Gov. Cox proposes investment to protect, manage Great Salt Lake

Dec 7, 2021, 10:51 AM
state worker raise...
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) announces his 2022 budget outside the Antelope Island Visitor Center in Syracuse, Utah, on Dec. 7, 2021 (Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Spencer J. Cox)
(Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Spencer J. Cox)

SYRACUSE — Gov. Spencer Cox (R-UT) announced a significant investment in various water projects across the state Tuesday, including upgrading protection and management of the Great Salt Lake

Gov. Cox announced budget for Great Salt Lake preservation

Cox made the announcement as part of his 2022 budget from the Antelope Island Visitor Center in Syracuse Tuesday morning. He said his reason for being there was for the benefit of the lake Utah is known for. 

“The Great Salt Lake is one of the most important ecosystems in our state,” said Cox. “In addition, the lake contributes $1.3 billion to our state’s economy.”

Experts have raised concerns for years about the ever-dwindling lake and the potential repercussions for Utah. There could be long-term damage to industry, the lake’s fragile ecosystem, Utahns’ health, and snowpack. 

As part of his budget proposal, Cox told a KSL/Deseret News editorial board he wants to allocate $45 million to preserve the lake and $600,000 for an upgrade to the lake’s management. Along with $5 million from the Utah Legislature, total investment into the lake will be around $51 million. 

Other water projects are also a priority

The governor also wants to put a large sum of money toward other water projects. 

“Water conservation, drinking water projects, agriculture, improvement in utilization of water resources,” Cox explained. “All kinds of programs that we think will help to improve water conservation and water quality here in the state of Utah.” 

In total, the governor wants to invest $420 million in these projects, along with $100 million from the legislature, bringing the grand total to more than a half-billion dollars. 

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