Northeastern Illinois Sandstone Aquifer Water Levels (1959 to 2014)

Northeastern Illinois Sandstone Aquifer Water Levels (1959 to 2014)


In 2014 the Illinois State Water Survey conducted
the largest mass measurement of water levels in the sandstone aquifers of northern Illinois
since 1980. This study also included water levels measured in southern Wisconsin. In
northeastern Illinois water levels from the sandstone aquifers have been measured readily
since 1959 at 5 to 7 year intervals. The focus of this video is to show how water levels
have changed throughout northeastern Illinois. We also show how withdrawals from the sandstone
have changed. This video runs from 1959 to 2014. From 1959 to 1980, withdrawals from
the sandstone aquifer in northeastern Illinois rose at a rapid rate. Water levels in response
to this increase in withdrawals decreased over this time frame. In 1980, groundwater
withdrawals had reached their peak and reductions in the sandstone started to slowly, at first,
be reduced. In the mid-80’s, reductions of sandstone withdrawals increased rapidly due
in large part to a switch in Cook and DuPage County going to Lake Michigan water. In response,
water levels rose over this time. In 1995, the communities in Cook and DuPage Counties
had largely switched from the sandstone. However, withdrawals in Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties
continued and increased. As a result, water levels decreased in these areas over this
timeframe. Slight trends showing a reduction in withdrawal have been observed over the
past five years. In the 2014 measurement, water levels in the Joliet region and eastern
Kendall County had reached their lowest point in those areas since 1959. These water levels are 200 ft below mean sea level and 800 ft below predevelopment levels.

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