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Where Does One Obtain Data and Information on Water Resources?
 
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Several state and federal agencies collect water data and maintain databases related to water supplies in Illinois. Some agencies do research, prepare informational publications, and provide internet access to information such as this web site. A prime source of data on Illinois’ water supplies is the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), which has been collecting data on water quantity and quality since 1895. The ISWS maintains extensive data on groundwater supplies, streamflows, lake levels and storage, and climate conditions. In addition, the ISWS has maintained a water sampling and climate measuring network of stations across Illinois since the 1980s, resulting in unique data about water temperatures, water pollution, and groundwater depths. The ISWS has conducted extensive research for more than a century on all facets of water in Illinois, which has resulted in hundreds of publications about water supplies. Interested readers are encouraged to inspect the ISWS Web site listing publications. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center, one of six such centers in the nation, maintains climate data for Illinois and surrounding states. The Illinois State Climatologist also is at the ISWS, as are staff providing surface water and floodplain information services. ISWS also maintains a Public Service Laboratory.

Lake/wetland area
Other state and federal agencies also collect water data and maintain special databases. For example, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency routinely samples water at numerous locations around the state and maintains an in-depth water-quality database. Federal agencies that collect water data and maintain databases include the U.S. Geological Survey (river flows), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (soil erosion and sediment), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which collects and stores most of the nation’s weather data through its National Weather Service.

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Photo of the Illinois Natural Resources Building, Springfield, Illinois The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is a good resource for statewide data. Selections include the Office of Water Resources, EcoWatch Network and Illinois Natural Resources Information Network
 

 
Photo of Building One (of Ten) at the Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, Illinois The Illinois State Water Survey has collections of water quantity and quality data dating back to 1895. Selections include the Domestic Wells Database, Flood Discharge Database, and Illinois State Climatologist Data. Also at the Survey: National Atmospheric Deposition Program and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.
 

 
Photo of the Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, Illinois The Illinois State Geological Survey has extensive GIS collections and other data, some available online. Selections include The Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse and Digital Well Data.
 
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