The Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association has recognized Urbana’s Sustainable Water Management Plan as a 2015 Illinois State Planning Award Winner in the Sustainability category. The Association’s press release stated the award winners “exemplify the practice of urban planning and each stand as an example of ways our members are “Making Great Communities Happen.”
Urbana’s Sustainable Water Management Plan includes ambitious, but achievable Goals for water conservation within City-owned buildings, region-wide coordination, consideration of conservation rules for new private developments, and public engagement in conservation activities addressing businesses and residents. All Actions in the Plan are intended to be completed between the date of adoption in 2013 and January 1, 2020 with the exception of certain Actions that shall be ongoing.
The plan was prepared under the guidance of Urbana’s Sustainability Advisory Commission. The Commission was established by Mayor Prussing and the City Council in 2008 with a mission to advance sustainable management of energy and water resources. Commission Chair, Marya Ryan, stated “we were very pleased when the City Council adopted the plan. I am really pleased to see the recognition of the work of so many people that went into it.”
Plan implementation has substantially advanced water quality protections by preventing a PCB landfill and achieving sole source aquifer status for our drinking water supply. Plan implementation has also achieved enormous financial and resource savings with a 48% reduction in facilities water use. Fix a Leak Weak, rain barrel sales, and gardening education are actively engaging the public in water conservation at their homes and businesses. The rain barrel sales event sells nearly 500 rain barrels each year to residents throughout the region. At present 63% of plan activities are completed, 29% are in progress, and 8% are queued.