Illinois Water Shortage

June 5, 2006

Environmental groups and Illinois legislators today unveiled a program to stave off water shortages.

Northern Illinois saw its worst drought on record last summer.

Row after row of brown lawns got state legislators thinking.

Can the region add two million residents in the next twenty years and still have enough water for new homes and new industries?

The question spurred legislators to fund the new study.

29th District State Senator Susan Garrett says, "Without understanding how much water is underneath the ground and how much water we can take from Lake Michigan, and how much the demand is going to be, we're just shooting bullets into the sky. We have to understand where we are on this, and right now that's not clear."

Senator Garrett says Lake Michigan probably can't solve possible water problems.

Great Lakes states restrict how far out lake water can be pumped.

In Illinois, that means towns west of DuPage County have to make due with deep wells.

Hydrologists worry those sources could run low without conservation efforts.