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dry dirt
 

Illinois State Water Survey News: May 2021

 
 

The Illinois State Water Survey conducts state-of-the-art research and collects, analyzes, archives, and disseminates high-quality, objective data and technical information, providing a sound technical basis for the citizens and policymakers of Illinois to make decisions. ISWS is a division of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI).

 
corn stalks
 

Vegetation plays a role in developing flash droughts

 
 

Farmland vegetation and grasses can affect both the frequency and extent of flash droughts, say ISWS scientists, who hope to better understand the phenomenon and improve early warnings.

 
tree canopy with sky
 

Water Survey experts help assess climate change impact on Illinois

 
 

Illinois is undergoing a rapid change in weather patterns that has started to transform the state, according to a new scientific assessment by The Nature Conservancy in Illinois. Scientific experts from the Water Suvey contributed to the report, including previous State Climatologist Jim Angel and current State Climatologist Trent Ford and Daniel Abrams, Walt Kelly, Momcilo Markus, Sally McConkey, and Ashish Sharma. 

 
rinsing water collection bottle
 

ISWS study finds lead in private wells

 
 

Water Survey scientists analyzed private well water samples from Jackson, Peoria, and Kane counties and confirmed that homes in Illinois with domestic wells, especially older ones, can be vulnerable to lead contamination.

 
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's watershed management areas
 

ISWS helps Cook County manage stormwater

 
 

Since 2015, experts from ISWS have been supporting the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) in making informed watershed management decisions for its vast service area that includes 128 suburban communities in Cook County. The first two phases of this long-term project have had a major impact on development throughout the region and helped define one of the most visible aspects of stormwater management: detention requirements

 
   
 

March–May funded projects

 
 
  • Aerosol Monitoring at Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site (PI Jennie Atkins): The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has conducted long-term weather and aerosol monitoring at the Water Survey’s Bondville Environmental and Atmospheric Research Site (BEARS) since 1994. This renewed contract provides support for BEARS and its staff and will extend the monitoring through 2026. Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
  • Structures at Flood Risk Web Application maintenance and Risk Assessments Project Support (PI Lisa Graff): The structures at flood risk (SAFR) website and database contain structure-specific flood risk information for buildings in and near mapped floodplains. This project will continue multi-agency project coordination and provide updates and maintenance that ensure the SAFR website remains a high-quality asset for communities and agency professionals and continues to improve in accessibility and utility. Funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources
 
   
 

Staff spotlight

 
 
 Dawn Cosentino
 

Dawn Cosentino joined ISWS in February as a project engineer with its Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mitigation Program (CHAMP). Joining ISWS as a fully remote employee during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dawn looks forward to getting back out into the field helping people right in their communities and finally getting to meet her coworkers in person!

 
historic image of B-17 plane that was turned into a weather forecasting station
 

ISWS hosted an international water resources conference in 1951

 
 

Nearly 70 years ago on Oct. 1, 1951, ISWS hosted an international water resources conference that drew in over 230 scientists from around the world—including Washington, D.C., New York, St. Louis, Texas, California, Montreal, and Australia—to discuss water supply, weather and radar technology, and sedimentation. The event also marked the dedication of a new $400,000 water resources building on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.

 
   
 

ISWS employment opportunities

 
 

The Water Survey is currently seeking a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Environmental Monitoring, an Environmental Health Scientist and up to two Environmental Health ProfessionalsTo see all open positions, visit the PRI job board.

 
 
  
 
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