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Publication Abstract

The Water Cycle and Water Budgets in Illinois: A Framework for Drought and Water-supply Planning. Winstanley, Derek, James R. Angel, Stanley A. Changnon, H. Vernon Knapp, Kenneth E. Kunkel, Michael A. Palecki, Robert W. Scott, H. Allen Wehrmann., 2006  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS IEM 2006-02    Full Text Available
Provision of adequate and reliable supplies of clean water at reasonable cost is a basic necessity for public health, the economy, recreation, and navigation. It is the goal of watersupply planning and management. As water withdrawals increase, so too does the need to protect watersheds, aquifers, and aquatic ecosystems for present and future generations. With sound planning and management, there is no reason why the residents of Illinois, a water-rich state, ever should face a water crisis. Without sound planning and management, however, current local problems and regional concerns could mushroom into conflicts and crises, and courts increasingly could be called upon to determine the reasonableness of withdrawals.

The less desirable alternative to sound planning and management is to adopt a "wait-andsee" and "contingency" strategy to find out whether or not existing water-supply facilities can cope with the next major drought and economic and population growth as they occur. Other states have discovered during recent worst-case droughts that contingency planning, as practiced by many community water-supply systems in Illinois, is not a wise substitute for drought-preparedness planning. In Illinois, about 35 of 90 existing surface water-supply facilities (streams, reservoirs, pumps, pipelines, treatment facilities, etc.) likely would experience severe impacts during a 50-year drought, and worse droughts would have more serious impacts on an even greater number of public and private surface- and groundwater systems. On the basis of their shallow depth, proximity to other shallow community wells, and proximity to identified streams, 208 wells representing 82 communities are deemed potentially vulnerable to drought conditions. Drought impacts can be reduced by incorporating information on water availability and demand into evaluations of system capacity and then developing appropriate drought-tolerant capacities.

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