UTAH DROUGHT

Utah representative proposes pumping underground water to replenish Great Salt Lake

Oct 20, 2022, 9:00 AM | Updated: Oct 25, 2022, 9:01 am

farmers drought The dried Antelope Island marina at the Great Salt Lake is pictured....

The Antelope Island marina is dried up as the Great Salt Lake experiences record low water levels on Friday, July 22, 2022. Even as Utah emerges from a severe drought, a water expert joined Dave & Dujanovic and said conservation is still important. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

Rep. Steven Lund joins Dave and Dujanovic to discuss his proposal:

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Rep. Steven Lund has come out with a proposal to dig for water in hopes of replenishing the Great Salt Lake. Lund presented the proposal to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee on Wednesday.

In his presentation, Lund said there isn’t a guarantee the water is there but estimates are quite high.

“Based on geology that the USGS has put together in an atlas of aquifers they estimate there’s somewhere on the order of 900 million acre-feet.”

He estimated that the state only needs 500,000-acre-feet to restore the lake.

But to confirm the water is there, the state will need to dig wells that could cost $48 million.

If the water is there, Lund sais it will actually be too salty to put directly into the Great Salt Lake. Part of the plan would require desalination reactors to help reduce the salt content.

Matthew Memmot an associate professor at BYU said that reactors to remove salt from the water would be possible and not incredibly expensive either. 

“[They could] provide desalination for quite a bit of water. In fact, if you had 86 of these fully dedicated to desalinating water and there was a source of such water you could fill Lake Powell from bottom to top in about 14 months,” Memmot said.

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Utah representative proposes pumping underground water to replenish Great Salt Lake