Take saving the GSL seriously

Dry sediment recently exposed from shrinking water levels is adding to dust and toxic pollution along the Wasatch Front.

The Salt Lake Tribune has an in-house editorial that calls the idea of feeding water to the Great Salt Lake from a multi-billion dollar pipeline tapping the Pacific Ocean completely impractical and “looney.”  But this latest dabble in non-reality by our legislature is also counterproductive.

Given the billions of dollars it would cost, the hundreds of miles of ecosystems and properties that would be disrupted, the numerous federal and state permits and impact statements that would be required, the number of protests and hearings that would be involved, it is very unlikely that a plan to save the Great Salt Lake by building a 700-mile pipeline to bring water from the Pacific Ocean would ever actually come to pass,” the editorial opens with. 

The authors express concern that such an idea distracts from practical solutions and efforts to save the lake. There is no magic solution to save the Great Salt Lake. It will take real, possibly inconvenient, intervention and effort. Utahns need to get used to reducing water consumption. We do not have the water supply to ramp up development envisioned by legislators and big industry like the Inland Port.

The editorial board even offers examples of practical efforts that could actually help. “Waiting for a Pacific pipeline to come to the rescue of the Great Salt Lake threatens to discourage state and local officials and others concerned with our state’s water supply from taking any of a number of intermediate, yet more effective, steps to conserve water and let more of it flow into the terminal lake.

Such steps include going forward with a policy already rolled out by the Legislature, measuring amounts of untreated water — known as secondary water — that go to irrigate crops, lawns and golf courses.” 

Find the full editorial here.