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What are the Challenges for Illinois Water Supplies? (More Information)
 
For more information on the dimensions of water supplies of Illinois, see the following sources of information:
 
Publications:
  Reports of Investigation 31, 37, 48 abstract available online full text available online, 54, & 121
  Circular 96, 101, 112, 113, 125, & 169 abstract available online full text available online,
  Miscellaneous Publication 106, 131, & 151
  Contract Report 599
   
All publications available online as full-text documents and also on loan from the Prairie Research Institute Library.

Other Information:
Aerial photos showing flood/drought over the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers Illinois has experienced both ends of the climate spectrum within recent history. This areal photo shows a reference photo of the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers in two parts. The first (top) part is a photo from July 1988 when the Midwest experienced a severe drought. The second (bottom) part is a photo from July 1993 during the Great Flood of 1993. Floods and droughts present many water challenges to Illinois.
 

 
Illinois streamflow levels for May 1 - 16, 2000 Stream levels are important when meeting the challenges of Illinois' water supply needs. The graphic in this section shows Illinois streamflow levels for May 1-6, 2000. The levels are shown as a percentage of Normal, Below Normal, and Much Below Normal for the state. By looking at the map, you can see certain areas in Central Illinois were below normal during this time.
 

 
Low flows map This graphic displays the flow of streams in Illinois. It shows the "low flow" rates of streams, which range from less than 1 to greater than 2000 cubic feet per second. The streams are color-coded, so you can see which flow range applies to which stream. Illinois low-flow frequency estimates are availalbe at http://il.water.usgs.gov/drought/lowflow.html
 

 
Radium (Ra) in water from the deep bedrock aquifer system Radium (Ra) is prevalent in groundwater from the deep bedrock aquifer system of northern Illinois. The highlighted area shows where the combined Ra226 and Ra228 concentrations exceed the USEPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in deep bedrock wells. (Source: Kay, 1999)
 

 
Water level decline, Champaign, Illinois This is a long-term hydrograph from an observation well completed in the Mahomet aquifer just west of Champaign, Illinois. Water levels in the Mahomet aquifer in this area have declined 40 to 50 feet as the aquifer was developed to supply Champaign and surrounding communities, from about 6 mgd in the mid-1950s to approximately 20 mgd in the mid-1990s. An additional 40 to 50 feet of drawdown is available at this location but the cone of depression created by such a development will likely create regional impacts on the aquifer system. For more information on the Mahomet aquifer, see www.mahometaquiferconsortium.org.
 

 
Population and water use In this graph, the population of Illinois is plotted against its water withdrawals excluding power generation. Water use is seen going down over the years 1950 to 2000. Population has been projected out until the year 2020, but what will the water use be?
 

 
Historical 10-year average precipitation for the Illinois River Basin...and projections from 3 models Models can give us some idea of how the future might look. Here, different models are used to project precipitation for the next 100 years for the Illinois River basin. On this graph, historical precipitation data are given for the years 1900 to the year 2000 (green), and then three United Nation's models project the data out to the year 2100 (blue, orange, and red).
 

 
Projected water surplus/shortage in 2020 Northeastern Illinois withdraws approximately 70 mgd of groundwater from the Cambrian-Ordivician aquifer system, a group of limestone and sandstone aquifers buried several hundred feet beneath the ground. Displayed here is the distribution of deep bedrock aquifer pumpage for the area. Source: M. Jaffe, University of Illinois at Chicago.
 

 
Northeaster Illinois Planning Commission forecast released May 17, 2000 In this graphic, we see the forecast for Northeastern Illinois that was released on May 17, 2000 by the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. It predicts that the population of the region will increase from around 6.7 million in 1970 to over 9 million in the year 2020.
 

 
Distribution of deep bedrock aquifer pumpage Northeastern Illinois withdraws approximately 70 mgd of groundwater from the Cambrian-Ordivician aquifer system, a group of limestone and sandstone aquifers buried several hundred feet beneath the ground. Displayed here is the distribution of deep bedrock aquifer pumpage for the area. Source: M. Jaffe, University of Illinois at Chicago.
 

 
Withdrawals in 2000 from shallow aquifers, % of estimated yields Shallow aquifers, consisting of either sand-and-gravel or dolomite bedrock within 300 feet of land surface, are utilized for Northeastern Illinois' water needs. Displayed here are withdrawals from shallow aquifers, in percent of estimated yields, for the year 2000. A greater dependence on these aquifers will be needed to accommodate the tremendous growth expected for the region and in light of the limits on Lake Michigan and deep aquifer sources. Source: M. Jaffe, University of Illinois at Chicago.
 


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