Water Supply Planning

Water Supply Planning

Water resources are essential for sustaining economic prosperity, environmental and public health, and quality of life in the region. The leading sources of water in the region are Lake Michigan, groundwater aquifers, and the Fox and Kankakee Rivers. Access to Lake Michigan water has been critical to regional development and, if well managed, will continue to provide a sustainable supply of water into the future for much of the region. However, population growth and industrial development has led to increasing withdrawals from constrained groundwater resources.

A combination of strategies by stakeholders will be needed to ensure an adequate supply of water in northeastern Illinois. ON TO 2050 recognizes the need to coordinate and conserve the region’s shared water supply resources and presents a series of strategies focused on incorporating water supply and demand considerations into planning, strengthening regional water supply management, maintaining drinking water infrastructure, and managing demand. ON TO 2050 builds on the recommendations of Water 2050, which provided the region with a detailed set of water conservation and efficiency measures as well as land use planning strategies that protect supply, reduce demand, and minimize infrastructure costs.

As our region grows, it is critical that water resources are conserved and used efficiently. CMAP supports an integrated approach to water resource management and uses ON TO 2050 and Water 2050 to guide programming. Learn more about these regional efforts:

ON TO 2050 Regional Water Demand Forecast

CMAP, in partnership with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the University of Illinois Extension, has updated the regional water demand forecast to the year 2050 for the seven counties of northeastern Illinois. The ON TO 2050 Regional Water Demand Forecast uses the most recent socioeconomic forecast and water withdrawal trends to estimate future water withdrawals.

Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply / Demand Plan

CMAP facilitated and now leads implementation of Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply / Demand Plan in 2010. Water 2050 is a science-based plan that outlines how best to avoid an imbalance between water supply and demand in the Chicago region. 

Reducing Water Loss

CMAP is working with the IDNR Lake Michigan Water Allocation Program to improve understanding of water loss control practices and challenges faced by community water suppliers whose source of water is Lake Michigan.

Northwest Water Planning Alliance

CMAP is assisting the Northwest Water Planning Alliance, a coalition of over 70 communities and their county governments formed to collaboratively plan for shared groundwater resources.

Full Cost Water Pricing

CMAP, in partnership with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the University of Illinois Extension, has developed a manual that explores full-cost water pricing as a tool for local decision makers interested in sustainably managing community water supply and infrastructure.  

Municipal Conservation and Efficiency Planning

Water conservation and efficiency planning and best practice implementation are two important means to ensure that the region has adequate water resources in the future. 


CMAP and partners have designed several resources to assist public water suppliers and municipalities interested in pursuing system efficiency and targeted conservation.