UTAH DROUGHT

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
The Great Salt Lake has reached a historic low level of water....
Empty boat docks are pictured at the Great Salt Lake State Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 10, 2022. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(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.

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. 

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah Drought

Water levels have hit historic lows at the Great Salt Lake. (Fox 13)...
Ben Winslow, Fox 13

Water, Great Salt Lake bills to be unveiled in the Utah State Legislature

Lawmakers are expected to spend upwards of $500 million on water conservation and Great Salt Lake measures this year.
2 days ago
Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City, speaks at a press conference about the Great Salt Lake at the ...
Carter Williams. KSL.com

Utah, Salt Lake leaders unveil new plans to improve the struggling Great Salt Lake

State and local leaders are prposing two pieces of legislation to help save the Great Salt Lake amid dropping water level.
6 days ago
BYU study finds we need to stop watering as much as we are....
Mark Jones

Speaker Wilson says Utah legislature is working hard on water issue

SALT LAKE CITY — Prior to the start of the 2023 Utah Legislative Session, it seemed like water would be a popular topic throughout the 45-day session. And a week into the session, that appears to be the case.  House speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) joined Inside Sources hosted by Maura Carabello and Taylor Morgan to […]
7 days ago
lake restoration...
Mark Jones

BYU study: Great Salt Lake could dry up in 5 years if changes aren’t made

A study co-authored by a BYU professor says the Great Salt Lake could be gone in five years unless changes are made.
7 days ago
Utah reservoirs...
Becky Bruce

Winter has helped state’s drought Utah expert says, still, long road ahead

The Utah Division of Water Resources says it will take more winters like the one Utah has experienced this year for the state's drought to be over.
8 days ago
A “now hiring” sign is pictured at Salt Lake Running Company in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. ...
Curt Gresseth

Salt Lake Chamber president talks about fixing shortages in housing, labor and water in Utah

Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, joins the show to discuss three big problems facing Utah today: the housing, labor and water shortages.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
The Great Salt Lake water level reaches a historic low as Utah continues to face extreme drought