Rethink Water Joliet FAQs


Who is conducting the Rethink Water Joliet water source study?

The City of Joliet is conducting the Rethink Water Joliet study to evaluate alternative sources for its water supply.  The City’s Environmental Commission is working with staff to evaluate the alternatives and recommend to the City Council the best course of action for the City to take.


What is the City’s current water source?

Right now, Joliet receives its water from the Ironton-Galesville aquifer. It is anticipated that this source will no longer be sustainable by 2030. Rethink Water Joliet is currently undergoing a study that will ultimately identify an alternate source.


What is the Rethink Water Joliet water source study?

Data from the Illinois State Water Survey indicates that at the current rate of usage, Joliet’s existing water source will no longer be sustainable by 2030. The Rethink Water Joliet study will evaluate alternative water sources and ultimately identify a new water source.


Why is the study being conducted?

Relying on deep wells for the majority of its water supply, the City of Joliet’s need to develop an alternative water source is present now more than ever. As the third most populous city in Illinois, Joliet has the ability to lead the way in sustainable water sourcing throughout the region. 


What alternative water sources are being examined?

Currently, there are 5 sources being studied to replace the existing water source in Joliet. This includes Lake Michigan – DuPage Water Commission, Lake Michigan – City of Chicago, Lake Michigan – Southland Water Agency, the Kankakee River, and the Illinois River. It is anticipated that an alternative water source will be chosen by the end of 2019.


How long will the study last?

The Rethink Water Joliet study began in August 2018 and it is anticipated that the study will result in a chosen alternative water source by the end of 2019.


What is the study process?

We are currently in the second phase of the Rethink Water Joliet study. During the first phase, 14 alternative water source options were evaluated for water quality and quantity. The Phase I report can be found HERE. Five water options were recommended to be moved forward to Phase II for further evaluation.  Phase II will evaluate these water source alternatives based on governance, jurisdiction, risk, cost, and constructability. Rethink Water Joliet plans to select the preferred water source in December 2019.


What are some ways I can conserve water?
There are many ways you can help. Here are a couple of ways to conserve water every day:

  • Hand washing a lot of dishes? Fill up your sink with water instead of letting it run the whole time that you’re scrubbing.

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Water comes out of the average faucet at 2.5 gallons per minute. Don’t let all that water go down the drain.

  • Don’t run the dishwasher/washing machine until its full. Those half loads add up to gallons and gallons of wasted water.

  • Take shorter showers.

  • Replace old toilets with new water efficient models.

  • Get a rain barrel and have free water for watering your lawn and garden and washing your car. 

How can I stay updated on the project? 

By visiting you’ll find current news regarding the project. You are also encouraged to follow us on social media where you will find project updates, Rethink Water Joliet events, and ways to conserve water each day. 


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