UTAH DROUGHT

Sen. Romney introduces bill to help Great Salt Lake

Jul 14, 2022, 4:00 PM
Sen. Mitt Romney is introducing a bill to help the Great Salt Lake's historically low water levels....
Kian Spendlove and Zeke Barrientos take their paddleboard out of the lake 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 — Sen. Mitt Romney is proposing a bill that would fund a study into saving the Great Salt Lake, just days after it hit its most historic lows

Utah’s junior senator, along with Congressmen Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens, introduced the Great Salt Lake Recovery Act today. The proposed law would authorize a study of the drought conditions at the lake, and work toward finding solutions to help the lake.

Those solutions could be anything from canal reinforcement to pipelines across state boundaries.

It builds on what lawmakers in Utah already introduced in the 2022 legislative session and warnings about the lake’s status this summer. It also gives $40 million to a program that improves the lake’s watershed.

Consequences if the lake dries up could be dire, not only for the lake’s ecosystem but also for the air we breathe and Utah’s snowpack. 

Here’s the reaction from the lawmakers proposing the act

“Utah’s iconic Great Salt Lake is currently at the lowest levels ever recorded — for the second time in less than a year,” Romney said. “It is incumbent on us to take action now which will preserve and protect this critical body of water for many generations to come. By authorizing a feasibility study on addressing the historic drought conditions of the Great Salt Lake, this legislation complements and elevates the work already being done by the State of Utah to develop a permanent solution to save our Great Salt Lake.”

“The Great Salt Lake is synonymous with the Beehive State,” said Stewart. “And it’s our responsibility to ensure this staple of our community is maintained, preserved, and protected for the people of Utah. This month, the lake dropped to its lowest level ever — a grim milestone (for) the wildlife, people, and industries along its receding shores. State and local officials are hard at work to save the lake and support those who rely on it, but reversing this trend will take a collective effort. This legislation is a great first step toward finding a solution, but our work is far from over.”

“The Great Salt Lake is integral to Utah’s ecosystem and landscape. Historic drought conditions have threatened this treasure, and time is running out. I am proud to support the Great Salt Lake Recovery Act because it is a crucial step to understanding and protecting this fragile resource,” said  Owens.

Utah leaders react to Great Salt Lake Recovery Act

Lawmakers got a view of the Great Salt Lake levels via Blackhawk helicopters this year.

“For years, our strategy to address a receding Great Salt Lake has been to hope for water levels to rise. We are now at a crisis point and if we want to find a solution, hope can no longer be our strategy—we must explore every option to get more water to the lake than ever before,” said Utah Speaker of the House Brad Wilson.

“The Great Salt Lake is iconic when you think of Utah. As one of the state’s many resources, we must do all we can to preserve it for the benefit of the citizens of Utah. The current drought has put a strain on the upstream flows that have historically fed the lake. Being able to study ways to increase water supply while protecting the delicate ecosystem will help us understand the best ways we can preserve this often overlooked resource,” said Director of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands Jamie Barnes.

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
Sen. Romney introduces bill to help Great Salt Lake