Apple-Plum Watershed

Water Resource Management in Northwest Illinois, Northeast Iowa, Southwest Wisconsin

In June, the Jo Daviess County Water Resource Management Planning Committee completed the final draft of its water resource management plan. The League of Women Voters of Jo Daviess County (LWV) also learned it received a national award as a result of the committee’s work.

More than 20 stakeholders from around the county, recruited and organized by the local League in collaboration with Jo Daviess County Soil and Water District, met every other month for over two years to develop a plan identifying and assessing issues related to surface water and groundwater in the county.

With science-based stewardship and evidence-based decision-making as guiding principles, the process documented consensus about the best way to manage water resources going forward.

At the 52nd national convention of the League of Women Voters held June 16-18, 2016 in Washington, D.C., the local League received the Effective Community Engagement Award for its water resource management plan project. The project was one of four finalists. League members from more than 800 local Leagues around the country voted online to award the honor.

Local issues identified during the two-year process fell into three broad categories: 1) storm water management; 2) groundwater management; and 3) water quality. Topography, soils, and geology of the county were found to create challenges in each of these areas.

The plan documents consensus on three broad goals with specific objectives and includes a multi-year action plan designed to achieve incremental, sustainable improvements to water resource management across the county.

The plan is now being presented to county township boards, city councils, resort core boards, county board and other organizations. These groups will be invited to collaborate and focus on possible actions to accomplish the goals and objectives in the multi-year action plan.

Find a link to the plan in the “current issues” tab of