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New research predicts potential flooding impacts on critical infrastructure

February 22nd, 2024 by

Climate change is bringing more extreme weather to the southern Lake Michigan region along with dramatically variable water levels. With the risk of flooding increasing, so are potential threats to infrastructure, to residents, and to coastal communities as a whole.

An Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant faculty scholar is using computer modeling to help communities protect critical infrastructure in the face of increased flooding risks. Chengcheng Tao, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University, has developed an approach that incorporates risk assessment factors along with fluid-structure interaction simulations.

Fluid-structure interactions are what happens when a structure is impacted by a fluid force, like air meeting up with an airplane or, in this case, waves pounding on bridge supports. Risk assessment factors regarding infrastructure include scores for how vulnerable these structures are and how critical they are to the community and its residents.

The IISG scholars funding has helped Tao develop and test these model components on common bridge structures.

“Although I use the bridge infrastructure as an example in the study, the model can be applied to other infrastructure, like buildings or highways,” said Tao, who also is the director of Purdue’s Sustainable Infrastructure and ManUfacturing Lab  

Thus far, she has been using publicly available data, but with access to a treasure trove of historical data to inform the model components, results will be more finely tuned. Purdue graduate student Junyi Duan, who is a key contributor to this project and is funded through the IISG Scholars program as well, has collected historical records from government organizations that reveal how floods have impacted locations in the Great Lakes region.

After combining the risk model with historical data and the physical model data, Tao will have a very comprehensive, data-rich framework. With that, she plans on building a smart infrastructure warning system.

“In the future, when a flood system is headed to a location, a smart warning system can predict the flood risk beforehand, before the damage happens,” said Tao. “The warning system may recommend that a community pay more attention to particular sites or infrastructure components.”

Ultimately, she wants to create a smart platform that residents can use on their cell phones or computers that show their particular flood risk scores.

A smart infrastructure warning system can help even earlier in the process. For example, insights from the modeling can help inform future infrastructure designs and even local design codes.

In addition to connecting with local organizations and presenting their work at three American Society of Civil Engineers conferences, Tao and her students joined with Purdue Science K-12 Outreach to film educational videos about flood hazards that will be posted on YouTube as part of Purdue’s Superheroes of Science series.

Automated sampling equipment may aid in tracking microscopic aquatic invasive species

February 16th, 2024 by

When it comes to managing ecosystems to address the problem of aquatic invasive species, knowing where they are and in what numbers can be critical in helping prevent the spread. To that end, an Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant faculty scholar is automating sampling equipment for keeping track of the invasive spiny water flea to make the process easier and more efficient.

Spiny water fleas are native to European and Asian waters but were introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1980s, likely in ballast water. These microscopic zooplankton eat other zooplankton, which are the base of the Great Lakes food web, but spiny water fleas have spikes on their long tails, so they are not a desirable food item. Their populations have grown and, today, they can be found throughout the Great Lakes.

“Traditionally, the way we sample aquatic microorganisms, including the water flea, is to throw a net out into the water and pull it up slowly. This is cumbersome and you are only able to do one sample at a time,” said Sachit Butail, a professor of mechanical engineering at Northern Illinois University.

With input from scientists at NOAA, he has worked to improve the design of an automated device for sampling aquatic microorganisms to expand its capacity and accuracy. This motorized device that is lowered into the water has six chambers − water passes through a net into one of the chambers. Each time the device is brought up out of water, it revolves, securing a water sample for analysis.

This allows for the collection of multiple samples in different locations in one field day.

In laboratory testing, using chia seeds, the revised design significantly improved the device’s performance—it reduced contamination between the chambers, resulting in a more accurate analysis of each site sampled.

Butail, who does much of his research and development in robotics, sees this project as a step toward creating a fully robotic sampling device as well as an autonomous boat that can be controlled from the shore. His team has developed preliminary designs for the boat and they are trying out early versions of the robotic sampling device in a laboratory testing pool.

“The new robot, which is in the shape of a glider and has an attached net, is an early step toward developing new ways to offset the effort that is traditionally required to sample water flea in deep waters,” said Butail.

Looking to the future, he sees the potential of widespread use of this technology in addressing aquatic invasive species.

“I hope that one day robotic technology will become integrated with citizen science,” said Butail. “My hope is that at some point, we can have citizen scientists directly control robots that record underwater videos. I think that the scale at which that would give us data about invasive species would be really significant.”


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

IISG is looking to expand the program’s coastal resilience expertise

January 2nd, 2024 by

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) are hiring a coastal resilience specialist to conduct impactful research, enhance outreach programs and foster collaborations in Great Lakes coastal resilience.

