About The Illinois State Water Survey

Surface Water Resources Research Program

Surface water resources provide water supply for public water systems, domestic, power generation, industries, mining, agriculture, navigation, recreation and instream water need for aquatic ecosystems. It is critical for the state’s economy and the well-being of its citizens to ensure adequate, reliable, clean and affordable water supply to meet water demand for residents and industries in Illinois for now and the future. Drought, the second most costly natural hazard in the United States, could have substantial adversary impact on surface water supplies and low streamflow in Illinois, causing substantive economic loss, especially on crops and sensitive aquatic species. On average, drought causes annual losses of about $9 billion from 1980–2019 (in CPI-adjusted 2019 values). This program provides scientific studies supporting water supply planning (surface water) which is one of the core activities of the ISWS, going back at least 100 years and mandated by the state legislatures. This program explores the hydrologic modeling, stochastic hydrology, water-energy nexus analysis, system analysis, and multi-objective optimization to provide scientific data and information for informed decision-making on sustainable water resources management. Primary studies and research on surface water resources include:

Contact: Zhenxing Zhang (zhang538@illinois.edu, Tel: +1 217 244 8738)


Recent projects include:

  1. Water supply planning
  2. Potential surface water availability assessment for Joliet 
  3. Water availability analysis for the Kaskaskia River watershed
  4. Development of a decentralized optimization model to examine the risks of thermoelectric power generation
The Iroquois River
Lake Shelbyville
Lake Michigan

Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr., MC-674
Champaign, IL 61820-7463
Email us with questions or comments.


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