connor 090121SPRINGFIELD – In response to increasing fears of future water insecurity in the Joliet area, legislation sponsored by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) provides for the establishment of a Joliet-region water commission.

“The water supply that our communities rely on won’t be able to provide for us by 2030. Our aquifer is being depleted at twice its natural refill rate, and we’re running out of time” Connor said. “If we don’t start building a solution now, we will face a water crisis.”

Joliet, Romeoville, Shorewood, Lockport, Lemont, Channahon, Elwood, and Minooka all use the underground Cambrian-Ordovician sandstone aquifer system as their primary source of water. The aquifer is being depleted at twice its natural recharge rate, forcing these communities to seek an answer before the depletion of the aquifer in 2030, according to a recent assessment by the city of Joliet.

Senate Bill 280 establishes the Regional Water Commissions Act, which would allow municipalities to form a regional commission to build, own, and operate a water system. This water commission will have the ability to build and operate a 31-mile pipeline connecting to the city of Chicago water system, providing a connection to Lake Michigan water for the community.

Not only will this pipeline offer a sustainable water source to local families, it will bring thousands of construction jobs to the community.

“Benjamin Franklin said ‘When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.’  This legislation ensures that our Joliet area communities never have to test that theory with a dry well,” Connor said. “Water is the most basic necessity, and planning for a secure and clean water source for ourselves and future generations isn’t optional, it is our most important mission.”

Senate Bill 280 now awaits further action.