Final Report: Your Water Your Future – A Residential Household Survey To Assess Our Water Future

water_reportThe continued expansion in residential growth in McLean County impacts water quality and quantity in many ways, including raising concerns about the availability of water for the future. Yet, much of the current research on non-point source pollution continues to focus on agricultural producers as the primary source, with very little emphasis on the impacts from the growing residential populations. To address these concerns, Mclean County Soil and Water Conservation District, in collaboration with Illinois State University, conducted a watershed social assessment, with an emphasis on the Lake Bloomington and Evergreen Lake Watersheds, during the summer of 2015. A random sample of 939 households in Bloomington, north Normal, Towanda, Hudson, and Lake Bloomington were selected to participate in the survey and a total of 550 households completed the survey, for an overall response rate of 58%.

Overall, respondents generally agree that they have a personal responsibility to protect water quality. Findings from this study will be used to help inform and design future outreach and education activities to increase the adoption of BMPs among the growing residential population. Findings will also be used to help update the current watershed management plans for Lake Bloomington Watershed and Evergreen Lake Watershed to better address the growing residential population. Funding for this project provided, in part, by the Governor of Illinois and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

Final Report: Your Water Your Future – A Residential Household Survey To Assess Our Water Future

Study Report

Water Your Opinions: A Social Assessment of the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen Watersheds

Study ReportThe Mclean County Soil and Water Conservation District, in collaboration with Illinois State University, has received funding from the Illinois EPA to conduct a watershed social assessment, with an emphasis on the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen Watersheds.  Water supply and water quality are critically important issues for both human health and the health of the natural environment we depend on to meet our basic needs. Despite the importance of water to our society, pollution and poor planning for how we use our water resources are growing problems. To address these issues the US EPA and the Illinois EPA provide funding for plans to protect these resources at the watershed scale. Efforts to plan for water use and protect water quality in watershed plans must incorporate social science to be successful, as it is people’s understandings and behaviors that must change to protect our water resources.

The first step in the current research process was a qualitative assessment of current perceptions, concerns, and desires for water resources in and around the watersheds by interviewing key stakeholders.  This assessment was conducted by Graduate Students at the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development between August and December, 2014.  The attached report documents the initial findings from this process.  These data will be used to help develop a residential household survey that will be administered to a random selection of households in Bloomington, Normal, Hudson, and Towanda during May, 2015.

Overall, the project has five primary goals:

  • Evaluate urban resident’s general level of knowledge and concerns of water quality and the effects of their activities on water quality and the practices they currently use that effect water quality (BMPs)
  • Evaluate onsite waste system knowledge and practice
  • Evaluate knowledge of and opinions of water conservation activities on water quality and quantity
  • Provide critical data to direct future outreach and education efforts
  • Provide vital social data to inform an update of the current watershed management plans to more directly address social aspects of watershed management for the future.

Water Your Opinions: A Social Assessment of the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen Watersheds

Illinois Vermillion River Watershed Rapid Watershed Assessment Report

This assessment report provides information about the Vermillion Watershed and where conservation efforts are most needed in order to help local landowners and community officials. Information about annual precipitation, drainage, hydric soils, quaternary deposits, aquifers, nitrates, and ground conversation is included in this report.

 

Illinois Vermillion River Watershed Rapid Watershed Assessment Report

Sangamon River/ Lake Decatur Watershed TMDL Report

Water quality standards are laws or regulations that states authorize to enhance water quality and protect public health and welfare. Water quality standards provide the foundation for accomplishing two of the principal goals of the CWA. These goals are: Restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters, achieve water quality that promotes protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, and provides for recreation in and on the water. This document examines the water quality and TMDL of the Sangamon River/Lake Decatur through extensive studies.

Sangamon River/ Lake Decatur Watershed TMDL Report

Interim Bloomington Water Supply Plan

The water supply challenges of the City of Bloomington, Illinois (City) are typical of many communities.The Water Department must address both short-term issues related to surface-water quality deterioration and interim-term needs for additional sources of supply. The City is working to alleviate two areas of concern: high nitrate levels in Lake Bloomington, and finding new sources of water to support population growth in the City. The primary objective of this project is to design an interim water supply plan that takes into consideration available supplies, water quality, management, and infrastructure options.

Interim Bloomington Water Supply Plan

Lake Bloomington Watershed Plan

This is a management plan working to improve the water quality and stop pollution and chemicals from entering Lake Bloomington. It provides studies done testing the levels of chemical pollutants, sources of pollution, effects on wildlife, and possible solutions to these detrimental issues.

 Lake Bloomington Watershed Plan

Ecological Principles and Guidelines for Managing the Use of Land

The five ecological principles deal with time, species, place, disturbance,and the landscape. These principles dictate several guidelines for land use. These guidelines suggest that land managers should examine impacts of local decisions in a regional context, plan for long-term change and unexpected events, preserve rare landscape elements and associated species, avoid land uses that deplete natural resources, retain large contiguous or connected areas that contain critical habitats, minimize the introduction and spread of nonnative species, avoid or compensate for the effects of development on ecological processes, and implement land-use and management practices that are compatible with the natural potential of the area.

Ecological Principles and Guidelines for Managing the Use of Land

 

Lake Bloomington Executive Summary

This is a management plan that talks about protecting Lake Bloomington. It provides goals as well as implementation and monitoring plans that should help improve the quality of the water. The plan is specifically formulated to reduce phosphorous, nitrates, and sedimentation within the lake.

Lake Bloomington Executive Summary

The Hydrogeological Effects of Variable Land Use along Wolf Creek in the Mackinaw River Watershed

This is a thesis looking at the Wolf Creek subwatershed. Tests were run and data was collected to determine chemical contents in the water and sources of runoff and pollution. It discusses the significance of the pollution and the effects it is having on the local water quality.

The Hydrogeological Effects of Variable Land Use along Wolf Creek in the Mackinaw River Watershed

Direct and Indirect Impacts of Urbanization on Wetland Quality

The purpose of this article is to review the current state of wetland science as it pertains to impacts from urbanization, and to explore the possible management implications for local natural resource managers and land use planners who are the principal audience for this article. It is always difficult to generalize about wetlands because they are so diverse with respect to their hydrology, plant communities and landscape position. This article shows the impact wetlands have on communities and gives information on what communities should do to protect and create wetlands in their areas.

Direct and Indirect Impacts of Urbanization on Wetland Quality