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Countywide forecasts of water use available for Illinois, Midwest

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Water use in Illinois is expected to grow faster than the population in the next 20 years, with Chicago-area counties leading increased demand in 89 of the state's 102 counties, according to two new studies released by the Illinois State Water Survey.

"These studies project county-level water use for Illinois and five other states in the Midwest, information that is critical if we are to ensure that we have adequate and safe supplies of this life-sustaining element in the future," said ISWS Chief Derek Winstanley, an adjunct professor of geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ben Dziegielewski, a professor in the department of geography and environmental resources at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, is lead author of both reports: "County-Level Forecast of Water Use in Illinois: 20052025" and "Countywide Projections of Community Water Supply Needs in the Midwest."

The first report includes estimates of future water use in Illinois counties based on the best available data and forecasting methods. The result is a set of water-demand forecasts for seven water-use sectors in Illinois: thermoelectric, public supplies, self-supplied commercial and industrial usage, irrigation, mining and livestock.

Water use is expected to grow faster than the state's population, which is projected to increase by 1.5 million over the next 20 years," Dziegielewski said. "Projected water use increases from 1,302 gallons per capita per day in 2000 to 1,487 per capita per day in 2025, primarily due to projected increases in the thermoelectric sector."

By 2025, almost 17 billion gallons of water per day will be needed for generating electricity in Illinois, he said.

That amount, Winstanley said, will be about eight times greater than the amount of water diverted from Lake Michigan.

"Some 97 percent of the water needed to produce energy is recycled, but up to 3 percent is consumed," h
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Contact: Eva Kingston, Illinois State Water Survey
eva@sws.uiuc.edu
217-244-7270
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
17-Mar-2005


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