Task Force Announces Dec. 1-3 State Water Plan Stakeholder Meetings

Task Force Announces Dec. 1-3 State Water Plan Stakeholder Meetings

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced three public meetings to discuss the state’s ongoing effort to update the State Water Plan.

The live question and answer sessions, which will be held virtually, are slated for Dec. 1, 2 and 3.

“As part of a statewide task force of state agencies and stakeholders, including environmental groups and agriculture organizations, IDNR is leading the effort to review and revise the state’s 40-year-old water plan,” said Colleen Callahan, director, IDNR.

“As part of that process, members of the task force are hosting three public meetings to gather feedback and answer questions, helping to ensure that the project addresses Illinoisans’ most important water-related needs.”

The meetings will be held at varying times to maximize public participation. Each meeting will cover the same information, allowing participants to choose the day and time which best accommodates their schedules.

Further, while the introduction and wrap-up sections of the meetings are open to all meeting attendees, breakout sessions will be provided to allow for discussion of specific issues.

Attendees will have the opportunity to choose which breakout session they prefer and may enter and leave breakout sessions at their discretion so that they may attend multiple sessions.

Virtual meeting dates and times are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.

Links to each meeting, call-in numbers and meeting passcodes, and a recorded presentation outlining the draft water plan can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/WaterResources/Pages/StateWaterPlanTaskForce.aspx.

It is recommended participants review the recorded presentation prior to the virtual meetings so they can have questions and comments prepared in advance.

Additionally, links to meeting recordings will be posted for anyone who was unable to attend the virtual meetings.

Finally, anyone who wishes to provide additional comments and input to the State Water Plan may do so by completing a survey and adding additional comments.

The surveys, available in both English and Spanish and at the State Water Plan Task Force webpage, will be open until Jan. 15, 2021.

About the State Water Plan

Illinois has numerous and important water resources like lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and floodplains, but all are at risk due to increasing pollution, crumbling infrastructure, and more frequent floods and droughts.

Although Illinois has a State Water Plan, it was first drafted in 1984 and has not been updated since 1994. To protect public health, the environment, and our business climate, a State Water Plan Task Force has begun to update the plan.

The State Water Plan will identify and develop strategies to address the state’s most critical water issues. The Plan will not be a comprehensive plan, but as the Task Force revises the Plan on a 5 to 10 year interval, new issues will be added and addressed.

The goal is to develop a Plan that provides policy and program guidance in water resources management, and ensures that the water resources of the state are available to all in Illinois regardless of race, income, housing status, or geography, and that remediation efforts enhance and protect water quality and supply for all Illinoisans and wildlife.

“We have the opportunity to create a bold, inclusive vision for Illinois’ water resources — and we want to ensure many voices provide input,” officials said. “This survey is seeking public input on what key issues should be addressed in the State Water Plan.”

Learn more about the Plan and additional opportunities to provide input, including upcoming public meetings, at the Task Force web page: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/WaterResources/Pages/StateWaterPlanTaskForce.aspx

SOURCE: IDNR news release