clean water 121621LOCKPORT – A new law signed Thursday that was championed by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) will address a looming water crisis in the Joliet region and ensure a clean and reliable water source for years to come.

“Without reliable, clean water, our communities are crippled,” Connor said. “Finding a new water source before 2030 isn’t optional—we have to act now for ourselves, and in the interest of future generations.”

The underground Cambrian-Ordovician sandstone aquifer system is the primary source of water for the Joliet, Romeoville, Shorewood, Lockport, Lemont, Channahon, Elwood, and Minooka communities. An assessment by the city of Joliet revealed that the aquifer is being depleted at twice its natural recharge rate, and is expected to be fully depleted in 2030.

Connor’s law, ran as Senate Bill 280, offers a solution to the communities. The new law establishes the Regional Water Commissions Act, which would allow municipalities to form a regional commission to build, own, and operate a water system. This water commission will be able to build and operate a 31-mile pipeline to the city of Chicago water system, providing a connection to Lake Michigan water for the community.

The pipeline will bring clean and sustainable water to the region, as well as thousands of construction jobs.

“Big problems call for bold, innovative solutions,” Connor said. “This law will allow our community to proactively respond to, and ultimately prevent, an impending crisis.”

The law is effective immediately.