July 30, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Joins Water Management Leaders at the First Israel-Chicago Water Technology Innovation Forum

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel discusses water infrastructure investment at the Israel-Chicago Water Technology Innovation Forum.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended today the first collaborative Israel-Chicago Water Technology and Innovation Forum, joining top engineers and leaders from water management in Illinois, the Midwest, and Israel who are meeting to discuss and share best practices with the focus on water planning and conservation. The two-day Forum is hosted by the Consulate General of Israel in the Midwest and Chicago’s Department of Water Management, who presented on several of Chicago’s own water management practices and plans for the future innovations.

“This forum is a unique chance for Chicago to exchange ideas for improving water practices with the rest of the Midwest and with Israel,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Improving our water system is one of the most vital investments we make as a city, and I hope Chicago can continue its partnerships to improve our stewardship of this critical resource in Chicago and around the world.”

"Representing a country which is so poor in water resources and so rich in water technology, I am proud to cooperate with the City of Chicago, in this field, to the benefit of the Midwest region," said Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, Roey Gilad.

The Department of Water Management presented the City’s 10-Year Capital Plan which includes 880 miles of water replacement, conversion of 3 pumping stations from steam to electric, 204,000 water meters as well as 244 miles of sewer main replacement, 455 miles of sewer lining and the lining of 140,000 structures. Also presented was the Mayor’s Sustainability Plan, which is a comprehensive effort to make Chicago a more sustainable and energy-efficient city while fostering job opportunities for Chicagoans through investments in transportation and infrastructure.

“We are happy to host this Forum in partnership with the Israeli Consulate,” said Department of Water Management Commissioner Tom Powers. “It has not only provided an opportunity to share best practices, but to build relationships that make for a strong continued dialogue in the future. The greater we share our accomplishments with others, the stronger we can address our local concerns with the knowledge gained from friends.”

The forum follows the Mayor’s participation in a historic collaboration between the University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University of Israel. On June 23rd the two schools announced a partnership on a series of research projects focused on fostering efforts to make drinking water cleaner, more accessible, and less expensive by 2020. In conjunction with Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, the two universities have committed more than $1 million to fund the first five projects.

Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel discusses water infrastructure investment at the Israel-Chicago Water Technology Innovation Forum.

Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago