On Tuesday, Nov.8th, the Wisconsin and Illinois Sections of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) will cohost a webinar entitled Ensuring Sustainable Water Systems through Innovative, Full Cost Water Pricing from 1:00pm to 2:30pm.

The webinar will give water utility staff and local elected officials an overview of how careful planning for conservation can recover costs, ensure adequate revenue to replace and maintain critical infrastructure, and enhance water conservation efforts by promoting environmentally sound consumer decisions. Presenters will include Drema Gross (Austin Water Utility), Margaret Schneemann (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning/Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program), and Jan Beecher (Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University).

This webinar follows the City of Chicago’s recently proposed 2012 budget, which includes increases in water rates to fund infrastructure improvements. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) highlights the proposed rate increases in their policy blog, Facing up to the Need for Investment in Water Infrastructure.

While Chicago’s customer utilities have been vocal on the proposed increases, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Act of 1889 requires the city to charge the suburbs that depend on Chicago-produced water the same rate that they charge city residents. The City of Chicago also has a public campaign called MeterSave, which enables residents to become more water efficient.

The Nov. 8th webinar will further inform the region about the need for cost-beneficial water conservation and rates that recover the full costs of water supply.