UTAH DROUGHT

A new low for the southern edge of Utah’s Great Salt Lake

Jul 24, 2021, 11:34 AM | Updated: 11:38 am
Great Salt Lake levels new low...
Image: Comparisons of the lake levels of the Great Salt Lake. Credit: Utah Division of Natural Resources

SALT LAKE CITY — Average daily water levels recorded at the southern tip of the Great Salt Lake show that the lake has dropped by about one inch below the previous low level, recorded in 1963. 

In that year, the depth of the southern portion of the lake was 4,191.4 according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS.)

Wind can cause temporary changes in lake levels. The USGS says that’s why daily records of the lake levels are kept and examined.  The USGS has been keeping records of Great Salt Lake levels since 1847.

RELATED: Great Salt Lake inches away from a record low

The USGS expects the lake to decline further throughout the summer. 

A sailboat is removed from the Great Salt Lake Marina due to low lake levels. (Credit: Andrew Freel, USGS)

“Based on current trends and historical data, the USGS anticipates water levels may decline an additional foot over the next several months,” said USGS Utah Water Science Center data chief Ryan Rowland. 

Officials with the Utah Department of Natural Resources said Utah’s ongoing drought is the biggest contributor to the lake’s declining levels.

“While the Great Salt Lake has been gradually declining for some time, current drought conditions have accelerated its fall to this new historic low,” said Utah Department of Natural Resources executive director Brian Steed. 

 

RELATED: Low lake levels threaten the food chain in the Great Salt Lake

The lake level data is available to the public on USGS’s website.

The lake’s highest historic level occurred in 1986 when it reached 4,212 feet — more than 20 feet higher than measurements taken this week.

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