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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

A milestone following the second anniversary of its ambitious five-year strategic plan, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has launched a new dashboard to track its progress in meeting goals and important metrics for major initiatives in its work to protect the regional water environment.

The dashboard takes into consideration a range of items and goals that the MWRD strives to meet in the short and long-term. These informative data points, graphs and charts allow viewers to learn more about the MWRD and how the agency is striving to meet five strategic goals of Resource Management, Stormwater Management, Workforce Excellence, Community Engagement and Enterprise Resilience.

Visitors to the MWRD website, for example, can track and learn more about the status of the MWRD’s finances and property tax collection and Retirement Fund progress; work in meeting federal permits and clean water; its work in pursuing energy neutrality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and electricity usage; MWRD water reuse and phosphorus recovered; safety goals and metrics; its progress and scope of stormwater management projects throughout Cook County; demographics of the MWRD workforce; and community engagement metrics through outreach events and presentations.

“We are excited to unveil our first ever Strategic Plan Dashboard,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “It is not only our objective to reach these measured goals but maintain a sense of transparency by sharing our progress through quantifiable outcomes. I thank our commissioners and staff for continuing to uphold the values of our Strategic Plan.”

The MWRD’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 was approved by the MWRD Board of Commissioners on June 3, 2021, following an elaborate planning process utilizing public input, a steering committee and engagement with local partners and consultants. The Strategic Plan placed emphasis on the MWRD’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion to guide engagement with all communities across Cook County.

The five-year plan articulates the mission, vision, and strategic goals for the MWRD, and identifies a set of strategic initiatives to achieve those goals with a framework provided for measuring progress and reviewing and updating the plan on an annual basis. After the plan’s adoption, a Strategic Plan implementation team sought out to design an efficient and meaningful presentation to assess the MWRD’s progress and make that available to the public on its website.

The Strategic Plan is now comprised of about 30 strategies, 50 success measures, 140 initiatives and 360 activities. While the dashboard does not highlight every activity, it does give audiences a firm grasp of ongoing work at the MWRD and its aspiration to meet its Strategic Plan initiatives. The MWRD intends to continuously update the dashboard through 2025.

“Thanks to internal and external input, we are proud to create this new dashboard that identifies our progress, areas of development, and specific actions through 2025 and beyond,” said MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia, co-chair of the Strategic Plan. “We look forward to continuing our work on the Strategic Plan and watch as these goals of sustainability further come into focus over the next three years.”

To date, targets met have included:

  • 100 percent National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit compliance at all seven water reclamation plants
  • 34 school playground transformations into green spaces to learn and play, with an expansion of the program coming soon.
  • 100 percent of supervisors trained on coaching and giving feedback to employees.
  • 173 percent increase in event and presentation attendance since 2020
  • Adoption of a Climate Action Plan
  • AAA/AA+ credit ratings by Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings

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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