Greetings, from your Section Director. I have now completed my first year as your Director.
We barely had a winter, and now we have had to endure one of the driest summers of all time. Although the weatherman said that July was not the warmest on record; that dubious distinction goes to July of 1953 by 0.3 degrees. And I am quite sure that very few people had air conditioning at that time! And what about this drought? More on that in a minute.
Being ever sports minded I MUST bring up all the fun sports viewing that has been keeping me company this summer. First, there was the Wimbledon tennis match from the All England Club. Just before that ended my favorite sports event of all time started, the Tour de France. This year's race was fantastic and exciting to watch. Now, we are embroiled in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Go Team USA. And, as you will note, one of the "fab five” gymnasts shares my name!
Now on to matters of the Section. I have requested, and received, the support of the Section to run for Vice President on the National AWWA Board for the second time. I was unsuccessful in my bid the first try, so I'm following the old adage of "try, try again”. Wish me luck and the support of my other Board members at the winter board meeting in January.
While I'm talking about "boards” and "elections”, I should share the most EXCITING NEWS!! Our own John Donahue, former ISAWWA Chair and Director and General Manager from North Park Water District, will be running for National AWWA President Elect at the upcoming winter AWWA Board meeting. The exciting part is that John will be running unopposed and therefore, in June 2013 will be installed as the President Elect. In June 2014, at the gavel passing, John will become our National AWWA President. We will be partying in Boston! John will become the 9th National AWWA President from Illinois (coincidently, the first National AWWA President was from Illinois, Jacob Foster, 1881-1882). New York is the only Section to have provided more National presidents with 15.
Meanwhile, back to the drought. The drought is something that has affected every water utility in the State of Illinois. According to the State's drought website, http://drought.illinois.gov/ , the first half of 2012 was the sixth driest on record. Precipitation throughout the State averaged just 12.6 inches for the January through June period, or nearly seven inches below normal. The local climatologists are saying that the drought is not over by a long shot. Many utilities have instituted some type of outside water use ban and several have been faced with catastrophic challenges.
In northeastern Illinois, about 80 communities are collaborating in the Northwest Water Planning Alliance. NWPA's goal is to provide a sustainable water supply for the region in a manner that is both economically and environmentally sound. Their Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is looking at water conservation issues, drought management, water loss goals and other items from a regional perspective. These items were on the Alliance's agenda BEFORE the drought took hold of the State.