Regional Water Demand Forecasting

The greater Chicago region obtains drinking water from Lake Michigan, inland surface waters, and groundwater sources. However, Illinois’ access to lake water is governed by a U.S. Supreme Court Consent Decree that limits the amount of water that Illinois can withdraw. Groundwater withdrawals from the deep-bedrock aquifer have generally been shown to exceed the recharge rate. Studies have also revealed that some withdrawals from the shallow-bedrock aquifers capture subsurface water flow that would otherwise help feed local rivers and streams.

Child drinks from water hose

A combination of strategies by various stakeholders will be needed to ensure an adequate supply of water in northeastern Illinois. As the region grows, it is critical that water resources are conserved and used efficiently. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, in partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, is forecasting regional water demand to the year 2050 for the seven counties of northeastern Illinois. The forecast provides the region with insights on demand and strategies for ensuring that water supply meets future demand.

For more information, view the Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan

Contact Info

Topic Specialist

Margaret Schneemann
Water Resource Economist

Research Projects

Carolyn Foley
Research Coordinator


Ethan Chitty
Administrative Assistant

Education & Training

Terri Hallesy
Education Coordinator