UTAH DROUGHT

Cloud seeding: a potential save for the Great Salt Lake

Aug 23, 2022, 7:29 AM | Updated: Sep 23, 2022, 12:55 pm

Great Salt Lake bill...

Record low water levels are seen in the Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island on Friday, July 22, 2022. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Cloud seeding is one of the strategies state lawmakers are looking at to help save the Great Salt Lake. 

Cloud seeding burns a naturally occurring chemical in the sky to generate more water from storms.

House Speaker Brad Wilson said the state is likely to invest in this, “Yet to be determined is the scope and magnitude of that but all options need to be on the table.” 

Utah’s Department of Natural Resources acting director, Joel Ferry, said what’s needed is meters in Utah’s mountains that turn on automatically.

“Each one of those stations is 50 to 60,000 bucks but they last a long time so it’s a one-time long-term investment,” he said.

Lawmakers stress money for farmers to optimize water use and other conservation projects are still the biggest piece to getting more water into the lake.

In addition, there is a possible need for planes to fly up and release these burning agents into the air. Lawmakers stress that money for agriculture and other conservation projects are also still part of the plan. 

“it’s not all going to be done after a year,” said Wilson. “We’re going to be doing it year after year.”

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Cloud seeding: a potential save for the Great Salt Lake