Mahomet Aquifer Consortium Still Looking for Money to Finish Its Study
Public donations are being sought with hopes of completing an extensive study on the Mahomet Aquifer in just over six weeks.
The Aquifer's Consortium is also seeking help from municipalities served by the aquifer with hopes of replacing about 140-thousand dollars in state funding cut off by former Governor Rod Blagojevich last year. Governor Pat Quinn has yet to respond to pleas for restoring that money. It makes up about a third of the cost of the project studying the aquifer's long-term viability.
Mahomet Aquifer Consortium board member Tom Berns calls the aquifer a 'unique, vibrant resource' that sees a lot changes in communities like Paxton and Champaign, extending into Western Illinois:
"The aquifer is different from other areas, and it's different from other surface situations and needs and demands," Berns said. "Obviously the number of people that it can serve is significantly impacted by how we utilize that resource."
Appeals for funds to complete the study have gone out to area governments like Bloomington and Champaign County, in addition to the public. About 15-thousand dollars has been raised so far. The Mahomet Aquifer Consortium is hoping to complete its study at the end of next month... and follow it up with a series of public hearings, to release data on how water use varies from the Illinois River in Western Illinois to the Indiana State line.
And Berns says this region isn't alone in missing out on state funds. He says a similar fundraising effort is underway in Northeast Illinois to complete a study on an aquifer connected to Lake Michigan.