About the Candidate
Name: Sharon Waller
DOB: Feb. 7, 1968
Occupation: Environmental Engineer, 28 years in the water industry
Political Experience: Campaign manager, fundraising manager, field director, and janitor for waller4water
I am Sharon Waller and I’m running for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District in the June Primary. If elected, I’ll be the only engineer on the board. As a licensed Environmental Engineer with 30 years of experience in water, I am pro-business and pro-environment.
I'm running to promote water policy. Illinois is one of only 16 states remaining without water reuse policy, and Illinois is one of 12 states that have been sued for the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone. This is an opportunity for innovation before taxation to decrease pollution discharge to our environment and in our combined sewer overflows which flow into our drinking water supply once a year on average. Water reuse is a cost-stable alternative water source for our industry that will help increase climate resilience and grow our blue economy.
I am asking for your vote in the Democratic primary. Elect a water engineer, teacher, researcher, small business owner, and community advocate. I’m the last name on the Democratic ballot for the 6-year term, and Waller4water is a great ballot name. Vote Waller for Water Reclamation.
Why are you running?
I am running for water policy to help our region adapt to climate change. IL is one of 16 states without water reuse policy and one of 12 states that have been sued for the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone. Water reuse is a cost-stable drought proof alternative water source that can help IL businesses adapt to climate change, grow our Blue Economy, and reduce pollution discharge to our environment including the Dead Zone and raw sewage that is still discharged to our water supply once a year on average.
Water reuse is an opportunity for innovation before taxation because it can create a new revenue stream which can help keep water affordable for all of us. If elected, I'll be the first-ever water engineer on the board.
Science has become political, and Waller4Water is a great ballot name.
What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is limited in their ability to reclaim water due to lack of state water policy required for innovation including reuse.
MWRD is planning to be energy neutral in the near future which is outstanding and a great role model for our industry. I’d like to see MWRD adapt business efficiency improvements such as electronic procurement.
What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?
Water affordability is the issue most often raised by the public. Water reuse policy is needed to allow innovation and implementation of existing technologies that can improve water quality and keep costs down.
I plan to promote reuse policy by working with my professional water organizations to form a state chapter which can work with our state legislature to enact policy to allow innovation.
What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?
I will create roundtable forums for industry and flooding. I will create libraries of best practices to address common issues for both municipal and residential constituents. For example, municipalities where the MWRD Watershed Management Ordinance is insufficient to mitigate flooding may consider applying for funding to develop a stormwater plan and local ordinance following the example of the City of Berwyn.