About The Illinois State Water Survey

Groundwater Science

Meyer Measures Water Level

Scott Meyer (right) measures the water level in a public water-supply well while the water operator observes.

Locke Measures Water Level

Randy Locke measures the water level in a domestic well during the fall 2003 synoptic measurement.

Kelly Collecting Groundwater Sample

Walt Kelly collects a groundwater sample from a domestic well.

Projections of population growth, possibilities of climate change, and impaired water quality, natural limits, and legal constraints on the availability of water in Northeastern Illinois create a challenging future for water resources management in Kane County. This challenge was articulated clearly in Kane County's 2030 Land Resource Management Plan (Kane County, Illinois, 2004), which recognized the vulnerability of the county's water resources and the need to provide a scientific basis for their management. This scientific basis must be developed from the observed characteristics of the water resources systems, interpreted using appropriate techniques, and disseminated and archived using current information technologies. The Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey jointly are involved in a series of hydrological and geological investigations that will provide technical support for the policies for management and protection of water resources listed in the 2030 Land Resource Management Plan. The specific objectives of the joint investigation are to assist the County in:

  • protecting groundwater quality;
  • preserving groundwater availability;
  • providing a basis for the formulation of policy and management strategy for its water resources; and
  • providing baseline data and a framework for future studies.

Investigators are addressing these objectives through hydrological and geological field studies; records searches; database construction; and computer-assisted mapping and modeling of the geology, groundwater, and surface water systems. These studies already have produced several interim reports and interpretive maps. One map, the interim potentiometric surface for the shallow bedrock aquifer (below left), shows water-level elevations observed in 256 wells in Kane County during the fall 2003. Field information such as this is being used to guide development of regional- and local-scale groundwater-flow models. By combining field observation with the most up-to-date modeling techniques, a much better understanding of the county's groundwater resources can be developed.

Potentiometric Surface of Aquifer Based on Field Measurements
Interim potentiometric surface of the shallow bedrock aquifer (fall 2003) based on field measurements.
Preliminary Flow Model Simulation of Aquifer Potentiometric Surface
Simulated potentiometric surface of the shallow bedrock aquifer from a preliminary run of a groundwater-flow model for Kane County.
These studies will produce final reports, interpretive maps, database files, GIS files, a three-dimensional geological model, a set of groundwater-flow models, and an interactive flow accounting model of the Fox River watershed. The study began in May 2002 and will be completed at the end of April 2007.

Related ISWS publications on Kane County

ISWS CR 2009-07

Kane County Water Resources Investigations: Simulation of Groundwater Flow in Kane County and Northeastern Illinois

This report discusses an assessment of groundwater resources supplying water to Kane County, Illinois, a rapidly growing county on the west side of the greater Chicago metropolitan area. This study assimilates the available data into a set of computer models of groundwater flow in regional and local aquifers, quantifying the components of the hydrologic cycle and assessing the impact of historical and projected pumping. The modeling study is part of a comprehensive project assessing surface water, geology, and groundwater in Kane County.

ISWS CR 2007-06

Kane County Water Resources Investigations: Final Report on Shallow Aquifer Potentiometric Surface Mapping

Prompted by concerns for their county's water resources, Kane County officials funded a multifaceted project to be conducted by the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS). The project, initiated in May 2002 and scheduled to conclude in December 2007, will provide baseline water-resources data, analyses, and tools for future analyses of water resources available to the county. 

This report presents and discusses groundwater data and analyses performed as a part of the investigations in Kane County. It supersedes the interim report on potentiometric mapping produced in April 2005. Shallow aquifers considered include the unconsolidated sand-andgravel aquifers and the uppermost bedrock (i.e., the shallow bedrock aquifer). Deeper bedrock aquifers, including the productive Ancell Group and Ironton-Galesville sandstones, are not within the scope of this study, but are discussed in other ISWS reports.

ISWS CR 2005-07

Shallow Groundwater Sampling in Kane County

This report discusses recent water quality sampling efforts conducted in Kane County. In October 2003, groundwater samples were collected from 70 shallow domestic and industrial wells. The primary objectives were to provide a "snapshot" of water quality in shallow aquifers and compare water quality from different parts of Kane County, especially the eastern urban corridor and the western rural region.

ISWS IEM 2005-01

Fact Sheet

Shallow Groundwater Sampling in Kane County


This fact sheet is a four-page summary of ISWS Contract Report 2005-07.



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Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr., MC-674
Champaign, IL 61820-7463
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