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Illinois Water Supply
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What is water? This may seem a simple question, but have you thought about how many different uses exist for water? Each day in Illinois, water is used for drinking, bathing, and washing our dishes - but it is also used for navigation, in industry, and as a source of power. Illinois is a water-rich state, but water availability varies widely across the State. The Illinois State Water Survey has answered some basic questions about water supply and availability in Illinois.
 
If you have additional information that you would like us to consider including, or if you have comments or questions on water supply, please contact us. We will forward your message to a professional scientist.
  
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Water in sunlight 

1. What are the Dimensions of Water Availability in Illinois? - Ever wonder where our water comes from and how it is used? Here you will find information about different components that make up our water supply. Material includes the main sources of water in Illinois, including precipitation, surface water, and groundwater.

Barge being loaded on an Illinois river 

2. How is Water Used in Illinois? - A myriad of uses exist for water in Illinois such as drinking, cooking, industry, power generation, waste treatment, and even transportation in addition to support of aquatic habitats and wildlife. Information here includes how much water is used in Illinois along with a rough geographic distribution of that use, and a look at who uses water in Illinois.

Lab worker analysing the quality of a water sample 

3. How Does Water Quality Affect Water Supply? - Illinois' water is varied in quality, and this leads to variable influences on supply. Materials here include how quality affects supply, and types of water quality problems that affect water use.

Dollar bill 

4. What are the Costs of Water Supplies? - Costs are associated with providing water for Illinois' various uses. Information includes an examination of the rates that exist, the basis used to determine them, how they vary regionally, and also how water costs have changed over time.

Drought - dry cracked soil 

5. What are the Challenges for Illinois Water Supplies? - Challenges are inevitable wherever you have a limited natural resource that needs to be allocated fairly. Pollution, unequal availability, and changing demand also make Illinois' water supply a challenge. Materials here include the extent to which droughts, floods, and climate change affect water availability, and the ways we ensure that our water supplies are clean, safe and secure.

Chicago, Illinois courthouse 

6. What are the Legal Issues? - Information includes a description of existing Illinois water laws and regulations, agencies involved in regulating water and enforcement of rules, and Supreme Court decisions, Interstate and International laws and agreements.

South-central Illinois water tower 

7. Can Illinois Provide Adequate Supplies of Clean, Secure Water at Reasonable Cost? - Providing an adequate amount of clean water for Illinois at reasonable cost is a major priority. Information here focuses on the development of new sources, conservation and reuse and other management practices. Planning and management of water resources are keys to success.

Data being displayed on a graph 

8. Where Does One Obtain Data and Information on Water Resources? - Water resources data are available from various agencies. This section provides links to water supply data and information resources from federal, state, and private associations, and it comments on water supplies for rural and urban households.

Department of Natural Resources Building in Springfield, Illinois (courtesy of IDNR) 

9. What Institutions are Involved with Water Supplies in Illinois? - Many entities in Illinois collaborate to address water supply issues. Materials deal with local and regional water suppliers that are both public and private; state agencies that monitor and collect data, regulate water, monitor quality, and plan future water supplies; and federal agencies that perform water monitoring, data collection, regulation of use and quality, and research.

Glossary

Except where indicated, all photos and graphics have been taken/produced by Water Survey staff.

Illinois Water Supply Home - Background - Glossary - Search


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