The Great Salt Lake is reviving, but conservation still urged

The Great Salt Lake
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May 1, 2023 — Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox made a bold move in February by ordering a five-foot increase in the Great Salt Lake Causeway berm, and it is yielding impressive results. KSL TV5 reports that the south end of the Great Salt Lake has risen by four feetOpens in a new tab., accompanied by a decrease in salinity levels. With this year’s outstanding snowpack melting and contributing to the lake, the lowered salinity will allow brine shrimp and flies to hatch, providing essential sustenance for migrating birds.

If the situation requires it, the berm’s height can be adjusted or even removed altogether, offering flexibility to adapt to the lake’s ever-changing environment.

Utah officials are acutely aware that the berm project is only a temporary solution and that the challenges facing the Great Salt Lake are far from over. To develop a sustainable plan, they are seeking Israel’s expertise. Israel is renowned for its cutting-edge water management strategies and nationalized water system. Water conservation, alternative water sources like treated wastewater, and investment in pioneering startup technologies were among the ideas discussed, according to the Standard ExaminerOpens in a new tab..

The Audubon SocietyOpens in a new tab. notes that “As of late April 2023, the Great Salt Lake is almost four feet higher than its all-time low in November 2022.” However, they also emphasize the importance of long-term planning and conservation efforts. Karyn Stockdale, Audubon’s Western Water Initiative Senior Director, writes, “Great Salt Lake has a massive water deficit, and this is just one exceptional year of precipitation. We still need to do our part—embracing water conservation measures, dedicating water to the lake through voluntary partnerships, and acting in strategic ways to ensure lasting protection for the lake and the people, birds, and wildlife who depend on it.” Last June, Audubon and The Nature Conservancy were authorized by Utah’s legislature to oversee the new Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement ProgramOpens in a new tab..





Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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