CMAP offers assistance to municipalities and counties in northeastern Illinois working to improve and sustain the region's water resources. This resources section provides tools, guides, plans, and research that have been developed by CMAP or partners to help communities address water supply, water quality, and stormwater management concerns. 

Water Supply

CMAP and partners have designed several resources intended for public water suppliers and municipalities interested in pursuing system efficiency and targeted conservation. Communities that are exploring ways to attain additional water conservation will benefit from a suite of measures that include public outreach, regulations, and tools that assist utilities in identifying areas for increased efficiencies. 

Model Water Conservation Ordinance

ON TO 2050 and Water 2050 emphasize the importance of water use conservation in all sectors to maintain the demand at levels that are comparable to supply. The CMAP Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance  provides guidance for adopting measures that promote better water use management.

Full Cost Water Pricing

ON TO 2050 specifically recommends full-cost pricing as fundamental to addressing both the need for investment in water infrastructure and the challenge of accommodating millions of additional residents in livable communities by mid-century.

Water Conservation Programs – A Planning Manual (M52)

This American Water Works Association manual provides information on how to develop, implement, and measure the success of a utility conservation program. It is intended for use by water utilities that are contemplating developing or improving their own conservation program.

Water Audits and Loss Control Programs (M36)

This American Water Works Association manual provides complete operational guidance and data on all aspects of leak detection, water audits, and water-loss control for water utilitites.

Water Conservation Plan Guidelines

This EPA document provides a framework for water managers to assess the cost-effectiveness of conservation, as well as the value of conservation in avoiding, lowering, or postponing supply-side capital and operating costs.

WaterSense Partnerships

WaterSense is a voluntary, nationally recognized program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) that promotes water conservation and efficiency by establishing and promoting the use of product standards. 

Lawn to Lake

CMAP partnered with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant on the Lawn to Lake program promoting healthy lawn and landscape practices in the Great Lakes region.

Bill Inserts

Water 2050 recommends that public water suppliers communicate regularly with water users about regional water demand and supply, the benefits of water conservation, and the actions being taken by the public water supplier to enhance conservation and stewardship. CMAP created the Bill Insert Program to serve as a method of public information outreach. The program has a library of bill inserts covering a variety of topics from lawn watering to infrastructure needs.

Water Quality

CMAP and partners have designed several resources intended for municipalities that are interested in reducing nonpoint source pollution and improving the conditions of their local watersheds.

Guidance for Developing Watershed Action Plans in Illinois

CMAP and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency developed a guidance document to help communities develop an effective watershed planning initiative that will produce a locally driven watershed action plan.

Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect our Waters

This U.S. EPA handbook helps communities, watershed organizations, and local, state, tribal, and federal environmental agencies develop and implement watershed plans to meet water quality standards and protect water resources. It is designed to help anyone undertaking a watershed planning effort, but should be particularly useful to persons working with impaired or threatened waters.

Model Ordinances

CMAP's predecessor, the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, created several model ordinances to help local governments protect natural resources and reduce the impacts of construction on downstream water quality, flood storage, and aquatic habitat.

FPA Process and Procedures Manual

This manual outlines the criteria by which CMAP evaluates proposed changes to current water-treatment boundaries, expansions of wastewater treatment facilities, and other water quality management plan amendments to ensure consistency with the federally-approved Illinois Water Quality Management Plan.

IEPA Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program Training Manual

The Training Manual provides an overview of lake processes, the cause and effect relationships that exist between lakes, watersheds, weather, and human activities, and monitoring techniques.

Lawn to Lake

CMAP partnered with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant on the Lawn to Lake program promoting healthy lawn and landscape practices in the Great Lakes region.

Water Quality Activities Report

This CMAP report provides an overview of water-related activities the agency led over 2015-16. To review recent CMAP activities for past years, visit: 20142013, 2012, 2011-12, 2009-10, 2008-09, 2007-08, 2005-07. For archived reports from the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission dating back to 1982, click here


CMAP and partners have designed several resources intended for municipalities that are interested in reducing flooding events and using stormwater management and improving the conditions of their local watersheds.

Stormwater Utilities for Local Governments

This CMAP publication describes how local governments can use stormwater utilities to address local flooding and drainage problems.

Using Green Infrastructure to Manage Urban Stormwater Quality

The University of Illinois at Chicago, CMAP, and several other organizations completed a report to the Illinois Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recommending ways to incorporate green infrastructure into state regulations.

Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities

This guidebook highlights a number of potential adaptation measures for drainage and flood protection measures in the face of climate change.

Calumet Stormwater Collaborative Repository

The Calumet Stormwater Collaborative developed a repository of resources that can help Calumet communities plan, pay for, and implement effective stormwater management strategies. Categories include:


Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply / Demand Plan, 2010

Water 2050 seeks to ensure that our region's relatively finite water supplies will be available for years to come, even as millions of new residents are expected by mid-century. Water 2050 makes recommendations that are designed to be implemented by a variety of stakeholders within the existing institutional structure of water supply planning and management. The cornerstone of the plan is a water use conservation and efficiency strategy that can reduce a significant percentage of new water demand.

Northwest Water Planning Alliance Strategic Plan: 2014-2016

The Northwest Water Planning Alliance Strategic Plan lays out a mission and vision statement as well as a set of strategies to collaboratively plan for shared groundwater resources that provide water to a coalition of over 70 communities.

Areawide Water Quality Management Plan, 1975

As required by the Clean Water Act, the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission prepared the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (Volume 1 and 2)  to control water pollution, from all sources in the region.

Illinois Water Quality Management Plan

This Plan consolidates and streamlines portions of approved State and Areawide Water Quality Management Plans in order to facilitate their usage in the operations of all designated Water Quality Management Agencies, of which CMAP is one.

Watershed Plans

CMAP and partners have created watershed plans for dozens of watersheds within the Chicago region. For more information on individual plans, visit here.

Water Conservation and Efficiency Plans

CMAP has assisted municipalities in developing water conservation and efficiency plans, for more information on individual plans, visit here.  


Several studies have been conducted that shed light on the existing status of the region's water resources and have helped to inform regional policy objectives.

ON TO 2050 Regional Water Demand Forecast, 2018

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.


An Assessment of Water Loss among Lake Michigan Permittees in Illinois, 2014

CMAP partnered with the Center for Neighborhood Technology to analyze water use data for Lake Michigan Permittees (2007-12) through the use of annual water use audit reports, an online survey, and discussions with nine permittee communities. The resulting report found that 195 community water systems lost over 22 billion gallons of water in 2012, enough to provide the residential needs of over 698,000 people for one year, and 21 percent of permittees exceed the eight percent annual water loss standard set by IDNR. 

This report considers the three water demand scenarios in relation to regional water supplies with particular emphasis placed on usage impacts expected on groundwater and the Fox River. Using models developed in-house by the Illinois State Water Survey, the impacts of drought and climate change are also described. The report also describes ongoing and future work that aims to highlight the relationship between water demand and regional supplies. 

This study, conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale in collaboration with CMAP and IDNR, examines water related consequences of population growth and three water demand scenarios for the region for the year 2050.

Following the Regional Water Demand report, this study examines the region's residential water-use data to determine the water-demand effects that would result from geographically differential patterns of population growth and housing types within the 11-county northeastern Illinois study area in.

This appendix reviews the state of scientific knowledge regarding climate change in northeastern Illinois with a particular focus on variables of interest to municipalities.


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