Groundwater Science - Water Supply Planning: Kankakee River Sub-Region, Illinois State Water Survey

Groundwater Science


Water Supply Planning: Kankakee River Sub-Region

Principal Investigator: Kelly, Knapp

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

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

The Kankakee River sub-region is part of both the Northeastern Illinois and East-Central Illinois Regions, but has not yet been studied in detail. Counties in this sub-region include most of Kankakee and Iroquois, and parts of Ford, Grundy, Livingston, and Will. The sub-region also extends into Indiana, thus water use in the Indiana part of the basin will also need to be considered. The Northeastern Illinois water supply planning report identified this sub-region as a high priority for additional study (Meyer et al., 2012). The Kankakee River currently provides water to the greater Kankakee-Bradley-Bourbonnais area and to the Braidwood power plant. There is also significant irrigation from groundwater sources in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties that has caused water supply interruptions during droughts. Irrigation withdrawals are believed to also impact low flows on the Kankakee River. It has been over 20 years since the ISWS conducted an analysis of the impacts of irrigation withdrawals on both groundwater and surface water availability in the Kankakee River Basin (Cravens et al., 1989; Knapp, 1992).

Work is currently underway in this region. Activities include (1) water demand forecasting; (2) evaluating streamflow availability for the region’s streams; (3) compiling and evaluating existing maps and data, including water level, water use, water chemistry, and aquifer properties data; (4) identifying and instrumenting observation wells; (5) performing a mass measurement of water levels in shallow wells; (6) updating hydrogeological information; (7) collecting samples for groundwater chemistry; (8) constructing a groundwater flow model; and (9) examining potential impacts of climate change on the Kankakee River’s flow.

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

Summary Report: Regional Assessment of the Ground-water Resources in Eastern Kankakee and Northern Iroquois Counties - Cravens, Stuart J., Steven D. Wilson, and Robert C. Barry, 1989 ISWS CR-456

Kankakee River Basin Streamflow Assessment Model: Hydrologic Analysis - Knapp, H. Vernon, 1992 ISWS CR-541

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