If nothing is done soon, the Great Salt Lake’s ecosystem will collapse in the next few years, Science Alert reports.
The news follows the 2022 Geological Society of America’s Connects Conference, which warned that increased salinity at the lake is impeding ecological recovery.
The rising salinity level is caused by less fresh water reaching the lake, caused by drought and upstream diversions.
The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the Western hemisphere, but has been shrinking to historic low levels, stirring fears of wildlife endangerment due to loss of wetlands and public health concerns associated with toxic dust that blows from the dry lake bed. Potential economic losses are in the billions of dollars.
This summer, the Senate passed the Great Salt Lake Recovery Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to study historic drought conditions and protect the long-term health of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. . Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), Burgess Owens (R-UT), and John Curtis (R-UT) lead the companion legislation in the House.