Water resources play an essential, yet often overlooked, role in sustaining economic prosperity and environmental health in our seven-county region. CMAP led development of Water 2050, the official water supply/demand plan for northeastern Illinois, and is also the delegated authority of the region's Area Water Quality Management Plan.
Though Lake Michigan provides clean and affordable water, the lake's capacity to serve the region's need is restricted by law. Other groundwater dependent parts of the region face less certain supplies over the long term, water quality challenges, and environmental side effects in some locales from over pumping. Thus, conservation and efficient use of water is a top priority for GO TO 2040.
GO TO 2040 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. CMAP's role in planning for water resources is linked to implementation of the Water 2050 plan, which was produced in 2010 in conjunction with the Regional Water Supply Planning Group. It is the official water supply/demand plan for an 11-county planning area -- the CMAP region of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will, along with Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, and Kankakee counties.