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Illinois State Water Survey

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  • Laura Keefer named Illinois State Hydrologist

  • Soil temperatures and moisture levels declining in early March

  • Soil temperatures this winter in Illinois were warmer than normal

  • Water Survey to receive $1M for rural outreach programs

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) will receive more than $1 million in funding through 2021 to support its drinking water outreach programs for private well owners and small, rural communities.

  • 2018 Celebration of Excellence

    On April 11, the Prairie Research Institute honored employees for their outstanding achievements and excellent work. Selection committees composed of staff from across the organization reviewed multiple strong nominations before selecting the 2018 honorees.

  • Network now monitors air temperature inversions in several locations

  • Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel to retire in December

    Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist, has announced that he will retire in December 2018 after 34 years at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). In his current position, Angel has served as the primary source of science-based weather and climate information and services for the state of Illinois since 1997.

  • Users of data on Illinois environmental conditions will now register for access

    Starting this month, users will be asked to register to access data on Illinois’ weather, soil, and water conditions on the University of Illinois’ Water & Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program website. Data are still free of charge.

  • ISWS investigates the potential for stormwater credit trading in Cook County

    In 2017, The Metropolitan Planning Council, The Nature Conservancy, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District in Cook County collaborated on a feasibility study to consider stormwater credit trading as an alternative to creating on-site facilities for site development or redevelopment. As part of this study, the collaborators contracted a team of engineers and hydrologists at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), joined by U of I Department of Landscape Architecture staff, to assess the land area that has the potential for off-site stormwater management facilities in suburban Cook County

  • Warmest May on record for Illinois

  • Record-Breaking Wet February in Illinois

  • April 2018 was second-coldest on record for Illinois

    Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel reports that the statewide average temperature for Illinois in april was 44.7 degrees, 7.9 degrees below normal. The only colder April on records was in 1907, with an average temperature of 43.1.

  • Cooler soil temperatures in mid-April

  • ISGS, ISWS install new wells for national groundwater monitoring

    Scientists and staff from the Illinois State Geological Survey and the Illinois State Water Survey  ollaborated with county and local governments in Kane County to install groundwater-monitoring wells in northeast Illinois as part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Ground Water Monitoring Network

  • Fourth wettest February-March on record in Illinois

  • Soils across most of Illinois are warmer than normal

  • Illinois was warmer and wetter than normal in August and in the summer

    The statewide average temperature for Illinois in August was 74.9 degrees, 1.3 degrees above normal. The statewide average rainfall was 5.25 inches, 1.66 inches above normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. 

  • Soils cool across Illinois

    Cooler weather has caused soil temperatures to decrease across the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • January in Illinois was cold and dry

    January in Illinois was colder and drier than normal without much snow, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois.

  • Soils were drying in mid-August

    Drier weather this month has caused declining soil moisture, especially in central Illinois, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Illinois has warm, wet June

  • Soil temperatures across Illinois are rising

  • Drying, warming soils across Illinois

    Soils are drying out after the early September rain, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • September in Illinois had above-normal temperatures and rainfall

    The Illinois statewide average temperature for September was 70.0 degrees, 3.8 degrees above normal and the 12th warmest September on record, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. 

  • Central Illinois weather station is upgraded to track air pollution particles

    After 23 years of data collection on atmospheric conditions at the Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worked with scientists at the Prairie Research Institute to move the monitoring system to a new temperature-controlled building.

  • Artificial Intelligence Scores High in Accuracy to Predict Water Contamination

    New, effective solutions are revealed when scientists use computer programs that simulate human intelligence to forecast drinking water contamination in agricultural areas, according to Momcilo Markus, hydrologist at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

  • Upwind Lakes Can Influence the Intensity of Lake-Effect Snowstorms over Downwind Lakes

    Research shows that small lakes even hundreds of miles away can cause lake-effect snows to intensify around the Great Lakes, a phenomenon that may occur more often with climate change, according to David Kristovich, head of the Center for Atmospheric Science at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Warmer soils continue into July

    Soils continue to be warmer than normal in mid-July, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Illinoisans experienced bone-chilling weather changes in October

    The Illinois weather in October 2018 dished up a mixed bag of conditions with temperatures in the 90s, the first fall frost, the first snow of the season, and widespread heavy rains, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey.

  • July was slightly cooler and drier than normal in Illinois

    The statewide average temperature in July was 75.1 degrees, just 0.3 degrees below normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. 

  • Groundwater is plentiful for water supplies in future years, but surface water may be lacking, especially for Springfield, putting East-Central Illinois communities at risk for water shortages in a serious drought, according to George Roadcap, Hydrogeologist with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) in the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Study Identifies Cities Where Water Shortages May be a Future Issue in East-Central Illinois

    Groundwater is plentiful for water supplies in future years, but surface water may be lacking, especially for Springfield, putting East-Central Illinois communities at risk for water shortages in a serious drought, according to George Roadcap, Hydrogeologist with the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) in the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Report for the Urban Flooding Awareness Act

    The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has released a new report examining the prevalence and costs associated with urban flooding in Illinois, along with strategies and recommendations for minimizing damage to property from this flooding. The Illinois General Assembly called upon IDNR to prepare the report in collaboration with several state agencies.

