Big visions are built on partnerships. Our teams at the Metropolitan Planning Council and Current were thrilled to launch the new decade with a new collaboration at The Field Museum. A Vision For Water: The Past, Present and Future of Water in Illinois brought over 120 cross-sector leaders together to envision what it will take to create a strong water future for Chicago, Illinois, and our Great Lakes region.
Crain’s Chicago Business Water Forum contributors sparked the conversation about the health of our rivers and lake ecosystems, drinking water, stormwater, public sector finance/management/governance, and what it will take to attract, build and grow innovative water companies. A south suburban mayor shared his community’s story about their ongoing battle against lead piping. Corporate leaders discussed the dedication and dollars their water technologies and beverage businesses are putting behind solving major water problems in the near term. And advocates identified the top needs and actions that policymakers must take for our region to secure its water future.
Why do the heavy lifting to bring such a diverse group of stakeholders together? Put simply, and in the purest form, we are all water stakeholders. We all have a vested interest in ensuring that we use one of our most precious natural resources as wisely as we can, balancing the benefits to ecosystems and economies. And we need as much visionary leadership as we can get.
Now, the work continues to distill the recommendations and move to action. We are so grateful to Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company, and MillerCoors, both for their sponsorship of this important convening and the thought leadership they are bringing to industry every day.