This position, which has the INHS title of Coastal Resilience Associate Research Scientist, involves leading and conducting coastal resilience research in the Great Lakes region, focusing on the critical land-coast-water interface between various scientific domains.

Other duties and responsibilities include developing and leading outreach programs to educate a range of stakeholders—from government officials to the public—about coastal resilience challenges and viable management solutions. Interacting with external partners, including governmental bodies, industries, and non-governmental organizations, is essential.

This is a full-time University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign academic professional appointment and will be based in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois.

Applications are due by February 23, 2024. To learn more about duties, required qualifications and application timing, visit Jobs at Illinois.

 


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

IISG wraps up 2023 with plans and opportunities for the new year

December 15th, 2023 by

This time of year, we tend to reflect on the last 12 months—what has transpired and what was accomplished—and at the same, to look forward to the promise of the somewhat fresh page of a new year. In that spirit, here are some recent Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant highlights, news and opportunities.

We recently announced $400,000 in funding for four new research projects focused on social issues related to PFAS in the Great Lakes region. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are used in a range of household and other products and these chemicals persist in the environment.

As we learn more about PFAS, researchers have found that they are associated with negative health effects. At the same time, many federal, state and tribal organizations are monitoring and detecting PFAS and related compounds in drinking water and fish.

Focusing on communication and policy issues, the upcoming research projects may help organizations as they communicate with the public about risks related to PFAS, and may help the public determine what actions to take to reduce the risks.

The funding for this work was provided by the National Sea Grant Office—the process to select new research projects included a scoping process to define social and economic knowledge gaps related to PFAS.

These “forever chemicals” are just one of several water resources issues covered in the 2023 issue of our annual magazine, The Helm. This publication is a collection of program research, outreach, and education accomplishments as well as ongoing activities that address coastal concerns. In addition to the prevalence of PFAS in Lake Michigan, this issue of The Helm describes IISG programs related to managing stormwater through green infrastructure, and how students are learning about water quality through a variety of hands-on opportunities.

The new year will bring another round of IISG support for a cohort of graduate students as they enhance their research. To that end, we have announced a call for applicants for the 2024 IISG Graduate Student Scholars Program. At the same time, our 2023 scholars are joining previous ones who have shared their research stories in our Meet Our Grad Student Scholars series.

The IISG Scholars Programs are part of an effort to help build a community of researchers and outreach professionals focused on critically important Lake Michigan issues. Through these programs, researchers are introduced to the issues and the people, organizations and communities that are affected by them.

For undergrads, the IISG Summer Internship Program provides opportunities for students to gain meaningful real-world experience working with our specialists engaging in research, outreach, or communication activities. In 2024, we are hiring interns to help further our efforts related to aquatic invasive species, sustainable communities, water affordability and youth education.

Finally, congratulations to Ashley Belle, our Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) specialist, who was honored recently with a University of Illinois Extension award in the category Individual Extension Excellence—Field-based Academic Professional (9 years or less). Belle, who is located in the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, plans public meetings and develops a variety of outreach products to inform AOC residents as their communities undergo environmental cleanup. 

 

Tomas Höök
Director, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

 


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Chicago may not be ‘my kind of town’ for porous asphalt

December 11th, 2023 by

As bigger storms become more frequent, flooding is more of a concern, especially in big cities with so many hard surfaces that do not absorb rainwater. In a city like Chicago with an estimated 4,000 miles of streets, would porous asphalt, which can soak up precipitation, be a possible solution for increased flooding risks?

Ramez Hajj, a civil engineer at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studied this question as part of his funding through the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Faculty Scholars Program.

Porous asphalt is developed to have more air voids to allow water to pass through, reducing flooding on roads that are otherwise watertight, and helping recharge groundwater sources. “It also offers the advantage of preventing cars from hydroplaning,” said Hajj.

This paving material is used successfully in a variety of locations, including in the state of Georgia, and it is in widespread use in the Netherlands. But porous asphalt has proven problematic in places where winters are colder, like Chicago. If water freezes in the nooks and crannies of the road, the street surface can break down when the ice thaws.

Usually, water runs right through the porous asphalt but when the air voids become clogged with debris and dust, then water can get stuck and that’s when the freeze-thaw becomes more of a problem.

“One of the biggest challenges is that you have to constantly vacuum to remove dust or debris,” said Hajj. “In cities like Chicago, this may not be practical because of all the other maintenance demands of the city’s roads.”

