Water Supply Planning in Northeastern Illinois

Donald Keefer and Jason Thomason attended the final meeting of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply Planning Group (RWSPG) on January 26, 2010, at Willis Tower, Chicago. At this meeting, the draft final report was accepted by a nearly unanimous vote of the attending committee members. The RWSPG was created in 2007 by an Executive Order from the Illinois governor. The RWSPG was given a three-year mission culminating in a final report that established a framework for regional water supply planning and management, evaluated current water use patterns, and explored potential water management strategies based both on future demand forecasts and regional water availability estimates. The RWSPG project focused on the 11-county greater metropolitan Chicago region comprising Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. The RWSPG was advised by the Chicago Metropolitan Area for Planning; the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources; the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS); and the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS). The ISGS participation over the past 3 years provided technical support to the ISWS and RWSPG concerning the distribution and characteristics of geologic deposits in the unconsolidated Quaternary sequence and the bedrock formations in the 11-county region. This geologic information was used in the development and interpretation of regional groundwater flow models of the glacial and bedrock aquifer systems.