Groundwater Science - Water Supply Planning in Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

Groundwater Science


Water Supply Planning in Illinois

Principal Investigator: Kelly, Knapp

Project Staff: Abrams, Hadley, Healy, Hlinka, Mannix, Meyer, Rennels, Roadcap, Rogers, Wilson, Zheng

Project Period: 2014-2016
Sponsors: Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

The goal of comprehensive water supply planning is to ensure that there are adequate supplies of clean water at a reasonable cost to meet the needs of a growing population and economy and to protect the environment. This requires a long-term commitment to scientific studies that provide the fundamental physical and chemical data and modeling required, and includes both surface water and groundwater resources and the interactions between them. Climate data are needed to estimate the magnitude of droughts and floods and the effects of future climate change. Geological mapping and characterization data are needed to help delineate aquifer boundaries and for input to groundwater conceptual and computer flow models. The Illinois State Water Survey, in concert with the Illinois State Geological Survey, provides these data and tools for the state of Illinois.

Because water supply planning is a dynamic process, data collection, analysis, and modeling need to be a continuous process. As water use and population estimates change, new data are collected and interpreted, and new technologies become available, water supply plans need to be updated. Thus water supply planning is never “completed“ in the sense that targets and tools will be changing over time, and planning needs to reflect new realities.

For water supply planning purposes, Illinois is divided into 10 regions [LINK to map]. Three of these regions, Northeastern Illinois, East-Central Illinois, and the Kaskaskia River Basin, have been studied in detail and reports published. In the current round of planning, three new regions are being studied: Middle Illinois Basin, Northwest Illinois, and the Kankakee River Basin (this is a sub-region that lies within the Northeastern Illinois and East-Central Illinois Regions). Water demand forecasting is being done for each of these regions, with the assistance of Dr. Ben Dziegielewski, emeritus professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Other water supply planning activities at the ISWS include the Illinois Water Inventory Program (IWIP), a mass measurement of deep sandstone bedrock wells in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, and an expansion of Illinois' monitoring well network.

Selected Related Publications

Northeastern Illinois Water Supply Planning Investigations: Opportunities and Challenges of Meeting Water Demand in Northeastern Illinois--Full Report - Meyer, Scott C., H. Allen Wehrmann, H. Vernon Knapp, Yu-Feng Lin, F. Edward Glatfelter, James R. Angel, Jason F. Thomason, Daniel A. Injerd, 2012 ISWS CR 2012-03

Meeting East-Central Illinois Water Needs to 2050: Potential Impacts on the Mahomet Aquifer and Surface Reservoirs - Roadcap, George, H. Vernon Knapp, H. Allen Wehrmann, David R. Larson, 2011 ISWS CR 2011-08

Water Supply Assessment for Kaskaskia River Watershed Development: Phase 1 Technical Report - Knapp, H.V., G.S. Roadcap, E.G, Bekele, H.A. Wehrmann, W.E. Gillespie, J.S. Hecht, F.J. Pisani, 2012 ISWS CR 2012-01

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