Record-low lake levels have highlighted the need to protect and preserve the lake. Restoring the lake to healthier levels will take time. While the 2023 winter brought much-needed precipitation, we need to plan for a drier future and continue to take action. Elected officials, state agencies and other stakeholders are working hard to find solutions to protect this critical resource.
On Nov. 3, 2022, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox issued a proclamation suspending new water appropriations within the Great Salt Lake Basin. The suspension allows for existing water rights and applications to be used and developed while promoting more efficient use of the existing supply. By protecting the lake, we help our economy, environment, wildlife and the future of our beautiful state. Visit the links below to learn about some of the critical initiatives, legislation and projects that are in motion.
Initiatives & Legislation
National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy will utilize $40 million appropriated during the 2022 legislative session to lead and implement a water trust to benefit the lake and its wetlands.
Ducks Unlimited is working to raise $5 million in private donations over the next five years to pair with matching grants from state and federal entities to help improve water levels and preserve the lake’s wetlands.
Extreme drought and record-low levels prompted unprecedented investment and action from the Legislature in 2022 and 2023, where over $1 billion was allocated toward conservation and protecting the lake.
The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands is updating its comprehensive management plan to address decreasing lake levels. The last CMP was published in March 2013.
The Division of Water Resources is leading a collaborative effort to create a water resources action plan for the lake and its watershed. This plan will ensure a resilient water supply.
Efforts are underway to remove Phragmites, a thirsty, invasive grass that crowds out native plants, degrades habitat and negatively impacts wetlands and wildlife.
A railway causeway divides the lake into two arms. The berm was raised in February 2023 to help keep the super salty north arm water from flowing into the south arm.
Utah has been cloud seeding since the 1950s to augment the water supply by 5-15%. Additional cloud seeding is underway to enhance the supply.
The Collaborative is a group of news, education and media organizations working together to inform and engage the public about the crisis facing the lake — and what can be done to make a difference.
Understanding the processes that dictate the lake’s health is the first step in saving it. This story map helps define these processes while exploring the challenges and solutions the state is tackling to manage this resource.
Many elected officials, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders are working together to find solutions to protect this critical resource.