In this article, Kirk Siegler goes into great detail about the importance and environmental role of the Great Salt Lake and the consequences of it drying up, which are far-reaching. This includes the lake’s brine shrimp fishing industry, mineral harvesting, and even Utah’s famous ski resorts which benefit from lake effect snow. The lake is in danger and is estimated to completely dry up in the next 5 years if nothing is done to prevent this. The Great Salt Lake contains high concentrations of neurotoxins and cancer-causing carcinogens including arsenic and mercury. If the lake dries up, winds blowing across the vast empty area will carry dust, causing severe dust storms. These dust storms have already started to occur often in nearby neighborhoods. The dust storms carry the heavy metals exposed by the lake drying up, and dropping the toxic dust in neighborhoods, affecting the people who live and work in these areas. The majority of Utah’s population of 3.3 million lives near the lake and it could be disastrous if the areas in which these people live become uninhabitable due to toxic chemicals.
This is all vital information in understanding the importance of saving the Great Salt Lake. The first step is to understand this issue, and from there, we can come up with solutions. Scientists and lawmakers are coming up with solutions to save the Great Salt Lake. These range from economic to environmental changes. Some possible solutions include turf-reduction programs in cities, providing more incentives to farmers to divert less water from rivers that feed the lake, cloud seeding, building pipelines to pump in water from the Pacific Ocean, and buying out alfalfa farmers so more water will return to the lake. The importance of the lake is obvious, the issue is hard to ignore, and searching for solutions is absolutely vital.
Below is the link to the article: