The Great Salt Lake water level reaches a historic low as Utah continues to face extreme drought
Jul 5, 2022, 2:49 PM | Updated: 3:30 pm
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — The water levels of the Great Salt Lake have reached a historical low.
The United States Geological Survey says that based on historical data, we can expect lake levels to continue decreasing into the fall or early winter. Levels will likely keep decreasing until incoming water equals or surpasses evaporated water.
Utah Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Joel Ferry has expressed his concern about the low lake levels.
“This is not the type of record we like to break,” said Ferry.
Ferry said his department is actively working with numerous stakeholders who value the lake.
Great Salt Lake falls below historic low measured October 2021 according to USGS. https://t.co/X1e3wcFsIi
— Utah Water Resources (@UTAHSavesH2O) July 5, 2022
About 83% of the state is still under extreme drought or worse conditions.
The DNR reports the state hit record high temperatures this year. For example, on June 12, Salt Lake City experienced its first 100-plus-degree day, temperatures reached 102 degrees. The previous hottest day on record occurred in 1918.
Over the past 128 years in Utah, 2022 has been the driest year to date. The drought continues to be a major factor in the lake’s shrinking.
Effects of the Great Salt Lake shrinking
As the Great Salt Lake gets smaller, salinity levels increase. Because of that, more marine life may die, leaving birds without sufficient quantities of food.
Also, as the lake shrinks arsenic is exposed from the lake bed and carried by high winds into the air near Salt Lake City. And that’s not all that’s possible.
The American Cancer Society website says breathing in high levels can cause a sore throat, irritated lungs, arsenic poisoning, or even death.
- Gov. Cox issues another emergency drought order for Utah
- Less water supply due to Utah drought conditions
- Spanish Fork golf course tees off against Utah’s drought
- Drought sinks Lake Mead to an unprecedented low
We want to hear from you.
Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.
Today’s Top Stories
- Pride-wrapped UTA bus pulled from downtown Pride Parade
- Two people killed in road rage crash near Eagle Mountain are identified
- Suspect killed, Ogden police officer stable after officer-involved shooting
- Utah will loan first-time homebuyers $20,000 for new homes
- Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Weber, Box Elder, Davis, Tooele counties
- Kouri Richins family satisfied with partial gag order issued in case, says spokesman
- Boats returning to the Great Salt Lake Marina
- Man urges pet owners to be cautious around rivers after Oliver the dog was swept away
- Boppy Newborn Lounger pillow blamed in more infant deaths
- Text messages reveal Utah lawmakers pressured UTA to pull Pride-wrapped bus out of parade