Lake Michigan provides a reliable supply of drinking water for a large population in the greater Chicago area of northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, but is being tapped to its legal limit. And, many outlying suburbs that depend on deep aquifers for drinking water are using them at unsustainable rates. Water supply planning can increase preparedness for droughts and climate change, reduce regional conflicts, and promote conservation. Providing adequate supplies of clean water at a reasonable cost will enhance economic development, environmental protection, and public health. IISG works closely with regional partners to play a strategic role in initiating and advancing water supply planning.



Northeast Illinois Water Rates Dashboard
This free water rates tool provides utilities in the Chicago area with the ability to compare their residential water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system size, customer demograhpics, and geography.

Sustainable Water Pricing
The availability of water services is an important factor in determining a community’s outlook for further economic development. The future growth and sustainability of the community is dependent on managing water supply and demand  This program supports local decision makers as they address the role water price will play moving forward.

Outdoor Water Conservation 
Water use often reaches its peak during the dry summer months. Residential outdoor water use can drive the need for costly increases in water supply system capacity. Encouraging residents to conserve water during the critical summer months can make our water supply more sustainable.

An economic valuation of both regional water supply planning and the resulting conservation recommendations will enable better decision making as implementation of the region’s water supply plan goes forward.


Water Supply Planning Modeling Tool for Local Governments
Jesse Elam, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

More water supply research


Lawn and Landscape Practices for Northwest Planning Alliance Communities
Full-cost Water Pricing Guidebook

Web Links

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Regional Water Supply Study
Illinois Water Supply Planning – Illinois State Water Survey 
Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission
Purdue Water Community


Margaret Schneemann
Water Resource Economist

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University