Add to that, the Chicago region has considerable truck traffic, which puts considerable stress on roadways.

Hajj’s team worked closely with the Chicago Department of Transportation, which shared insights into the city’s difficulties using porous asphalt successfully and provided core samples from a variety of Chicago locations for analysis.

“We had samples as old as 2008 and as recent as 2020 so we were able to see deterioration in real time,” said Hajj. “Generally, we saw a consistent trend of the porous asphalt breaking down quickly because of the heavy traffic loads on city roads.”

They also specifically studied the aging of the asphalt binder, which, unlike in conventional asphalt, was shown to happen even at the bottom of the sample due to oxygen being present throughout.

“Overall, I think the critical factor is, when you’re designing the mix, to make sure you’re choosing the right materials, those that are very resistant to water, to freeze-thaw and to aging,” said Hajj. “Then, once the road is constructed, maintenance is probably the most critical factor.”

Porous asphalt may not be ideally suited for Chicago, but Hajj did find that there might be some parts of Illinois and Indiana where it could be beneficial. Because porous asphalt has been shown to reduce traffic noise, it might be a strategy in locations where traffic intensity is lower and noise is a sensitive issue.

Going forward, Hajj and his team are interested in studying porous asphalt from a different approach—its potential impact on the environment.

“How does the quality of the water that drains through this asphalt compare with typical stormwater discharge from the road? What about air quality—what is the difference in emissions from a porous surface versus a conventional one? We want to make sure that we’re building with materials that can make things a little better,“ he said.

The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Faculty and Graduate Students Scholars programs help develop a community of scientists to research critical issues related to Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes region through funding and other opportunities for one year. 

 


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

New IISG funding will support research to address PFAS knowledge gaps

December 5th, 2023 by

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) announces $400,000 in funding for four new research projects focused on social and policy issues related to PFAS in the Great Lakes region. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment.

PFAS are used in a range of products, including nonstick cookware, water- or stain-resistant clothing or carpeting, cosmetics and even toilet paper. As a result, scientists are finding PFAS in waterbodies just about everywhere they look.

These substances have been associated with negative health effects, including a weakened immune system, kidney disease and cancer.

“Many federal, state and tribal organizations are now monitoring and detecting PFAS and related compounds in drinking water and fish,” said Tomas Höök, IISG director. “However, it may be unclear how organizations can communicate to the public about risks related to PFAS, and the public may struggle to determine what actions to take to reduce risk.”

Four new research projects have been recommended for funding to fill in these information gaps:

Through a listening session and surveys, Susan Buchanan, a medical doctor and an environmental health scientist at the University of Illinois Chicago and her team will engage with recreational anglers in two communities of color in Chicago, Illinois and Benton Harbor, Michigan to assess their knowledge about PFAS and related issues and their fish consumption levels. The researchers will work closely with on-the-ground local partners in both locations.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lyn van Swol, a communication scientist, will test the effectiveness of messaging to the public, with a special emphasis on Latino populations in the state. Her team will gather data on people’s internet searches related to PFAS information. Then they will test specific messages with municipal water users, and finally, test what messaging engages audiences on social media.

Ruohao Zhang, an agricultural economist at Pennsylvania State University will lead an effort to develop an online risk assessment tool to help residents of Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania get a better understanding of their exposure to PFAS related to their location and personal choices. The team will also assess the effectiveness of local regulations and advisories on public awareness and decisions related to PFAS levels.

Finally, to help inform state regulators and lay the groundwork for regional consensus regarding PFAS policies, Catherine Janasie, a senior research counsel at the National Sea Grant Law Center, will lead an effort to compile a list of all PFAS-related state laws and regulations in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain regions. The team will then engage in comparative analysis of these policies and create case studies to further explore policy challenges.

“Researchers are continuously learning more and more about the prevalence of PFAS in the environment and their effects on humans, thereby complicating policy setting and communication about risks,” added Höök. “We hope these projects will collectively contribute to improved communication and consideration of policies related to PFAS in the Great Lakes region.”

IISG is working in cooperation with Great Lakes Sea Grant programs and with funding from the National Sea Grant Office to support these projects. Each team has been awarded up to $100,000 with an additional $10,000 directed to Sea Grant partners to develop and engage in related extension work.

