Executive order follows recommendations of new Campaign for Sensible Growth report that demonstrates the need for statewide leadership for regional water supply planning to prevent a water crisis in Illinois.
Making sure the tap will run and water supplies are clean are basic needs
for the residents and businesses
Illinois. Today, close to 18 billion gallons
of water are used across the state for domestic, municipal, commercial,
agricultural, industrial, and mining purposes; power generation; recreation;
navigation; and waste dilution. Although Lake Michigan currently supplies water
to a large area, including the city of Chicago and the inner suburbs of DuPage,
Lake and Will counties, as development moves farther west, to fast-growing areas
in northeastern Illinois and throughout the state, additional supply from
groundwater and surface water will be needed for drinking water and other
A new report released on Monday,
Meeting Future Water needs in Illinois
, was prepared by the Metropolitan Planning
Council and Openlands in conjunction with the Campaign for Sensible Growth.
The report explores the issues behind a projected shortage in
water supply and recommends new steps for the planning and management of water
resources so critical to ensuring the future supply of clean water at a
reasonable cost. To ensure that Illinois maintains a sustainable water supply,
statewide framework for regional water supply planning and management to meet
the needs of a growing population.
Also on Monday, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich issued an executive order
recognizing the concerns addressed in the report.
The report was
released at a Campaign for Sensible Growth membership meeting where State
Sen. Susan Garrett and Kane County Chairman Karen McConnaughay spoke of
need for planning. Bill Mullican, deputy director of the Texas Water
Board, discussed the long-running Texas model
for statewide supply management and answered questions about how regional planning
successful in Texas. The group traveled
Peoria on Jan.
to present the research and
a group of interested public officials from the Mahomet Aquifer Consortium and
other county and statewide governments and organizations.
Historically, groundwater and surface water have been managed separately. A
better scientific understanding of their interconnectedness is needed to plan
and manage the state’s resources. Currently there are no comprehensive statewide
or regional plans nor do any entities exist for managing water supply at the
regional level. Because aquifers and watersheds are regional in nature, cutting
across political boundaries, water quantity planning must occur at the regional
According to the report, the region’s top water quality and quantity
challenges – projected to intensify with increased growth pressure –
- Supply shortages, as demand for water in some parts
of the region is increasing faster than underground water reserves can
recharge or refill;
- Inadequate information and analytical tools regarding
both shallow and deep aquifers; and,
- More geologic information is needed.
As a result, in addition to establishing a statewide framework, Troubled
Waters recommends several actions to ensure that Illinois’ water supply
will meet mounting societal demands, as well as those of aquatic ecosystems,
- Carry out a statewide coordinated ground and surface
water inventory, resource assessment, and modeling program, to establish a
scientific basis for managing the state’s water resources;
- Develop a statewide framework for regional water
supply planning and management;
- Evaluate the water demand aspects of land use plans;
Include water quantity/supply objectives and
strategies in watershed plans;
- Implement local recharge area protection programs;
- Develop guidelines for local water conservation
- Encourage alternative wastewater treatment systems that replenish the
Click here to download the report.