Will Saving the Great Salt Lake Affect Your Water Usage?
According to the NIDIS (National Integrated Drought Information System), Utah has been in a drought for more than two decades. This drought has been going on for a while, but you’re probably just starting to feel the effects now. In the last couple of years, Utah has been experiencing some of its hottest summers to date. With this came some of our dry set months, making the Utah drought an extreme situation.
Because of the drought, we are experiencing state-wide water shortages that are destroying The Great Salt Lake. It’s no secret that The Great Salt Lake is dying, it has been for a while. However, can it be saved and how will it affect your water usage? Let’s dive into it.
What’s Happening to The Great Salt Lake?
The Great Salt Lake has been steadily shrinking since 1842, reaching its lowest level in 2016. While climate change has been one of the biggest culprits, scientists now believe that water consumption has had a big impact on its shrinkage.
If you’ve been to the lake in the last decade, you’ve probably seen a difference. Currently, the lake has half the volume it did ten years ago and in October 2016, it hit a record low. The Great Salt Lake has become an important resource to us and the ecosystem that revolves around it.
Can The Great Salt Lake Be Saved?
The short answer is yes. The Great Salt Lake can be saved, but only if we make some big changes. Without intervention, the lake is on track to become one of the largest dust emission sources in North America.
According to environmentalists, we’re going to need strong conservation strategies, changes in long-standing water laws, and new water policies in order to slow the shrinking of the lake. As of right now, the damage shrinkage that has happened now is irreversible, so saving what’s left is the goal.
Why is it Important to Save the Lake?
Not only is the lake one of our greatest resources, but it’s currently helping an entire ecosystem of birds, brine, and other organisms thrive. A study was conducted by The Great Salt Lake Advisory Council, and it concluded that the lake’s economic value is 1.3 billion dollars, meaning that it could cause an ecological collapse to our current economy.
Currently, one The Great Salt Lake Advisory Council latest reports describes 12 “actionable” measures that could keep the lake from drying up. Some of these measures include:
- Changing water laws
- Recognize the legal right to conserve water
- Ensuring sufficient stream flows
- Improved coordination among stakeholders
- And more.
The Great Salt Lake is one of Utah’s greatest treasures and it should be saved at all costs. Losing the lake will have dire consequences for the people of Utah and the ecosystems that rely on it for stability, so saving it is an absolute must.
How Saving The Great Salt Lake Will Affect You
The Great Salt Lake has been a source of nourishment for wildlife and humans for more than 10,000 years. Today, the health of the lake affects the success of industries throughout the state. As the lake continues to dry up, scientists are no longer completely blaming the drought for this. In recent years, the lake has lost 11 feet of water due to the upstream diversions.
As Utah continues to experience extreme heat, our water consumption continues to rise, having dire effects on our surrounding lakes. While it’s normal to want to use more water during hotter times, this will eventually ruin some of Utah’s greatest resources and you might already be feeling some of those effects now.
Currently, you may feel like you’re using a lot of water, raising your water bill with it. However, by saving The Great Salt Lake we can reduce the amount of water we use and still get to continue to use this amazing resource for other things.
What Can You Do?
Right now, the biggest killer to The Great Salt Lake is us. Utahns have been using water excessively for the last couple of years and now it is starting to catch up to us. The best thing you can do is to conserve water. Having access to clean safe water is a gift and when that is jeopardized, it should be taken seriously.
As plumbers, we are always working with water and believe it to be one of our most vital resources. That is why we want to help conserve the water we have and save The Great Salt Lake. If you have any questions about which plumbing repairs or installations you can invest in to better conserve water, feel free to contact us!