The Great Salt Lake Needs Rehabilitation Now But It Will Be Costly

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is at a record low and if nothing is done to restore it, then it will continue on its path and dry up sooner rather than later. Several other saline lakes in the world are experiencing the same situation and efforts have been made to mitigate their decline. But it will take billions of dollars to do that.

During the past 50 years, the lake logged its lowest recorded levels. Those two measurements came within the past three years — in 2016 and again in 2018, according to Cory Angeroth, director of the Utah Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey.
The National Audubon Society asked the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council to commission a report that looked at the aftermath of the decline of eight terminal saline lakes around the world with characteristics similar to that of the Great Salt Lake.
Research the society made available last week revealed the economic, environmental and public health impacts of dying saline lakes are incredibly costly.
Restoration in just one phase involving the Aral Sea in Central Asia was projected at more than $270 million, and a program to renovate irrigation and drainage systems to lower water consumption cost about $30 billion. An estimated 60,000 people lost their jobs when the fishery collapsed.

Despite the costs, the long-term impact if the lake dries up will put the surrounding areas in greater risk.

Dried up lakes become sources of dust pollution, not to mention people's livelihoods could be in jeopardy. It would also displace wildlife and bring changes to the weather.

So far, there have been plans to save the lake but there is a need for greater awareness and support, not just from the local government but from every stakeholder in the community.

“We need to get enough traction with the information it provides to keep building awareness that the future of the Great Salt Lake is now,” she said. “It’s running right through our fingers and we have to do something.”

(Image credit: Colter Peterson/Deseret News)

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Face it. The lake is doomed. Utah's population has risen from 1 million in 1970 to well over 3 million in 2019. The vas majority live along the Wasatch Front in a 100 mile strip running from Ogden to Provo. All the rivers and streams that flowed into the lake and the local aquifer have been diverted away from the lake. Not enough water is flowing in to replace the water evaporating out of the lake. Maybe they will change the name of the capitol to Salt Flat City
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The Great Salt Water Lake really doesn't have a ring to it the way the Great Salt Lake does. That being said most American's think Australian names sound weird too. Potato Potato
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Here in Australia salt lakes are lakes of salt. No water.So they will still be salt lakes if they go dry. To be honest it seems weird not calling it a "saltwater lake" if there is salty water
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Great Salt Lake Needs Rehabilitation Now But It Will Be Costly"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More