Sustainable Water Pricing

Situated along the shore of Lake Michigan, the Chicago region has benefitted for centuries from an abundance of fresh water. However, as the system ages and the population grows, so do concerns that demand for water will surpass the region’s supply. Managing water supplies sustainably starts with getting the price right.

The Full-Cost Water Pricing Guidebook offers local decision makers basic “how tos” for implementing rates that encourage wise use of the water resource as well as address the need for investment in aging infrastructure.

Full-cost pricing is one of several strategies also highlighted in regional water supply plans such asGO TO 2040  and Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan, which includes an evaluation of water supply rate structures used in northeastern Illinois. IISG research, including an overview of water rates in the region, provided critical data for key components of the plan.


Margaret Schneemann
Water Resource Economist

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University