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Evanston faces competition in water service expansion

Evanston isn't the only north shore community that thinks it can profit from increasing water rates charged by Chicago to the more than 100 suburbs it supplies.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Wilmette is looking to expand the service area of its treatment plant as well and has approved a $150,000 study with Des Plaines and Glenview to look into possible expansion.

Wilmette already provides water to much of Glenview, while Evanston serves Skokie, and through the Northwest Water Commission, also serves Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine and Wheeling.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says attracting businesses that use a lot of water to Evanston or communities service by Evanston's water plant could be an economic growth opportunity for the city.

And Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has said that, in the face of a near doubling of water rates by Chicago, mayors in many northwest suburban communities are very interested in talking to Evanston about their water needs.

Update 4:00 p.m.: In her state of the city speech this afternoon, the mayor said Evanston is working with the Northwest Water Commission to add service to two smaller communities in the area before the end of this year and to add a second pipeline from Evanston to permit further expansion of the commission's service area.

She said the city is also talking with Des Plaines, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles and Park Ridge about providing them with water and that city staff will provide an update on all the water talks at the March 19 City Council meeting..

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