Cal-Sag Channel Watershed-based Plan

The Watershed-based Plan (WBP) for the Cal-Sag Channel Planning Area is a comprehensive overview of the water quality conditions in the watershed and measures that need to be implemented to restore and protect water quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have identified nine key elements that need to be addressed in watershed plans to achieve improvements in water quality.  The following nine elements are addressed in the WBP:

  1. An identification of the causes and sources or groups of similar sources that will need to be controlled to achieve the load reductions estimated in this watershed-based plan (and to achieve any other watershed goals identified in the watershed-based plan), as discussed in item (2) immediately below. Sources that need to be controlled should be identified at the significant subcategory level with estimates of the extent to which they are present in the watershed.

  2. An estimate of the load reductions expected for the management measures described under paragraph (3) below (recognizing the natural variability and the difficulty in precisely predicting the performance of management measures over time). Estimates should be provided at the same level as in item (1) above.

  3. A description of the NPS management measures that will need to be implemented to achieve the load reductions estimated under paragraph (2) above (as well as to achieve other watershed goals identified in this watershed-based plan), and an identification (using a map or a description) of the critical areas in which those measures will be needed to implement this plan.

  4. An estimate of the amounts of technical and financial assistance needed, associated costs, and/or the sources and authorities that will be relied upon, to implement this plan. Possible sources of funding, include Section 319 project grants, the State Revolving Fund, USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Reserve Program, and other relevant federal, state, local and private funds that may be available to assist in implementing this plan.

  5. An information/education component that will be used to enhance public understanding of the project and encourage their early and continued participation in selecting, designing, and implementing the NPS management measures that will be implemented.

  6. A schedule for implementing the NPS management measures identified in this plan that is reasonably expeditious.

  7. A description of interim, measurable milestones for determining whether NPS management measures or other control actions are being implemented.

  8. A set of criteria that can be used to determine whether loading reductions are being achieved over time and substantial progress is being made towards attaining water quality standards and, if not, the criteria for determining whether this watershed-based plan needs to be revised or, if a NPS TMDL has been established, whether the NPS TMDL needs to be revised.

  9. A monitoring component to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation efforts over time, measured against the criteria established under item (8) above.

The WBP is a supplement to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Detailed Watershed Plan (DWP) for the Cal-Sag Channel. The Cal-Sag Channel DWP focuses on flooding concerns in the watershed, and the Cal-Sag Channel WBP focuses on water quality. Cal-Sag Channel WBP was prepared by Metropolitan Planning Council. 

Approval Letter Illinois Environmental Agency 

Executive Summary 

Cal-Sag Channel Watershed-based Plan*

*The tributary areas delineated for the Cal-Sag Channel DWP included areas north and south of the Cal-Sag Channel (several smaller streams) that discharge westward into the I&M Canal. As such, these areas are not included in this current Cal-Sag Channel WBP.  More information on the delineated areas is provided in Section 3.1.