Background Image

Web Content Display

Questions or comments? Contact Tim Loftus.

Web Content Display

Water

Abundant and high quality water resources play an essential role in sustaining economic prosperity and environmental health in our seven-county region. While Lake Michigan and groundwater aquifers currently provide clean water, their capacity to serve the region's needs is not limitless. In addition, many of the region's waterways have been degraded by development practices that have disrupted the natural water cycle. 

 

 

 

Water Updates

All Updates  

July 20, 2015  

Resilience Application Highlights Impact of Urban Flooding

Spurred by 2013's record-breaking floods, CMAP is helping a coordinated effort to build resilience to flooding and other climate impacts in the state. Read More About Resilience Application Highlights Impact of Urban Flooding
June 18, 2015  

Chi-Cal Rivers Fund call for proposals

The Chi–Cal Rivers Fund is looking for project proposals that will reduce stormwater runoff with green infrastructure, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, and improve public-use... Read More About Chi-Cal Rivers Fund call for proposals
June 15, 2015  

Cycle tracks that manage stormwater

In response to persistent flooding in Copenhagen, Copenhagenize Design Co. has developed an imaginative concept that would transform existing and future cycle tracks into high-volume rainwater... Read More About Cycle tracks that manage stormwater
June 10, 2015  

Joseph C. Szabo tapped to be next CMAP executive director

New executive director has varied experience in local, state, federal governments, civic affairs, and transportation. Read More About Joseph C. Szabo tapped to be next CMAP executive director
May 27, 2015  

Great Rivers Chicago survey

The City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Planning Council , in partnership with Friends of the Chicago River and many others, will creatively reimagine more than 100 miles of Chicago's... Read More About Great Rivers Chicago survey
May 18, 2015  

Municipal water conservation and efficiency

As the region's population increases, withdrawals from Lake Michigan, groundwater sources, and inland rivers must be balanced with demand projections to attain long-term sustainability. Water... Read More About Municipal water conservation and efficiency
May 12, 2015  

Watershed planning

CMAP has been involved in the development of numerous watershed plans in northeastern Illinois as a key step of implementing the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan.  Watershed planning... Read More About Watershed planning
May 6, 2015  

Stormwater utility seminar

In partnership with the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management (IAFSM) and Michael Baker International, CMAP will host a  stormwater utility seminar  on... Read More About Stormwater utility seminar
May 5, 2015  

2016 joint call for planning projects

CMAP, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) released a call for local projects across metropolitan Chicago through the RTA ... Read More About 2016 joint call for planning projects
May 5, 2015  

Reducing water loss in metropolitan Chicago

Water lost through aging and leaky infrastructure is a waste of taxpayer dollars and the valuable water resource itself. The magnitude of the problem, judging by well-documented estimates of the... Read More About Reducing water loss in metropolitan Chicago
April 27, 2015  

Illinois Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program

In addition to developing water-related plans and policies, CMAP works with local governments, stakeholders, and partners to conserve and restore the region's water resources.  CMAP serves... Read More About Illinois Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program
April 21, 2015  

Stormwater utilities for local governments

Communities in the Chicago region face increasing challenges in managing stormwater, but funding for capital improvements is scarce.  The Value of Stormwater Utilities for Local... Read More About Stormwater utilities for local governments
April 14, 2015  

Model water use conservation ordinance

Recommendations from GO TO 2040 and Water 2050 emphasize the importance of water use conservation in all sectors to maintain the demand at levels that are comparable to supplies. ... Read More About Model water use conservation ordinance
April 7, 2015  

Input from municipalities can help improve State Revolving Fund

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and MPC are exploring ways to improve access to the State Revolving Fund (SRF) for water and wastewater... Read More About Input from municipalities can help improve State Revolving Fund
April 7, 2015  

April Water 2050 Regional Forum

CMAP, in partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Council, will host the next meeting for the Water 2050 Regional Forum on April 16, 2015, at 10:15 a.m. at CMAP offices (233 S. Wacker Drive,... Read More About April Water 2050 Regional Forum
March 16, 2015  

Muni-Blast, 3-16-15

CMAP's quarterly "e-blast" newsletter for metropolitan Chicago's 284 municipalities briefly highlights local planning resources that can help communities implement livability recommendations ... Read More About Muni-Blast, 3-16-15
January 8, 2015  

Water 2050 Regional Forum

In partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), CMAP will convene the  Water 2050 Regional Forum and host a series of discussions throughout the year. The first meeting will... Read More About Water 2050 Regional Forum
November 25, 2014  

Public input on IL Route 53/120 corridor land use plan

Thanks to all that participated in the IL Route 53/120 Corridor Land Use Plan open houses in Grayslake and Lake Zurich this November. Read More About Public input on IL Route 53/120 corridor land use plan
October 30, 2014  

