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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 at the University of Illinois.




The Illinois State Water Survey’s Health and Environmental Applications Laboratory is the new home of the World Data Centre for Precipitation Chemistry, which receives and archives precipitation chemistry data and complementary information from stations across the globe.



map of Imperial Valley groundwater monitoring locations 

The Imperial Valley Water Authority (IWVA) comprises all of Mason County and four townships in Tazewell County and is tasked under the Water Authorities Act of 1951 with "reasonably regulat[ing] the use of water." The Water Survey supports IWVA by collecting and providing access to a wealth of groundwater and precipitation data. On the IWVA website, people can access groundwater data for 17 wells, including real-time hydrographs for 14 locations. The Water Survey also manages a network of 20 raingages and provides a monthly precipitation report. 



 snow, grass, soil

With stations across the state, the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program gathers critical data on Illinois’ water, soil, and climate. This information on growing and pest degree days, soil temperature and moisture, water table levels, and in-stream sediment is used every day by thousands of Illinoisans in the agriculture, renewable energy, and construction industries.

Soil temperatures are particularly important to farmers as they determine when to work fields and plant crops. WARM collects hourly data and provides statewide maps of soil temps 2 inches under bare soil, 4 inches under bare soil, 4 inches under sod, and 8 inches under sod. Daily maximums and minimums are available in addition to the hourly data. 

On the website, users can also get soil temperature data down to the last hour for stations at Belleville, Big Bend, Bondville, Brownstown, Carbondale, Champaign, DeKalb, Dixon Springs, Fairfield, Freeport, Monmouth, Olney, Peoria, Perry, Rend Lake, Snicarte, Springfield, Stelle, and St. Charles.

To access soil temperature data and maps, visit the WARM website. Registration is required to tap all of the site's features and data, but access is free. 



 Dave Kristovich, Liang Chen, Trent Ford, Ashish Sharma

Several new scientists have joined the Water Survey’s Climate and Atmospheric Science team in the past 18 months, bringing new scientific expertise and greater research capacity. The team is investigating the potential statewide impacts of climate change, including extreme precipitation changes (flooding, drought), availability of atmospheric resources for green energy generation in Illinois, changes in the urban heat island with time and how various ways of mitigating the heat island may impact Chicago climate, impacts of increased irrigation on the regional and larger-scale climate, and integration of climate models into systems that take into account human population growth, health, and activities. In addition, members of the group conduct cutting-edge research to improve weather models and develop tools for predicting dispersion. 

Get to know the Climate and Atmospheric Science team! 





Scientists at the Water Survey and the Illinois State Geological Survey compiled an Illinois Natural Hazard Risk Assessment Resource Guide to provide natural hazard and risk resources specifically relevant to Illinois. The document includes the websites and resources for communities in Illinois to use as they prepare natural hazard risk assessments. Download and share this valuable resource! 




ISWS held the first of five statewide events commemorating 125 Years of Water and Weather on Feb. 4 in Champaign. Scientists from the survey discussed how climate change will impact Illinois communities, how the Water Survey helps communities understand and mitigate flood risk, data on sediment trends, and the Mahomet Aquifer, the source of drinking water for Central Illinois. More info and slides from the event are available online

The next anniversary event will be held April 29 in Springfield

April 22: Is My Water Safe to Drink? Common Questions about Private Wells
May 20: Groundwater and Well Construction 101



Since the early 1900s, Water Survey staff have often been called upon to investigate problems with wells. The ingenious device on the left was created by Water Survey staff in 1934 to view the interior of a well at the University of Illinois. A Kodak camera was suspended in the well and pictures were taken to help assess down-hole problems. This was the beginning of the “down-hole camera” development for water wells in Illinois. At right are pictures of the well screen in the University of Illinois’ Well No. 8. Well screen fouling, as well as well casing joint problems viewed from these photos helped engineers determine what, if anything, could be done to improve or fix poor pumping rate problems.

downhole camera device and 1934 well images




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