BYU study: Great Salt Lake could dry up in 5 years if changes aren’t made
Jan 25, 2023, 7:30 PM
(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — If changes aren’t made to the Great Salt Lake, the lake could be gone in five years, that’s according to a study co-authored by Brigham Young University Professor of Ecology Ben Abbott earlier this month.
He says if water wasn’t being diverted out of the lake, the situation wouldn’t be so dire.
“The natural level of the lake, if we weren’t diverting so much water, would actually be almost 20 feet above where we are today,” Abbott told KSL NewsRadio.
He says a lot of health risks would be reduced if we could get the lake back to its natural level.
“And if we could get it there,” he said. “Then there are a lot of additional benefits, including reducing these toxic dust sources that will kick in.”
Abbott says that every foot of water that goes back into the lake will make for a healthier environment.
“It’s important to remember every foot fuller the lake gets,” he said. “That’s a huge area of toxic dust that’s not exposed.”
Abbott says conservation is the only way the lake can be saved.
“And so, we should celebrate every step forward,” he said. “And then really come together and really focus on refilling the lake as fast as we can.”
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