Margaret Schneemann’s on-going water pricing study responds to a popular misconception about water supply in northeast Illinois.

“The perception in the southern Lake Michigan region is that water supply is unlimited, which is not the case,” said Schneemann, IISG water resource economist. On the contrary, water demand in the area is projected to increase by as much as 64 percent by 2050.

Schneemann will be discussing conservation pricing strategies as well as her study at the 2009 Universities Council on Water Resources/National Institutes for Water Resources Annual Conference.

The conference brings together water supply planners from across the state to explore ways to improve urban water management.

Schneemann is leading a study on current residential rate structures, based on findings from almost 300 water systems (serving populations over 1,000). “Conservation-oriented pricing would alter the incentives available to water suppliers and users and would make potentially harmful decisions more costly to pursue.” Schneemann said.

Schneemann will be speaking at the conference on Thursday, July 9, at 8:30 a.m. The conference, which takes place July 7-9, will be held in downtown Chicago at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel.