UTAH DROUGHT

Gov. Cox responds to national attention on Utah drought

Jul 7, 2022, 2:24 PM
A man walking the Great Salt Lake on an area that has dried up due to drought....
Xander Allred carries a paddleboard back to his car at the Great Salt Lake State Park in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 10, 2022. Photo credit: Laura Seitz/Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — With recent national attention turned to the Utah drought, Gov. Spencer Cox responded to criticism on Wednesday by pointing out what steps the state has taken to manage the drought.

National attention on the Utah drought

Comedian John Oliver had a recent segment on his show “Last Week Tonight” focused on how states are responding to the drought in the West.

“But unfortunately, not everyone is taking it [the drought] that seriously, with the worst example being Utah,” Oliver said during the segment.

Oliver drew attention to St. George’s water usage, pointing out the many golf courses located in the city. The segment also touched on the Lake Powell water pipeline and Gov. Cox’s 2021 video, in which he encouraged Utahns to join him in praying for rain.

And, at the beginning of June, a New York Times article focused on the drying of the Great Salt Lake put national attention on the state drought.

Utah State Representative Joel Ferry was quoted in the article, saying that Utah is facing an “environmental nuclear bomb.”

Cox responds to drought criticism

In response to both pieces, Cox took to Twitter to say that the Times and Oliver failed to research and report on the positive steps Utah has taken in terms of water conservation.

In a series of tweets, Cox said legislative leaders have hosted conferences with experts to study the Great Salt Lake and its solutions. He also pointed out that Rep. Ferry, who the Times interviewed for its piece, would be the new director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

Cox also pointed to bills passed this year that encouraged individuals to conserve and created a $40 million trust to increase water for the Great Salt Lake and improve the lake’s habitat.

But, Cox added, “there’s much more happening and much more to do.”

The governor said to expect more bills and actions aimed at the Great Salt Lake and water conservation.

Related: The Great Salt Lake water level reaches a historic low as Utah continues to face extreme drought

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

Sen. Nate Blouin, D-Salt Lake, left, and Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake, speak at a press conferenc...
Lindsay Aerts

Bill to set target water level for the Great Salt Lake dries up

The bill proposed by Sen. Nate Blouin, would set a target elevation goal at 4.198 feet. However, the bill died in committee.
3 days ago
Watershed Enhancement Trust, which aims to get water back to the lake. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret ...
Amie Schaeffer

$40M Great Salt Lake trust beginning work with newly formed council

The council will assist the trust as it looks for solutions to improve lake water levels.
4 days ago
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.
6 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.
10 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 […]
11 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.
11 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
Gov. Cox responds to national attention on Utah drought