Mental Floss
WATER

Chicago Is Giving Out Specially Designed Cans of Its Classic Lake Michigan Tap Water

Ellen Gutoskey
Canned good.
Canned good. / Quality Meats Creative
facebooktwitterreddit

When it comes to easy access to drinking water, Chicago has it made. The city sits on Lake Michigan, which accounts for an impressive 4 percent of the entire world’s unfrozen surface freshwater. 

The process of making it potable is impressive, too. Intake cribs positioned a couple miles off the coast pull water from roughly two dozen feet down and suction it into tunnels below the lake. From there, it heads to a purification facility and, over the course of eight hours, gets stripped of any unsavory ingredients before it heads to a faucet near you.

Now, as ABC7 reports, the city of Chicago is celebrating this living legacy by releasing a series of limited-edition cans filled with Lake Michigan’s finest “Chicagwa.” Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot explained at a press conference that the initiative aims to “highlight how we make use of the abundant resources of Lake Michigan and draw more attention to the rich story of our city’s beloved crown jewel, which is our lake.”

chicagwa canned water
Which can are you reaching for? / Quality Meats Creative

It also spotlights Chicago’s vibrant arts scene. Each of the six cans bears an image created by a different Chicago-based artist, whose designs were inspired by the city itself. Kate Lynn Lewis drew from its 1920s Art Deco architecture to develop a can that “reflect[s] what a luxury I believe it is for us to have fresh drinking water available right here in Lake Michigan,” per the Chicagwa website. Anthony Lewellen’s whimsical image of a sunglasses-clad hot dog relaxing on the lake in a rowboat is a nod to Chicagoans’ “great sense of humor” and his own love for hot dogs and the lakefront. Other contributors include Dont Fret, Elloo Elloo, Joey D., and Langston Allston.  

chicagwa advertisement on city billboard
Keep an eye out for these around Chicago. / Quality Meats Creative

As for where to nab cans of Chicagwa, they’ll be given out for free at city events this summer. You can also look for them at classic Chicago spots like RealGood Stuff Co., The Wieners Circle, and Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen.

[h/t ABC7]

facebooktwitterreddit