Blog  /  July 2017  /  Q2 2017 Regional Roundup: Part 3

Blog Post Teaser

This blog series examines major trends and newsworthy events that occurred in the US water industry during the second quarter of 2017.  The third part of the series focuses on activity within the Midwest/Great Lakes and Central Plains regions of the US, as well as grant and funding information related to the water industry.

MIDWEST/GREAT LAKES

The Midwest/Great Lakes region consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

  • During the second quarter of 2017, the largest demand for installation and maintenance work across the US was seen in the Midwest/Great Lakes region, of which Michigan and Ohio accounted for over half of the region’s total demand.
  • The Midwest/Great Lakes region also represented the greatest demand for coating and lining products in the nation, with Illinois accounting for over one-third of the region’s total demand in the second quarter of 2017.
  • According to the “State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report” put forth by the US and Canada, the ecosystems and water quality of the Great Lakes continue to be influenced by such factors as chemical contamination, the growth of harmful algal blooms caused by agricultural runoff, and the spread of such aquatic invasive species as Zebra Mussels, Sea Lamprey, and Purple Loosestrife.
  • In June 2017, Michigan released its Domestic Action Plan for Lake Erie, a draft action plan aimed at improving water quality in Lake Erie by reducing the level of phosphorous entering the lake, which in turn will prevent the growth of persistent and intense algal blooms.  Similar plans are being developed by Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York in the US, as well as the province of Ontario in Canada.  Furthermore, the EPS intends to announce a master plan for the area in 2018.

CENTRAL PLAINS

The Central Plains region consists of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.  

  • During the second quarter of 2017, drought conditions continued to plague North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.
  • In North and South Dakota roughly 700,000 people were affected across both states.  The drought in these states has led to sizable winter wheat losses, livestock feed shortages as a result of poor grass growth, and the sale of older cattle.
  • Additionally, in North Dakota, drought conditions are facilitating the growth of cyanobacteria in natural water sources consumed by cattle, increasing the risk of livestock deaths.
  • Montana, the nation's third-largest wheat producing state, is also tackling a drought that extends across 350 miles.  In this state, the drought is causing damage to the spring wheat crop, leading to an increase in spring wheat prices.  Additional agricultural impacts of the drought include the loss of spring grains and pulse crops, the sale of cattle, and the cutting of winter wheat for hay instead of for harvesting.

GRANTS AND FUNDING

  • During the second quarter of 2017, nearly two-thirds of funding opportunities in the US water industry were available through government sources, followed by atypical sources such as private investors and non-profit organizations.  For instance, Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management is offering grants to assist communities with projects designed to control stormwater and improve water quality
  • In the second quarter of 2017, nearly one-third of funding opportunities within the US water sector were linked to research and technology endeavors, including the development of clean technologies and the commercialization of prototypes.  
  • Financing for planning, design, and engineering services accounted for nearly 20 percent of the US water industry’s funding opportunities in the second quarter of 2017.  For example, there is capital available for wetland, riparian, and watershed planning and restoration activities, as well as for rural development, potential brownfield site assessments, and flood control projects.