water

flickr/loveMeagan

The City of Decatur has ended its voluntary request for water conservation.  That request was first made last October as Lake Decatur levels dropped due to the drought.  

But city leaders say it has risen two feet from its low point this winter and they anticipate additional rain in the next few weeks will bring the level higher. The lake reached a low point of 610.31 feet above sea level (50% full) on January 10.  But it now is above 612 feet (73%).  That is within the normal winter range. 

flickr/HAM guy

Central Illinois officials are expected to vote next month on whether to spend nearly $90 million on a massive dredging project in Lake Decatur.
 
The Herald & Review reports (http://bit.ly/1dvfQFI ) Decatur's city council is expected to vote on the project during their Feb. 3 meeting.
 
During a work session Tuesday, city manager Ryan McCrady said the effort would be ``the biggest project the city of Decatur has ever undertaken.''
 
Officials have said removing billions of gallons of sediment from the lake will

Wetlands store rainwater to keep it from running off and harbor a diversity of plants and animals.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Everyone knows what happens when you withdraw more from a bank account than you deposit into it. 

And with heavy rains swelling rivers and keeping farmers on the sidelines this spring, it might be hard to believe Illinois’ bank account of fresh water could ever be in the red. But with a growing population, especially in northeastern Illinois, demand for water for residences, power generation, agriculture and other uses likely will continue to increase. Some communities already are forecasting water shortages by the year 2020.