which is $1,688 and $804 respectively. Since 2008 the water bill has increased by 79%. One reason the water bill may have gone up is because of the amount of maintenance that the city has to do to maintain the infrastructure. I know where I live there are still water mains from the early 1900's that have just been replaced. The cost of maintaining these older structures has only grown as they have gotten older because the demand has risen. Additionally, because the city only has... Continue reading

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    Evanston

    by Muskan Dhingra, almost 2 years ago

    I chose Evanston. The average water bill is $39 which is cheaper than the transportation and housing costs. The average transportation cost is $898 and housing cost is $2,290. The average water bill has increased by 4%. I think this has increased because of the growing population of Evanston leading to an increase in water use and limiting the water supply. The water bill did not outpace the growth in income. A low-income household needs to work 11.6 hours to pay their water bill.

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    Chicago Water Affordability and Equity

    by Angie , almost 2 years ago

    In 2018, the average water bill was $40/month. The water bill has increased by 79% since 2008. The reason for this increase could be because the infrastructure for delivering water was built a long time ago and the cities are struggling to manage the water systems. While the water bill has increased by 79% over the ten years between 2008 and 2018, income has only increased by 27%. In order for a low-income household (a household in the lowest-earning quintile) to pay off their water bill, it takes up 11 work hours.

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    Chicago water bills

    by Alexboca21, almost 2 years ago

    I live in the city of Chicago. With a meter the average cost is $39.05 and without a meter is $79.94; on average $1.28 per 1,000 gallons. Since 2008 it has increased by $576. There has been several pikes in water, due to a substantial amount of lost water that Chicago has endured. Due to leaky pipes. Also that we tend to waste the amount of water we use. We take for granted what we have, such as taking to long of a shower. Factor the water used in parks and rec, and in a daily household. All the money... Continue reading

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    Orland Park

    by Kristen McDavis, almost 2 years ago

    The community I chose is Orland Park:

    -The average water bill is $60. Their average transportation costs are 1,147 while their housing costs are at $2,026.

    -The average water bill has gone up 75%. I think this could have happened because Orland Park gets its water from Chicago / Lake Michigan, and the price rates are increasing for that water. It could also be that 89% of households are owner occupied, so they are paying for their water bill out of pocket instead of having it covered with renting a household or apartment.

    -The water bill has outpaced the growth... Continue reading

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    Schaumburg

    by MadsShetty, almost 2 years ago

    I chose Schaumburg. The average water bill is $66, which is relatively cheap compared to the $1,062 for transportation and the $1,691 for housing. The water bill has gone up 29%. I believe this change is because of inflation and limited water supply. The water bill has not outpaced the growth in income since income has increased by 30%. A low-income household would have to work 5.9 hours to pay their water bill.

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    Water Affordability and Equity in Harvey, Illinois

    by Christina Garcia, almost 2 years ago

    The community I live in and chose to learn more about is Harvey. The average water bill is $64 while the monthly expenses on average are $1,979. The housing costs are $973 which makes the water bill about 7% of the costs. The average water bill cost has increased by 94% since 2008. I think the reason for such a drastic increase is due to the water issues Harvey has been a part for the past years. Harvey is trying to regain control of water operations after they were improperly diverting water funds elsewhere. The water bill has outpaced growth... Continue reading

Page published: 15 Jul 2020, 10:18 AM