Utah's Great Salt Lake is disappearing

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 05:32:57 GMT
Space Daily

Paris (ESA) Aug 02, 2022 Utah's Great Salt Lake dropped to its lowest recorded water level last...

Utah's Great Salt Lake dropped to its lowest recorded water level last month as a megadrought persists across the US southwest, forcing the fast-growing city to curb its water use.

According to data from the US Geological Survey, the Great Salt Lake's surface water elevation fell to the lowest level since records began in the mid-1800s, to an average of 1277 m above sea level.

The lake goes through seasonal cycles of water loss and replenishment after rain and snow melt fills it back up.

According to officials, the water evaporation and depletion exceed the amount of water entering the lake.

The declining waters of the Great Salt Lake poses devastating consequences for the economy, ecology and people of northern Utah.

The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere, and one of the most saline inland bodies of water in the world.

Another factor contributing to the lake's dropping water levels is the reduction in ways that the lake regains water.

Water is re-directed from the streams that feed the lake each year to agriculture and nearby residential areas, meaning the lake cannot easily replace the water it loses via evaporation.

Increased water demand due to the growing number population of the metropolitan Salt Lake City is another reason behind the Great Salt Lake's desertification.

The image below utilises data from the World Settlement Footprint to highlight the urban expansion of Salt Lake City occurring between 1985 to 2019.

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