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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

In October, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) announced that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and Lake County Forest Preserve District would receive a Regional Excellence Award during its inaugural State of the Region event. MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan and Executive Director Brian A. Perkovich accepted the Regional Resilience Award from CMAP Executive Director Erin Aleman in the MWRD Board Room.

The award highlights collaborative work on a $9.7 million project to expand the Buffalo Creek Reservoir to increase the region’s resiliency against flooding. The project expanded the capacity of wetland terraces, improved erosion control and added recreational amenities for users. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated the project will reduce future flood damages by more than $26 million.

Under the terms of an intergovernmental agreement, the MWRD agreed to cover the cost of the $9.7 million project, while the Lake County Forest Preserve will maintain the site. The expansion increases the existing Buffalo Creek Reservoir by approximately 180 acre-feet to account for an additional 58.6 million gallons of storage.

The expanded storage benefits Cook County communities affected by flooding. An estimated 107 structures will be protected from various flood recurrence intervals and more than 2,000 structures along Buffalo Creek and the main stem of the Des Plaines River will receive some form of flood reduction benefit.

“This project is the culmination of a long-term cooperative effort between the village of Buffalo Grove, MWRD and Lake County Forest Preserve District which dates back to 1973,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele.

MWRD Vice President Barbara McGowan said that “Through this collaboration, the impact of flooding will be reduced while providing a safe and healthy environment for many years to come.”

The CMAP Regional Excellence Awards program offers an opportunity for municipal leaders, nonprofits, transit agencies and advocates to have their work recognized by peers from across northeastern Illinois. Each year, CMAP seeks nominations for individuals and projects that prioritize equity, strengthen the resiliency and economy of the 284 communities CMAP serves.

“We are proud to partner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to help fund this larger regional project and achieve our shared goals of providing improved public access, natural resource restoration and reducing flooding,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “Set amid bustling suburbs, Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve in Long Grove is an emerald island offering a quiet place to relax and recreate with nature."

“We appreciate that our counterparts in Lake County are engaged in this partnership to help relieve flooding on the Cook County side of the border,” said MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos. “Flooding doesn’t recognize boundaries, so it makes economic sense to work together so that residents living in this area benefit, whether they enjoy the Lake County Forest Preserves as an amenity or as a stormwater management tool.”

View all 2021 Regional Excellence Award winners.

21_10xx_CMAP award Buffalo Creek.pdf

Press Release
Awards and Announcements

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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