Groundwater Studies for Water Resource Planning in Kendall County, IL
Sustainable economic development within Kendall County will be based, in part, on prudent decisions regarding groundwater use within the county. Awareness of this link between sound groundwater management and sustainable economic growth prompted the county to request a proposal from the ISGS and ISWS to conduct mapping and modeling investigations that will provide technical information and support for the sustainable management and protection of the county's groundwater resources. In particular, the proposed investigations will provide an evaluation of the long-term availability and sensitivity to contamination of groundwater resources in Kendall County. While these investigations will not provide answers to site-specific, well-field management or groundwater remediation questions, they will provide a county-wide evaluation and a scientifically-based summary of what is known based on the available and newly collected information. ISWS deliverables include an assessment of long-term groundwater availability from deep and shallow aquifers and documentation of water levels and water quality in selected deep and shallow wells in the county to serve as benchmarks for future comparison of groundwater conditions.
Findings to Date: Computer simulation of plausible scenarios of future pumping suggests that the deep aquifers beneath northeastern Illinois, including Kendall County, are being overpumped and significant well failures can be expected by 2050 if the growth in deep pumping continues at the current pace. Regional model simulations suggest head declines will continue in the sandstone aquifers in the Joliet-Aurora area as the deepest parts of the Chicago-area cone of depression shifts west-southwest to the Joliet-Aurora area. Although the Fox River passes through the county, no surface water supplies currently exist in the county. The Fox River contains significant developable flow that can provide water to communities in Kendall County.
Selected Related Publications
A previous report, published by the USGS-Illinois Water Science Center (Kay et al., 2005), provides a summary of historical water resource conditions in the county: Surface-Water and Ground-Water Resources of Kendall County, Illinois, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5122