OUR DRINKING WATER
Photo Credit: Louis J. Tenney
Lake Monroe, built by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, is the sole drinking water source for over 128,000 customers in Monroe County and supplements other water sources in Brown County.
In 1909, Indiana University created University Lake by damming part of Griffy Creek. Then, in 1924, the main stem of Griffy Creek was dammed, creating Griffy Reservoir to meet the increasing demand for more water. In 1953 Lake Lemon was created by damming Bean Blossom Creek to meet continued growing demand for more drinking water.
Lake Monroe’s reservoir became operational in 1965. Its goal was to address the water shortages at that time, as well as for flood control downstream. At present all prior drinking water sources have been exhausted with the exception of Lake Monroe. Other municipalities including Marion County, have attempted to tap into Lake Monroe as a water source as their water sources become increasingly strained.
City of Bloomington Utilities which purchases Lake Monroe drinking water faces increasing challenges from population and business growth, and climate change (higher temperatures = more water demand; more agal blooms, bacterial/ fungal growth; and higher water treatment costs).