In order to better understand water availability and future water demands within the Kaskaskia River Basin the State of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources has recommended the creation of a comprehensive water supply plan for the Kaskaskia Basin. Key components of the plan include:

  • Determining existing capacity of existing water-supply facilities
  • Determine current water withdrawals, uses, and impacts
  • Determine potential yields and water quality from surface waters and impacts of variable climatic conditions
  • Identify and evaluate drought, climate change, and other risks
  • Present and compare water-supply and demand scenarios (with uncertainties
  • Evaluate the needs for increasing water supply and treatment
  • Identify and evaluate the risks and costs (including negative impacts) for developing new water withdrawal systems, and/or decreasing water demand

A diversity of stakeholders from throughout the planning area have been convened to serve as the planning committee by the Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation & Development. Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation & Development is responsible to assist this committee throughout the planning process, and in preparing a final report. The organization is also responsible to assist the committee in providing outreach related to the project.

Dr. Ben Dziegielewski, SIU Carbondale, has been retained to prepare water-use forecasts through 2050. Population projections, demand scenarios by major user sectors, and three levels of future water demand scenarios, (baseline – current, less resource intensive, more resource intensive) will be included).

The Illinois State Water Survey has been retained to provide scientifically-sound estimates of water availability and sustainability for the region. The ISWS will retrieve and summarize existing information on water supply availability in the region, develop various computer models that simulate hydrologic processes, including water supply storage and streamflow under varying climatic conditions, and use these models to to identify future water supply conditions and impacts based on selected scenarios of water use projections, potential climate change, and potential changes in water supply allocations from the two federal reservoirs.

Authority

Executive Order 2006-01

In January 2006, Governor Rod Blagojevich signed Executive Order 2006-01, requiring the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to lead state and regional water-supply planning activities. The Executive Order calls for the creation of regional water supply planning committees, and that they shall be organized for participation in the development and approval of regional water supply plans.