Debra Shore

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My Mission Debra Shore

An Exciting Time
to Be Working
on the Water Front

April 18, 2014

I recently attended a policy summit on the Water and Wastewater Utility of the Future in Washington, DC, hosted by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. Fascinating movement afoot, and huge infrastructure challenges. But I am thrilled to report that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is moving into the lead as a resource recovery agency. All the changes that will make the Utility of the Future are underway here and now:

  • Resource Recovery
  • Energy Conservation and Production
  • Water Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Water Reuse and Reclamation
  • Green and Gray Infrastructure
  • Jobs and Economic Development

(You’ll find much more in my 2013 Annual Report.)

The Watershed Management Ordinance adopted by the MWRD Board in October 2013 goes into effect on May 1. That will help to guide future development and redevelopment in ways that will be better for people and the environment.

A number of major projects are underway that will be completed in the next year or two:

  • Disinfection technology is being installed at the Calumet and O’Brien plants in time to be operational by March 2016
  • The Thornton Reservoir is due to go fully online in 2015
  • The phosphorus recovery project being implemented at the Stickney plant may be producing crystals suitable for sale as fertilizer by fall of 2015
  • An aggressive rain barrel distribution program will be rolled out with partnering municipalities and community organizations
  • Rain gardens are being installed at several elementary schools and more green infrastructure projects are in the planning stages

It’s an exciting time to be working on the water front. Let’s just pray that we are not beset by the dramatic storms that have inundated us over the last few years.