Archived information from the Illinois State Water Survey Illinois Drought page. Links are grouped by category.
The 2005 Illinois Drought -
Dry conditions in 2005 reached a historic level of severity in some parts of Illinois and ranked as one of the three most severe droughts in Illinois in 112 years of record.
The timing of the dryness during the spring and summer, when water demand and use are high, ensured substantial impacts on agriculture and other sectors. The drought also had
several unusual characteristics. The drought area was long and narrow, extending from south Texas to the Great Lakes, but within the Midwest, the drought had relatively minor
impacts on states other than Illinois. A record number of remnants of hurricanes and tropical storms passed through Illinois during July, August, and September, substantially
ameliorating drought conditions in portions of central and southern Illinois. Crop yields were surprisingly high in parts of the state, perhaps providing evidence of
increased drought resistance in modern varieties and the benefits of timely rains.
Illinois Drought of 1999-2000 -
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)/Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) issues a monthly summary report on the state’s water
and climate data, called the "Illinois Water and Climate Summary." The Drought Response Task Force (DRTF) Co-Chairmen utilize
this information in their decision of when to convene the DRTF, in addition to any potentially
impacted resources or water supply issues which are brought to their attention. Upon the decision
to convene, the IDNR/Office of Water Resources (OWR) makes the contacts and arrangements for
the meeting, and serves as the focal point for the collection and dissemination of information. The
OWR Director coordinates the meetings. The OWR prepares a summary report on each meeting.
The 1988-1989 Drought in Illinois: Causes, Dimensions, and Impacts -
The 1988-1989 drought was one of the most disastrous droughts in the history of the state. Hydrologic, meteorological, and climatological aspects of the 1988-1989 drought in Illinois are addressed.
The drought is evaluated in terms of recipitation, streamflow, lakes and reservoirs, and ground-water resources of the state. The meteorological conditions that produced the drought also are addressed.
Impacts and problems resulting from the drought are discussed along with various actions taken to ameliorate the problems. Although the primary goal of the study was to quantify the drought,
primarily in a physical sense, an important secondary goal was to assess the impacts and the actions employed in order to derive information needed in future planning and handling of Illinois droughts.
The report thus ends with a set of recommendations for coping with future droughts.
The 1980-1981 Drought in Illinois: Causes, Dimensions, and Impacts -
Hydrologic, meteorological, and climatological aspects of the 1980-1981 drought in Illinois are addressed. The drought is evaluated in terms of precipitation, streamflow, lakes and reservoirs, and
groundwater resources of the state. The meteorological conditions that produced the drought also are addressed. Impacts and problems resulting from the drought are discussed along with various actions taken
to ameliorate the problems. Although the primary goal of the study was to quantify the drought, primarily in a physical sense, an important secondary goal was to assess the impacts and the actions employed,
to derive information needed in future planning and handling of Illinois droughts. The report thus ends with a set of recommendations for coping with future droughts. The 1980-1981 drought was not one of the
extreme droughts of record; however, it is important in that it was the most severe drought since those of the early 1950's. As such, it reflects some new types of impacts on the state's water resources due to
technological, hydrological, and institutional changes since the 1950's.
1952-1955 Illinois Drought with Special Reference to Impounding Reservoir Design -
A large part of central and southern Illinois experienced a severe drought beginning early in 1952. By June 1955 the drought situation had greatly improved. Water shortages occurred in the fall of 1952
as a result of rainfall deficiencies. The situation was partially relieved by abovenormal rainfall during the first three months of 1953. Rainfall deficiencies began to grow again after April 1953.
By September 1953 it was apparent that the effect of the 1952 rainfall deficiency had not been fully overcome. The situation grew worse and by January 1954 there were 41 Illinois communities with serious water problems.
Past Relevant Press Releases - Selected past ISWS press releases.
Agricultural Summary for Illinois (updated every Sunday, National Agricultural Statistics Service)
Harvest Benefits from 4th Driest September on Record (October 6, 2004)
Cool, Dry February but Warm, Dry Winter (March 3, 2004)
Wet Weekend Washes Away August Dry Spell in Illinois (September 3, 2003)
Deficit Precipitation over Northern Illinois Continues (April 4, 2003)
January Cold and Dry, but Winter Temps Near Average (February 4, 2003)
Illinois Was Very Dry, Cold in November and Fall (December 5, 2002)
Warm, Dry Summer Follows Warm, Wet Spring (October 2, 2002)
July 2002: Hot and Dry in Illinois (August 2, 2002)
Hot, Dry Conditions Continue across Illinois (July 18, 2002)
Conditions Dry in Southern and Eastern Illinois This Spring (May 18, 2001)
Past Drought Press Releases - Selected past ISWS press releases about drought.
Continued Recovery from Drought State-Wide (July 7, 2000)
Moderate to Severe Drought in Illinois (Update) (May 5, 2000)
Moderate to Severe Drought in Illinois (April 14, 2000)
Assessment of the Potential
for Drought Stress in Illinois (March 8, 2000)
Jim Angel, State Climatologist - (217) 333-0729 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Hilberg, Midwest Regional Climate Center - (217) 333-8495 email@example.com.
Vern Knapp, Center for Watershed Science, Surface Water - (217) 333-4423 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Al Wehrmann, Center Groundwater Science, Head - (217) 333-0493 email@example.com.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources (IDNR)
Arlan Juhl, Director - (217) 785-3334 Arlan.Juhl@illinois.gov
Frank Pisani - (217) 557-8243 Frank.Pisani@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries (IDNR)
Debbie Bruce - (217) 524-4111 Debbie.Bruce@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA)
Tom Jennings, Director - (217) 785-4195 Tom.Jennings@illinois.gov
Steve Chard - (217) 785-2661 Steve.Chard@illinois.gov
Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC)
Bob Bensko, Homeland Sec. - (217) 524-5049 firstname.lastname@example.org
William Marr, Water Dept. - (217) 524-5017 email@example.com
Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)
Trent Thompson - (217) 557-4794 Trenton.Thompson@illinois.gov
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Public Water Supplies (IEPA)
Rick.Cobb, Deputy Manager - (217) 785-4787 Rick.Cobb@illinois.gov
Dave McMillan, Manager - (217) 785-4787 Dave.McMillan@illinois.gov
Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health (IDPH)
Jerry Dalsin - (217) 524-4136 Jerry.Dalsin@illinois.gov
United States Geological Survey, Illinois Water Science Center (USGS)
Douglas Yeskis, Director - (217) 328-9706 firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Drought Information