Utah’s Great Salt Lake reaches record-low water level

While the west is experiencing a mega-drought, the lake is at its lowest water level since recording started in 1847.

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Image Credit: Scott Taylor

The Great Salt Lake in Utah reached record-low water levels. While the west is experiencing a mega-drought, the lake is at its lowest water level since recording started in 1847.

According to Utah Department of Natural Resources, the water level fell to an average surface water elevation of 4,190.1 feet down from 4190.3 feet in October 2021.

“This is not the type of record we like to break,” Joel Ferry, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, said. “Urgent action is needed to help protect and preserve this critical resource. It’s clear the lake is in trouble.”

But scientists said “the worst is yet to come,” EcoWatch reported. While the drought continues in the west, the lake’s water level is expected to continue to drop without any relief until fall or winter when precipitation is most likely.

“We recognize more action and resources are needed, and we are actively working with the many stakeholders who value the lake,” Ferry said.

The state recently passed legislation, HB410 or the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement, in response to the decreasing water levels, “which issued a $40 million grant to the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program for protecting and restoring wetlands around the lake and to enhance water flows” run by local nonprofits, EcoWatch reported.

While local advocates are happy with the legislation that will take effect, many said it’s long overdue.

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