  • Sediment causes economic and environmental concerns in the Illinois River valley

    Researchers at the Prairie Research Institute's Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) have computed a sediment budget over 35 years to determine the amount of sediment coming into the river valley and the amount going out to the Mississippi River

  • Water Survey to analyze flood risks along the Little Wabash River

    The Illinois State Water Survey announced today that new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of the Little Wabash River is underway as part of a study to help local communities identify areas of high flood risk along the Little Wabash River and its tributaries for flood mitigation planning.

  • Soil Moisture Levels Increased in Southern Illinois with the Weekend Rains

    Soil moisture levels in southern Illinois increased over the weekend as the region saw more than 3 inches of rain at some locations, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program Manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

  • PRI researchers gain new insights into how groundwater flows within the Illinois Basin

    A conceptual model of water movement in rock layers many feet underground, published by Prairie Research Institute scientists, shows for the first time that water is flowing steadily south through the thick sequence of rock layers that form the Illinois Basin.

  • September in Illinois: Cooler and Wetter than Normal

    September was the first cooler and wetter than normal month in 2012, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign

  • ISWS Provides Resources for Irrigation Reporting

    Starting this growing season, farm irrigators who use high capacity wells or intakes are required to report their water use.  The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) has created a website to assist irrigators with this mandatory reporting process, according to Steve Wilson, ISWS groundwater hydrologist.

  • State Climatologist Digs up Historical Weather Records for Illinois

    The oldest official weather records ever found in Illinois, dating back to 1820, reveal temperature data that showed remarkable accuracy given the technology of the day, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS).

  • October in Illinois: Cool and Wet

    October 2012 was cooler and wetter than normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

  • Warm year in Illinois ends with a cold, dry December

    2017 was the sixth warmest year on record in Illinois with a statewide average temperature of 54.3 degrees, or 2 degrees above normal, in spite of the very cold ending to December.

  • Anniversary of First Hook Echo Tornado Captured on Radar

    Today is the 62nd anniversary of the first documented case of a tornado detected by radar. Illinois State Water Survey staff captured the historic event on film on April 9, 1953. This discovery helped lead to the first national weather radar network in the United States, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Changing methods for road salt application may ease environmental effects

    Salt crystals on roads and parking lots shimmer in the muted sunlight of an Illinois winter day. Once washed away into rivers and streams, salt contaminates the local environment, according to groundwater geochemist Walt Kelly with the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI).

  • Groundwater Awareness Week: March 10-16, 2013

    In the spring, just before peak water use season begins, is a good time to check that your water well is working properly and that your water is safe to drink, according to Walt Kelly, interim head of the Center for Groundwater Science at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), University of Illinois.

  • Illinois State Water Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey drill new deep sandstone monitoring well in Kendall County

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed drilling of a new deep sandstone monitoring well in December 2015. The monitoring well is located in Kendall County, southeast of the town of Newark, IL. The 1,180 feet deep borehole has two nested wells, one which is open to the St. Peter Sandstone and one that is open to the deeper Ironton-Galesville Sandstone. The wells will monitor changing groundwater levels in these aquifers, which are an important source of groundwater for municipal and industrial needs.

  • New Homeowners' To-Do List Should Include Well Water Testing

    Looking for that special house in the country?  Don't forget to have the well tested to ensure safe drinking water, advises Steve Wilson, groundwater hydrologist at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

  • Dryness and Drought in Illinois

    llinois Drought Update - 8/30/2007

    Illinois State Water Survey, Department of Natural Resources

    Precipitation deficits have increased across southern Illinois during August. The area has also been subject to very warm daytime temperatures, with maximum temperatures averaging above 95°F, or 8°F above normal. The combination of lack of precipitation and high temperatures has led to the intensification of drought to severe status as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The impacts of the drought are agricultural currently, although continued dryness in the fall may lead to water resource impacts. The severe drought area in southern Illinois is on the northwestern edge of a much larger and more severe drought encompassing an area from the southern Ohio Valley to the Gulf of Mexico. Substantial temperature relief and scattered heavy precipitation occurred over the evening of August 29-30. The next five days are expected to be dry throughout and gradually warming, but there may be a return to a more active weather pattern with better chances of rain during the first week of September.

  • Steve Wilson to serve on program advisory committee for National Environmental Health Association

    The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), a professional society for environmental health practitioners with thousands of members nationwide, has invited Illinois State Water Survey groundwater hydrologist Steve Wilson to participate in its Program Advisory Committee, which helps set policy and direction for NEHA programs.

  • Illinois State Water Survey to Study Nippersink Creek

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) announced today that new hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of Nippersink Creek will be performed in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources-Office of Water Resources (IDNR-OWR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The study will help local communities to identify areas of high flood risk along Nippersink Creek for flood mitigation planning.

  • ISWS is Pioneer in Tracking Tornadoes by Radar

    The Illinois State Water Survey played a key role in developing tornado-tracking technology used today to issue warnings of impending severe storms.  While testing radar equipment to measure rainfall rates in 1953, ISWS meteorologists were the first to photograph and document a hook echo, a classic sign of tornado development.