“There’s a lot of water in the ocean and we have very little in the Great Salt Lake.”- Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, Co-Chair of the Legislative Water Development Commission in the state of Utah.
First, they tried praying for rain, but that didn’t work out. It’s now looking like a saltwater pipeline is being considered to help Utah in its current dry condition. FOX 13 reports that a legislative committee in the state of Utah is considering a saltwater pipeline from the Pacific Ocean to the Great Salt Lake. During a meeting on Tuesday, the legislative committee authorized a study into the idea. The pipeline would go from the Pacific Ocean, through the Sierra Nevada mountains and deserts of California and Nevada, and end up in the Great Salt Lake. The pipeline could cost billions of dollars and would likely require logistical coordination and approval from the states of California and Nevada.
This follows the Great Salt Lake’s major decline in the past couple of decades, as it is expected to reach its lowest level ever later this year. Some of the factors that have contributed to this situation have been climate change, a rapidly growing population in the state, water diversion, and drought conditions. The risks of letting it dry include toxic dust storms due to the arsenic that’s in the lake bed, a further decline in the snowpack, and billions of dollars in lost economic value.
Some other water projects that are being considered include “water re-use, exploring ways to address declining water levels at Lake Powell, the amount of water Utah gets from the Bear River, a pipeline study for the Green River, agricultural optimization, rural water metering, aquifer storage, and more water conservation measures.”
As someone who once lived in Utah, I think it’s not a bad idea. I’ve been hoping for a while now that more Western states to act more urgently in tackling their water crisis and consider the usage of desalination plants that could connect the Pacific Ocean to inland states that are losing water rapidly. Places like Lake Powell and Mead are at record low levels, and it won’t get better due to the neverending drought in the region. Having a saltwater pipeline to the Great Salt Lake would make this process cheaper due to there being no need for a desalination plant. The Great Salt Lake also plays a big part in Utah having the moniker of the Greatest Snow on Earth, so having it around helps the state in numerous ways.
In terms of the cost, they should aim on making the corporations and the wealthy in the state pay for the tab due to the fact they helped grow the state exponentially with no regard for the environmental impact of their actions. In the meantime, the state should focus on water conservation, and care about the environment.
The Great Salt Lake #Utah, 1985 – 2021 showing its high of 4,211.65 ft. ASL, 1986 to its record low of 4191.3 in 2021. #GEE script can be modified to any area in the world. #Landsat #USGS #EarthEngine #NASA https://t.co/7VFd6Wxk6c pic.twitter.com/y8mnhs2oZi
— R. Douglas Ramsey (@dramsey0425) May 4, 2022
Image Credits: FOX 13, Deseret News, Mick Haupt of Unsplash, R. Douglas Ramsey
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