IISG’s efforts to identify and fund these projects began with guidance from an advisory committee as a plan was developed to define social and economic knowledge gaps related to PFAS. Then, more than 70 representatives from at least 45 federal and state agencies, tribal nations, academic institutions and consulting firms joined in the scoping process. The results have been compiled in the PFAS Scoping Report.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

IISG specialist Ashley Belle wins Extension Excellence Award

December 4th, 2023 by

Ashley Belle, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) specialist, was honored recently with a University of Illinois Extension (UIE) award in the category Individual Extension Excellence—Field-based Academic Professional (9 years or less). This, and other 2023 UIE awards, were presented in mid-November at the annual meeting.

Belle, who is located in the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, provides outreach and education to empower stakeholders in Great Lakes AOC communities to interpret and apply science and engineering-based information to sediment remediation projects.

This award encompasses Belle’s work with IISG since 2021 and during her previous position as an environmental and energy stewardship educator with Extension. The award criteria focused on service, organizational leadership, professional improvement, and teamwork participation. In her Sea Grant role, Belle has developed a variety of outreach products to inform AOC residents as their communities undergo environmental cleanup. 

Belle will likely display this award next to her two previous UIE awards—Interdisciplinary State Team Excellence in 2019 and Program Evaluation Excellence in 2020.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Green infrastructure helps communities—large and small—be ready for the future

December 1st, 2023 by

Conserving or growing the number of trees and other plants in our environment is not just a feel-good idea. Among many benefits, gardens and other greenspace can help reduce flooding, a major concern in the Midwest due to increasingly larger, more frequent storms, as well as expanding development that leaves rain nowhere to go.

Green infrastructure, such as rain gardens, allows rainwater to be absorbed where it lands.

Hazard Mitigation Planning

To provide on-the-ground support for incorporating green infrastructure, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and Purdue University and University of Illinois Extension programs are helping inform the process as communities develop or update their Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans or other resilience plans.

“This effort arose out of working with community groups and hearing that they have a need for these resources,” said Kara Salazar, IISG sustainable communities extension specialist, who led this work.

With funding from the Extension Disaster Education Network, the team developed a planning process that brings together existing plans and ordinances, GIS data, and input from focus groups and community engagement. In two communities, the project team and local participants worked together to identify current and future strengths, assets, and opportunities as they relate to natural hazards faced by the community, with an emphasis on nature-based solutions.

The team also used the new Green Infrastructure Optimization Tool, which, through visualizations, can help decision makers determine suitable placements for rain gardens and other nature-based options.

“It’s important that green infrastructure is located where it will be most effective and have the most impact,” said Salazar.

The rain garden near the courthouse in LaPorte, Indiana is part of a suite of green infrastructure practices installed throughout the city.

In an Indiana county that sits along Lake Michigan, the City of La Porte requested help from IISG as it set out to improve its stormwater management plan. In addition to two planning sessions, local stakeholders took part in the Rainscaping Education Program, which culminated in the installation of a demonstration rain garden in an underused park adjacent to city hall.

“The garden installation was part of a larger effort to build resilience in La Porte through updating ordinances and installing green infrastructure,” said Salazar. “The rain garden site absorbs a significant amount of stormwater runoff. It is part of a suite of green infrastructure practices installed throughout the city, including along a state highway redevelopment corridor.”

In Hancock County in Illinois, it was time to update the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and the green infrastructure team was there to help the county and its municipalities explore possible nature-based solutions. This very rural county, with a total population that is less than the city of LaPorte, has limited resources to invest in infrastructure, green or otherwise.

Nonetheless, local decision makers see the writing on the wall.

“With a changing climate, the expectation is that major storms will be more frequent,” said Carolinn McKillip, Illinois Extension community and economic development educator. “Many communities that don’t have storm sewers to accommodate this much rain are looking to new construction as a way to incorporate nature-based solutions.”

As a result of IISG and Extension’s efforts in Hancock County, in several municipalities, the hazard plan includes creating policies and procedures to incorporate green infrastructure into future development. In fact, a project in Carthage is underway to build a new library and if funding is found, it will include a rain garden.

In nearby Nauvoo, local leaders, master gardeners, and other stakeholders took part in Rainscaping training and planted a rain garden of more than 1,500 square feet that runs along both sides of a highly traveled intersection.

Additionally, the City of La Harpe has several green infrastructure projects included in its hazard mitigation plan, again, if the city can secure funding. Local planners are also looking to transform abandoned land into something useful.

“They will explore using some vacant lots to reduce stormwater on La Harpe’s main streets downtown. Planners are talking about rain gardens, terracing, or permeable pavers and creating something like a pocket park,” said McKillip.

The work of Salazar, McKillip, and their team in the two states has led to the development of a toolkit that is a resource for communities in the Great Lakes region and beyond. With facilitation from Sea Grant or Extension, communities can access the agendas, activities, and presentations that provide guidance in incorporating green infrastructure as part of hazard mitigation planning.

