A disconnect when it comes to saving the Great Salt Lake

Last week, House Speaker Brad Wilson hosted a summit to talk about the threats facing the Great Salt Lake. The quickly shrinking lake is gaining a lot of attention from lawmakers in Utah; this summit comes after Governor Cox announced a plan to put $50 million towards it. Though much of the shrinkage of the lake is attributed to the drought, Utah’s poor water conservation policies have a lot to do with it. Utah government officials should be focused on preserving the lake, as lower levels lead to dust storms that have dangerous impacts on our already poor air quality. 

“Despite the urgency, Utah leaders still support projects that environmentalists say would harm the body of water.

For example, the state is moving forward with a project that would divert 220,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Bear River, the lake’s largest tributary. The Utah Division of Water Resources estimates that would lower lake levels 8-14 inches.

There’s also the inland port planned for Salt Lake City’s northwest quadrant. The Stop the Polluting Port Coalition and Center for Biological Diversity have warned for years about harmful impacts to the lake’s migratory birds and wetlands,” says a KUER article. 

Monica Hilding, a concerned citizen, wasn’t impressed by the summit’s disconnect while they move forward with such projects, and warns not to let “elected officials’ greed create a dust bowl disaster in your backyard” in an op ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. 

Read the Op Ed here.

Read the KUER article here.