Observation Wells and Stream Gauges, see: http://il.water.usgs.gov/data/McHenry/index.php. The data are collected and transmitted on an hourly basis to record the short and long-term hydrological condition of the County. The data gathered from this project will be used to develop and refine a groundwater-flow model to assist with future groundwater management planning.
(3) Education and Outreach
The Division of Water Resources is currently developing an education and social marketing program to teach children, residents, businesses, and elected officials about the significance of water. The Water Resources Web site currently serves as the hub of information available and contains lesson plans for teachers, children’s activities, brochures, model policies and ordinances, and much more. Additionally, the Division has developed a training and certification program on winter snow and ice operations and is currently developing programs for turf management and water conservation. The McHenry County Groundwater Protection Task Force has recently convened a subcommittee to evaluate the use of Regulated Recharge Areas for groundwater protection. More information on the status of these projects can be found at www.mchenryh2o.com under Groundwater Studies – McHenry County Update on Water Studies, June 2010.
Youth Groundwater Festival – The 17th annual Youth Groundwater Festival was held March 16, 2011, at Rock Valley College. More than 500 4th and 5th graders from eight schools (22 classes) within the greater Rockford area attended the free-of-charge festival. Several presentations were part of the festival, including demonstration of a Groundwater Flow Model, Dripial Pursuit, Water Testing and The Incredible Journey enabling students to identify where drinking water comes from, common contaminants in drinking water, some screening methods for water testing, observations of microorganisms through a microscope, and modern methods of water supply protection. Prior to the festival, the EnviroScape model was demonstrated at 32 classrooms by health professionals and Retired Senior Volunteers to introduce the students to nonpoint source water pollution.
Approximately 114 people volunteered to help support the Youth Groundwater Festival, including, area educators, two high school science departments, and various environmental agencies and groups. The Burpee Museum of Natural History, Winnebago County Health Department, Northern Regional Groundwater Protection Planning Committee, the Rock Valley College Foundation, League of Women Voters and Rock Valley College sponsored the one-day festival. The Northern Committee would like to conduct a similar festival next year in McHenry County.
Water Table Management Structure – The Northern Committee helped support a water table management structure along with the Boone County Conservation District. The purpose for this project was to install a practice that will demonstrate the benefits of managing the shallow water table for crops, wildlife, increased groundwater recharge, and improved water quality. A special project grant from the IDA was awarded to remedy the damages caused by last year’s heavy rainfall events. Recently, eroded areas have been re-graded, a culvert stream crossing has been removed, and a Texas style ford type crossing has been installed according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service designed plans. The special project grant had also included funds to install additional drain tile, but the extremely wet spring precluded the tile work from being completed in time, and the balance of the funds had to be returned to the IDA. Additional tile work is planned to be completed during 2012.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning – CMAP formed a Regional Water Supply Planning Group. Their goal was to develop water demand scenarios to 2050; generate water management options; and do outreach and education. CMAP is the delegated
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