Skip to Main Content


  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Water Resources

Water Resources 


Featured Articles

  1. Article number 1 - Safety At Dams
  2. Article number 2 - Protecting The Great Lakes
  3. Article number 3 - Lake Michigan Water Allocation
  4. Article number 4 - William G. Stratton Dam at McHenry
  5. Article number 5 - Flood Control
  6. Article number 6 - Resource Management
  •  Safety At DamsSafety At Dams

    Governor Pat Quinn, then lieutenant Governor, launched the Illinois Dam Safety Initiative in June 2006 to educate the public about dam safety, and proopose much needed changes to make our waterways safer. Since then, progress has been made of safety measures, including the passage of legislation calling for standards of signs, buoys and other ways to communicate risks to the public about dams on public waterways.
  •  Protecting The Great Lakes

    “Protecting the Great Lakes is vital to millions of people from Illinois and throughout the Midwest who rely on these waterways for their livelihoods,” said Governor Quinn. Asian carp eradication measures include increased fish collection, population suppression, biological control efforts and electric barriers. These methods assist in the prevention of Asian carp bypass between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) as well as the Illinois and Michigan Canal and CSSC during flooding.
  •  Lake Michigan Water Allocation

    The Inner Harbor Breakwater, built in 1874 and sealed in 1938, has been leaking water from Lake Michigan into the Chicago River. The Chicago Inner Harbor Basin Cuttoff Wall project was constructed in 2001 to help alleviate the problem of withdrawing water from one watershed and discharging it to another.
  •  William G. Stratton Dam at McHenry

    The Stratton Lock was constructed in 1960 at Stratton Dam, on the Fox Chain of Lakes at McHenry. During the summer months, over 24,000 boats pass through the lock to and from the Fox River downstream but the Lock does not have the capacity to meet the current peak demand. The Dam's sluice gates, constructed in 1939, have reached the end of their useful life and new gates will allow better regulation of water flow to minimize flooding.
  •  Flood Control

    The Flood Control Act of 1945 (615 ILCS 15) gives the Office of Water Resources legal authority to participate in the improvement of the rivers of the State of Illinois, for the purpose of regulating and controlling floods and low-water flows. Water Resources also participates in Urban Flood Control Assistance programs, offers technical advice and and referral. performs studies, and engages in a stream preservation program.
  •  Resource Management

    Water Resources issues permits for work in and along rivers, lakes, and streams; activities in and along public waters, including Lake Michigan; and for construction and maintenance of dams. The Division of Resource Management's other activities include the National Flood Insurance Program, Lake Michigan Water Allocation, Protecting Illinois Waters, and mitigation.