The Mahomet Aquifer is one of Illinois’ most important groundwater resources, serving as the primary source of drinking water for more than 500,000 people in 15 Illinois counties and providing an estimated 220 million gallons of water per day to communities, agriculture, industry, and rural wells. In 2017, the Illinois General Assembly created the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force (Task Force) to identify gaps in existing aquifer-protection regulations and efforts, specifically by: Developing a state plan to maintain the groundwater quality of the Mahomet Aquifer; Identifying current and potential contamination threats to the water quality of the Mahomet Aquifer; Identifying actions that might be taken to ensure the long-term protection of the Mahomet Aquifer; and Making legislative recommendations for the protection of the Mahomet Aquifer. The Task Force investigated and considered various actions, including legislative actions, to ensure the long-term protection of the Mahomet Aquifer and makes the following prioritized recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor:1. Provide 19.8 million to the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to use helicopter-based time-domain electromagnetics (HTEM) technology to more accurately map and characterize the Mahomet Aquifer to aid in identifying the connections with other aquifers and surface waters. 2. Use HTEM and other techniques to identify areas where the Mahomet Aquifer is recharged. 3. Integrate data collected via HTEM into next-generation groundwater flow models. 4. Develop and implement source water protection plans pursuant to 35 Ill. Adm. Code 604 Subpart C, after the effective date of adoption, for the community water supplies determined to be susceptible to groundwater contamination. 5. Implement the recommendations outlined for each identified threat and potential threat (as detailed below and in Section III.A) and provide additional funding (1 million for one-time equipment acquisition and an additional 2.3 million annually) to PRI to deploy state-of-the-art monitoring networks and create the analytical capability to identify emerging contaminants of concern. 6. Improve education and outreach regarding the Mahomet Aquifer such that all stakeholders are better informed about water resources, water demand, and water supply planning and management, particularly when plans are made, reviewed, and updated. 7. Develop a group with a mission similar to the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force that is a blend of other select individuals that serve in a quasi-government or government capacity to provide leadership, administrative stature, or process for regional water supply. 8. Plan cooperative research and data collection, analysis, management, and exchange by academic institutions, units of government, the private sector, and other stakeholders. 9. Use the established water supply planning process to review and update regional and local water supply plans at least every five years. 10. Ensure comprehensive use reporting by consistently and fully funding the Illinois Water Inventory Program.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - 2018|