“This summer’s weather should tell us that that we need to rethink the way we do things,” added McKillip. “Hopefully, efforts like this can help expand the knowledge base to everyone in our states and our communities on how to be more resilient to these extreme weather events that we’re facing.”

One Block at a Time

Flooding and other climate change impacts are the drivers of another community outreach project—for this one, IISG is collaborating with both Minnesota and Pennsylvania Sea Grant programs. With funding from the National Sea Grant Office, they formed a multi-community work team to address climate hazards in Michigan City and Hammond, Indiana; Duluth, Minnesota; and Erie, Pennsylvania, respectively.

“Communities or neighborhoods that are marginalized due to income insecurities and other social vulnerabilities are acutely experiencing multiple water-related climate challenges yet have the fewest means to respond,” said Salazar.

As part of this project, Minnesota Sea Grant developed the Ready for Rain One Block concept (adapted from the Center for Neighborhood Technology) to engage local government and residents in addressing the challenge of flooding. The idea is to develop community-planned green infrastructure projects in one city block, which can be duplicated across nearby blocks.

Kara Salazar, left, and IISG summer intern Payton Ginestra, right, help with the installation of a rain garden at the Smrt Community Center in Michigan City, Indiana.

In Indiana, IISG collaborated with the Smrt Community Center in Michigan City and the InnerMission Neighborhood Farm, managed by the Gate Church, in Hammond. Both sites have small community gardens, developed with help from Purdue Extension, to increase access to fresh vegetables for neighborhood residents. But at both sites, a sustainable water source was a challenge.

“At each location, we worked with the garden managers, neighbors, and site users to conduct focus groups, interviews, and site visits to collaboratively design a rainwater harvesting structure and a rain garden to catch any overflow,” said Salazar.

At the community garden site in Hammond, this year, instead of dragging five-gallon buckets of water to the garden, volunteers are able to fill up a watering can on site or use the garden hose to keep tomatoes, cabbages, collard greens, peppers, cilantro, and other produce plants properly watered. Nearby residents are welcome to take produce as needed and some are chipping in to help with weeding and other tasks.

The site has grown with the addition of a micro food pantry and a meditation labyrinth. Angelica Weaver, who founded the garden, is planning on adding a little free library and places for children to play.

“The work of Purdue Extension and Sea Grant has helped us become sustainable, which was a dream of ours since we started this project in 2020,” said Weaver. “Now we feel like we have the tools to continue the work that we’re doing for many years to come.”

One Block at a Time efforts in Indiana, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania have also been compiled into a soon-to-be released toolkit for broader use. This collection of resources takes one through the process, including background assessments as well as community visioning, scoping, and implementation.

Environmental Justice Communities

Small, rural communities that have suffered from industrial pollution or other environmental or economic setbacks will soon have some support to make things better. Through a nationwide Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant, IISG will provide technical assistance to help underserved Indiana communities define and implement their visions.

“We will especially be connecting with communities that have difficulties applying for federal grants because of their size and limited staff support,” said Salazar. The focus will be on funding opportunities available from EPA and the Department of Energy.

Salazar and her team will engage in outreach that will likely take the form of workshops. “The focus may include grant writing, grant management or facilitation work, and other skills that can help communities successfully fund their impactful environmental projects.”

The work in Indiana will be part of a larger grant that includes Illinois and other EPA Region 5 states and tribes.

 


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

In the News: Energy is a key expense in maintaining water supplies

November 17th, 2023 by

While the primary responsibility of water utility managers is to provide a clean, safe water supply, water managers are de facto energy managers, as supplying water requires energy to move and treat water. Understanding the water-energy nexus can benefit sustainable resource management and policy development.

In the fall issue of SPLASH, the Illinois Section American Water Works Association (ISAWWA) magazine, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) Water Resource Economist Margaret Schneemann co-wrote an article, sharing results from a recent survey of water utility professionals in the state about water-energy nexus issues. This survey was a follow-up to a 2010 survey, therefore, demonstrating changes over time. It was a collaboration of ISAWWA and IISG.

Preliminary findings from the survey reveal that energy costs are a significant portion of utilities’ operating budgets. Nonetheless, the energy required to produce and deliver water in Illinois appears to have slightly improved over the past decade. This finding is consistent with an overarching pattern of increasing energy efficiency.

To learn about more findings from the survey as well as further discussion, visit pages 28−29 in SPLASH.

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