Due to projected growth of the population and economy, Illinois could require 20 to 50 percent more water in coming decades. Ensuring adequate and reliable supplies of clean water for all users at reasonable cost requires us to think ahead. As a state, we need to know how much water will be available, how much water we will need, what the options are for providing additional supplies, reducing demand, and what the impacts and costs will be.
Since 2006 the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has tasked the Water Survey with leading regional water supply planning activities for 11 Illinois regions. Learn more about the team that carries out this important activity.
- Groundwater geochemist Walt Kelly leads the Groundwater Section and is the principal investigator for the regional water supply project. In addition to administering the grant and managing the team, he also assesses groundwater quality in the regions to determine potential contamination issues that may influence water supply planning policy.
- Daniel Abrams, Associate Research Scientist-Groundwater Flow Modeler, is responsible for the development and maintenance of the groundwater flow models of the state, with a particular emphasis on streamlining workflows and communicating risk to stakeholders throughout Illinois. His current work focuses on understanding the looming risk to water supply in Northeastern Illinois and creating tools for rapid dissemination of data and model results, particularly for irrigated regions. New research efforts include the coupling of groundwater flow models to other types of models, including surface water and reactive transport.
- Cecilia Cullen, Scientific Specialist-Hydrogeology, assists with updating and improving the groundwater flow models of Will County while communicating with stakeholders to collect monthly data and understand emerging risks to water supply. Cullen is also researching new methodologies to assess water quality using groundwater flow models, with a focus on increasing chloride concentrations in Will County and volatile organic compounds in East St. Louis.
- Dan Hadley, Assistant Scientist, Hydrogeology, is responsible for managing the statewide observation well network and implementing a workflow to provide real-time water level information from observation wells. He also assists with regional assessment of sandstone aquifer supplies in northeast Illinois, groundwater flow modeling, and development of online interactive maps.
- Conor Healy, Assistant Scientist, Quantitative Hydrology, coordinates the Illinois Water Inventory program, an annual water use data collection program, in order to support groundwater and surface water modeling efforts and larger water supply planning goals. He assists in the development of methodologies and frameworks necessary for producing water demand analyses for the state.
- Vlad Iordache, Scientific Specialist-Water Resources Application Developer, is automating groundwater data collection, analysis, and display capabilities related to the Illinois Water Inventory Program and water supply planning in the Rock River planning region.
- Allan Jones, Scientific Specialist, Hydrogeology, is developing a flow and transport model of the American Bottoms (East St. Louis) and calculating recharge rates and estimating the sustainable yield of the Middle Illinois region.
- Michael Krasowski, Scientific Specialist-Hydrogeology, works on groundwater resources investigations for the Rockford area, preliminary groundwater modeling for the city of Crest Hill, and data visualization.
- Devin Mannix, Assistant Scientist, Hydrogeology, is assisting with the update of shallow geology in the regional model, incorporating Iowa geology and water use data for the Rock River region, continuing work on sandstone aquifer supplies in northeast Illinois, aiding development of statewide assessments of sustainable yield, and assisting with groundwater quality assessments.
- Tyler Pierson, Assistant Scientist, Hydrogeology, assists the Illinois Department of Transportation and is responsible for overseeing and documenting dewatering well treatment processes in the East St. Louis area. He works with Water Survey colleagues to model groundwater flow as affected by large pumping volumes and fluctuating Mississippi River levels.
- Postdoctoral researcher Guanping Qie is assisting with surface water supply planning, developing hydrologic models that will be used to investigate surface water availability under changing conditions.
- Kevin Rennels: Assistant Scientist, Hydrogeology, collects field data and adds it to the database and maintains monitoring wells and equipment.
- Steve Wilson, Groundwater Hydrologist, manages the Illinois Water Inventory Program staff and assists with groundwater assessment product review and support for those efforts.
- Jason Zhang, Water Supply Hydrologist, is working on surface water resources for water supply planning, developing stochastic hydrology approaches to estimate streamflow hydrologic index to characterize surface water availability during a wide range of hydro-climatic conditions with the focus on drought conditions, updating and developing the streamflow assessment tool, exploring yield analysis approaches for water supply reservoirs, and examining water demand by the power generation in Illinois.