CMAP Muni-Blast, 10-30-14

The latest newsletter features highlights from the 2014 biennial municipal survey. Read More About CMAP Muni-Blast, 10-30-14
October 9, 2014  

GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law

Please visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040 for all GO TO 2040 plan materials. Read More About GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law
View all updates

Taxonomy

Web Content Display

As the Chicago region grows, it is critical that water and natural resources are conserved and used efficiently. GO TO 2040, the regional comprehensive plan, supports an integrated approach to water resource planning. This involves actions that protect and enhance water quality and quantity at all parts of the water cycle. Water resource planning at CMAP generally falls along three tracks -- water supply, water quality, and stormwater management, though it is clear that water resource planning and management are interrelated. CMAP led the development and coordinates implementation of Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan, which was produced in 2010 in conjunction with the Regional Water Supply Planning Group of regional stakeholders. Water 2050 is the official water supply/demand plan for an 11-county northeastern Illinois planning area -- the CMAP region of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will, along with Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, and Kankakee counties.

As the designated agency for Areawide Water Quality Planning in the region, CMAP is also engaged in a variety of water quality planning activities that include watershed planning, nonpoint source management, wastewater planning, volunteer lake monitoring program, and other work that supports the objectives of the Clean Water Act. CMAP is also working to advance stormwater management and flood prevention by better integrating best practices into land use and transportation planning decisions.

At the national level, Illinois is a party to the Great Lakes — St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (Compact), a binding agreement between the eight Great Lakes states to protect, conserve, restore, improve, and manage the renewable but finite water resources of the Great Lakes Basin for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of all basin citizens. The Compact does not supplant a U.S. Supreme Court Decree under which Illinois' diversion of Lake Michigan is governed. Yet Illinois is obligated to comply with the Compact's water conservation and efficiency programs provision to promote "Environmentally Sound and Economically Feasible Water Conservation Measures." This includes any measures that promote the efficient use of water, application of sound planning principles, and demand-side and supply-side measures or incentives.

Water and GO TO 2040

Water resources play a critical, yet often overlooked, role in sustaining economic prosperity and environmental health in our seven-county region. Though Lake Michigan provides an excellent source of high quality affordable drinking water, the lake's capacity to serve the region's needs is limited by legal constraints that preclude ever-increasing demands on this resource. Furthermore, the infrastructure used to distribute drinking water has seen long-term underinvestment in many places, leading to significant waste of water through leakage. In addition, some parts of the region face increasing expenses, environmental consequences, and potential long-term depletion of groundwater resources. Thus, conservation and efficient use of water is a top priority for GO TO 2040.

GO TO 2040 is informed by the previously developed Water 2050 and thus, recommends a number of actions to better conserve and manage water resources, including a variety of water conservation measures such as using more efficient appliances in homes or using full cost water pricing by utilities. Water conservation goals should be integrated with land use planning, including preservation of open space in aquifer recharge areas and using green infrastructure to manage stormwater, among other activities. Shifting groundwater dependent communities to surface water supplies and consolidating some of the region's water utilities is also recommended by GO TO 2040. 

At the same time, the region is often concerned about too much water, not too little. With broad floodplains and typically clayey soils, northeastern Illinois is flood prone. The increased runoff from impervious areas like roofs, streets, and parking lots compared with farm fields, prairies, and woodlands means that flooding will be worse, since more rainfall will be converted to runoff. Many areas – especially the watersheds of the Des Plaines and Little Calumet Rivers, but others as well – are threatened by flooding, which is exacerbated by historic development patterns and lack of detention storage.

GO TO 2040 calls for integrating land use policies and site planning with water resources and identifies watershed planning as an essential tool to identify water resource problems and evaluate retrofit projects to address them, whether the problem is flooding or poor water quality or loss of habitat. Watershed plans, which often feature the most comprehensive natural resources inventory available for most areas, consider multi-objective projects to reduce point- and nonpoint-source pollution, improve aquatic habitat, and reduce control flooding. GO TO 2040 identifies the need for county stormwater ordinances to not just rely on detention, but also to reduce the runoff volume, as well as make a commitment to using green infrastructure to manage stormwater. The plan also recognizes the need to develop sustainable sources of financing for stormwater retrofits and to provide performance data to stormwater managers.

GO TO 2040 recommends a number of interrelated actions to better conserve and manage water resources, organized by four subject areas:

  • Support water use conservation efforts
  • Integrate land use policies and site planning with water resources
  • Encourage watershed planning and stormwater infrastructure retrofits
  • Optimize water and energy sources and scale of operation. 

 

Loading more updates...