Gov. JB Pritzker has signed legislation that will allow Yorkville, Montgomery and Oswego to tap into Lake Michigan via the DuPage Water Commission.
The governor signed the bill, sponsored in the House by state Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, on May 6.
The legislation will provide the three communities with two representatives on the DuPage Water Commission, which currently consists of 13 members.
One representative would be appointed by the DuPage County Board chairman, the other will be appointed by a majority vote of the mayors of the three municipalities.
After months of investigation and deliberation, all three municipalities decided late last year to connect with the DuPage system, rather than tapping into the Fox River or to use other sources to bring Lake Michigan water to their communities.
The new water source is needed because the aquifer supplying the wells now used by the three communities is rapidly being depleted.
The Illinois State Water Survey reports that without taking action, the three communities would be at “severe risk” of meeting water demand by 2050.
By that year, the population of the three communities is projected to have reached 143,000.
Hooking up with the DuPage system will involve construction of a pipeline and other supporting infrastructure. The cost will be high.
Yorkville, for example, is estimating its cost of connecting to the DuPage system at $94 million.
The Yorkville City Council has already approved what is expected to be only the first of several phased-in water rate increases.
Currently, the typical Yorkville household pays $47 amonth for water. By 2030, that monthly bill is expected to be about $100.
Meanwhile, the three municipalities are working on an intergovernmental agreement to split the cost of extending a pipeline from the DuPage water network and to obtain a permit to access water from Lake Michigan.
Source: The Daily Chronicle