In this article, Flavelle and Tarnowski go into detail about the many serious consequences of the Great Salt Lake drying up, highlighting that dramatic and immediate action is required. There are multiple causes of the lake not receiving as much water as previous years, one of the most impactful being explosive population growth, which is diverting more water from the rivers that run into the lake before they reach the lake. Climate change is also a major factor, with higher temperatures causing more snowpack to turn to water vapor, escaping the atmosphere rather than turning into liquid and flowing into the rivers. As storms pass over the lake they absorb some of its moisture, which then falls in the mountains, but less water to absorb means less snowfall. As the water in the lake drops, the salt content increases and if it reaches 17%, it will greatly endanger the algae in the water putting the brine shrimp who consume it at risk. The soil in the area contains residue from mining activity in the region, including arsenic, antimony, copper, zirconium, and other heavy metals. Dust clouds make it hard for people to breathe, especially those with respiratory issues. The author reminds us that, “in theory, the fix is simple: Let more water from melting snowpack reach the lake, by sending less towards homes, businesses, and farms” (Flavelle/Tarnowski, 2022). The issue that we run into is that Salt Lake City is growing fast and is expected to grow almost 50% by 2060, but has barely enough water to support its population today. Three general solutions proposed by Laura Briefer, the director of Salt Lake City’s public utilities department, are to “divert more water from rivers and streams, recycle more wastewater, or draw more groundwater from wells.” There is always the issue of having enough water. People have been trying to save water and not water their laws, but homeowners’ associations have threatened to fine them. There are various solutions that have been proposed, but lawmakers continue to reject them and shoot them down. Owens Lake in Los Angeles serves as an example of what could happen if nothing is done, deadly wind storms sweeping the area and driving the once boomtown out, resulting in a ghost town of 50 remaining residents. 

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