Water: Chicago in the 21st Century and Beyond

February 12, 2015

Northwestern University, Chicago Campus, Hughes Auditorium
303 East Superior Street, Chicago, IL, USA


Lake Michigan is Chicago’s pride and joy. Chicago and the region have a long relationship with our lakefront and the Chicago River.

Our water has driven our economy, made us a destination for visitors, and ensured we have an adequate water supply. From reversing the Chicago River to building the deep tunnel, managing water has been a driver for Chicago to innovate and reinvent our world.

The world is increasingly recognizing that our relationship with water is changing. This is driven by urbanization, climate change, use of energy, intensification of agriculture, and aging infrastructure. As the West is suffering from severe droughts, Chicago has experienced increased flooding.

Using science, technology, public policy, social networks, and investment, we can develop solutions that both improve our quality of life and enhance our economy. In the future, we will reuse water. This will create opportunities to attract industry that requires a reliable water supply. This is a job creator. We will develop new technologies to support water-intensive industries. This will help us create new companies from our great research institutions. We will improve our environment by recovery value from what is perceived as waste stream, and by decreasing discharges.

Securing Chicagoland’s Water Future: A key group of research institutions, civic leaders, business executives and philanthropists are gathering to lay the foundation for securing the future of the Chicagoland area’s water supply and establish Chicago as a place of innovation in the use and reuse of our freshwater resources. The goal of the group is to build on Chicago’s long history of using transformational technology to address challenging water issues, creating an environment that will treat water as not only a key resource for sustained population growth, but as an economic and industrial driver in a water-constrained future. The group is researching key water issues such as infrastructure, climate change, flooding, agriculture, wastewater treatment and recapture and reuse of wastewater for industrial and energy use.

Key members of this effort include Argonne National Laboratory, Northwestern University and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, as well as business leaders, philanthropic organizations and conservation advocates who are committed to ensuring Chicago leads the way to a sustainable future driven by the area’s abundant natural resources.

This panel discussion, presented by Chicago Council on Science and Technology, will feature three speakers from the region with distinct areas of expertise:

Event Details

Thursday, February 12th, 2015. Reception at 5:00pm, program starts at 6:00pm

This event is now Free! Advance registation is encouraged.

Discounted parking is available to the first 50 attendees, at the 202 E Huron parking garage. Ask at the C2ST registration table, and you can purchase a ticket to exit the garage at a discounted rate.

Hughes auditorium is easily accessible via public transportation.