Simulation of Groundwater Flow in Kane County and Northeastern Illinois
Kane County, on the west side of the Chicago area, is expected to see a surge in population of 70 percent by 2030, and county planners anticipate a growth in demand for water supplies. In response, local decision- makers commissioned the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois State Geological Survey to assess the water resources of the region. Regional- and local-scale groundwater flow models for Kane County were used to synthesize data gathered from the field and other sources and estimate impacts of increasing groundwater pumping in the county from 37 million gallons per day (mgd) in 2000 to as much as 71 mgd by 2050.
Findings to Date: Model simulations show that withdrawals from deep wells will potentially cause water supply interruptions and increasing concentrations of radium, barium, arsenic, and salinity in the water supply, with the greatest impacts in the Aurora area. The modeling suggests that two large areas of significant drawdown, or declines in water levels, will affect shallow wells. The largest area includes parts of northeastern Kane County and southeastern McHenry County, and the second area surrounds wells in west-central DuPage County, east of Kane County. A third area of significant drawdown will likely develop around public -supply wells operated by Batavia and Geneva and is located west of those cities. Base flow in local streams may decline, potentially harming fish populations and plants. The most affected stream is Mill Creek, west of Batavia and Geneva, where base flow may decline to zero by 2050, so that during periods of low precipitation, the stream may be completely dry.
Meyer, S. C., Roadcap, G. S., Lin, Y.-F. and Walker D. D., 2009. Kane County Water Resources Investigations: Simulation of Groundwater Flow in Kane County and Northeastern Illinois. Illinois State Water Survey Contract Report 2009-07, Champaign, IL.