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NEWS FROM ISWS: NOVEMBER 2019

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 scientific basis for the citizens and policymakers of Illinois to make decisions. 

We hope you enjoy this update on the Water Survey's programs, projects, people, and impact! If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact info@isws.illinois.edu

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford

Hydroclimatologist Trent Ford, most recently an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, recently joined the Water Survey as the new Illinois State Climatologist, the authoritative source of weather and climate information and services for the state of Illinois. 

 
 
 
 
 welcome
 

Since the beginning of the year the Water Survey has hired more than a dozen new people, expanding our capabilities and capacity.

 
 
 
 
 rain on umbrella
 

Researchers at the Water Survey recently applied newer data to update ISWS Bulletin 70, the publication that provides the state standards for expected extreme storms.

 
 
 
 
 

FEATURED PROGRAM

 CHAMP flood map
 

The Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program (CHAMP) provides expertise in flooding issues in support of a variety of projects, including conducting flood studies for counties, researching flood impacts of levee failures, and contributing to the Urban Flooding Awareness Act Report mandated by the state legislature. CHAMP conducts FEMA Flood Insurance Studies, develops Flood Insurance Rate Maps, maintains the Coordinated Needs Management Database for Illinois, and performs watershed-scale hydrologic and hydraulic studies for FEMA.

 
 
 
 

FOCUS ON DATA

 municipal water source map
 

Scientists at the Water Survey have developed an interactive map of where every community in Illinois gets their water. Sources of water throughout the state include Lake Michigan, inland surface waters such as rivers and reservoirs, groundwater, or a combination of sources. Communities either self-supply their water or buy water from other communities or public water distributors. The web of water purchases is quite complex, particularly for Lake Michigan users. Sometimes water is bought and resold and can pass through many facilities before making its way to its final destination.

 
 
 

FEATURED PROJECT

 Illinois Groundwater Flow Model area map
 

Facing an imminent water shortage and drilling deeper into its aquifers to meet demands, planning committees and legislators from Joliet and surrounding communities are partnering with ISWS to prevent a water crisis. Read more about this public engagement activity

In connection with this effort, the ISWS Groundwater Section was awarded the National Ground Water Association Outstanding Groundwater Supply Project Award for 2019. 

 
 
 
 laura keefer collecting data, rain gage
 

Water Survey staff recently received funding from state and federal agencies for projects involving water supply planning, monitoring at-risk groundwater supplies, preparing flood maps, collecting weather and soil data, and more.  

 
 
 
 

ISWS IN THE NEWS

Illinois Farmer Today spotlighted the Water Survey's well testing capabilities in two recent articles:

 
 
 
 

ISWS EVENTS

water bucket 
 

On Nov. 14, this free webinar will discuss the water well issues that are important to homebuyers, how to determine if the well water is safe to drink, and what a homeowner needs to know about well care. The webinar is presented by Steve Wilson, a 30-year veteran of the Illinois State Water Survey, through The Private Well Class program, a collaboration between the Water Survey and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Nov. 7: From Goddard DAAC to GES DISC: What Does Data Science Do?
Dec.18: Is my water safe to drink? - Common questions about private wells
Jan. 22: Well care 101 - What you need to know to protect your family

 
 
 

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHT

Pat Motherway from ISWS performing maintenance at the Morrow Plots Weather Station, July 7, 1965. The Morrow Plots started in 1876 and are the oldest continuous agricultural experiment field in the United States. They were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

Water Survey weather monitoring at Morrow Plots