SALT LAKE CITY (March 8, 2022) – In the past two years, lawmakers have allocated nearly a billion dollars for water conservation efforts and development, further mitigating Utah’s ongoing water issues and planning for future growth. During the 2023 General Session, the Legislature funded over $500 million for water conversation, development and infrastructure.(more…)
Analysis includes a data repository, research, and policy options that will help return the lake to healthy levels
February 8, 2023 (Salt Lake City) – Declining water levels of Great Salt Lake threaten economic activity, local public health, and ecosystems. In response to this emergent statewide challenge, Utah’s public research universities formed the Great Salt Lake Strike Team, a collaboration of experts in public policy, hydrology, water management, climatology, and dust. Today they released a Great Salt Lake Policy Assessment that affirms the situation is urgent, but also identifies a variety of policy levers that can return the lake to healthy levels.(more…)
Third round of grant funding applications for the purchase and installation of secondary meters announced
The funds will be distributed through the Board of Water Resources in an effort to increase water conservation statewide
SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 30, 2022) – After two initial two rounds of funding, the Utah Division of Water Resources is opening up a third round of applications for the purchase and installation of secondary meters. Through the first two rounds, the Board of Water Resources authorized over $190 million towards this effort. Systems that have installed secondary meters have seen a 20-30% reduction in water use simply by informing customers how much water they use. These grant funds are for secondary water providers, not residents.(more…)
Happy 75th anniversary to us!
💦 Seventy-five years
💦 1,530 projects
💦 $988M in Board Funding
From dam development and upgrades, to water data collection and planning, and hundreds of critical projects in between, we’ve worked hard to protect Utah’s water. Now more than ever, we’re committed to collaboration with the water community to address the challenges ahead of us. We celebrate these many accomplishments, but we also celebrate you, Utahns, for your efforts to conserve and your continued support!(more…)
According to the USGS, the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake is at a new historic low, with average daily water levels dropping about an inch below the previous record set in 1963, according to U.S. Geological Survey information collected at the SaltAir gauge location.
“Based on current trends and historical data, the USGS anticipates water levels may decline an additional foot over the next several months,” said USGS Utah Water Science Center data chief Ryan Rowland. “This information is critical in helping resource managers make informed decisions on Great Salt Lake resources. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”(more…)
Reports that the Great Salt Lake has dropped below its historic low elevation of 4,191.35 are premature. The Utah Division of Water Resources is following the lake’s elevation closely and expects it will drop below that point in the coming days.
Conditions like wind, inflow and evaporation can cause the lake’s elevation to fluctuate. Sometimes those swings are extreme. To account for this, the division evaluates daily averages rather than the instantaneous readings recorded every 15-minutes. Taking this approach provides a more accurate reading rather than a single snapshot in time.
This pending milestone is concerning. The value of the Great Salt Lake to the state of Utah is significant as it provides economic, environmental and ecological benefits. Utah is growing faster than any other state in the country, and water demand is at an all-time high. Coordination and cooperation are key to solving this unique challenge. It’s important that we maintain a unified front between policy leaders, industry, wildlife and all stakeholders to balance the state’s growth with the health of the lake.
Can more water be stored in Bear Lake by adjusting flood control operations? Idaho, Utah and PacifiCorp worked with reservoir modeling experts at the University of Colorado to answer this question. The technical report “Impacts on Bear Lake Storage under Alternative High-Runoff Management Operations” published today, summarizes findings about how different flood control operations can raise lake levels and increase storage.(more…)
Conservation is critical to meet the water needs of Utah’s growing population and is a factor that can significantly postpone water development projects.
“We’ve seen how implementing water conservation strategies can delay large-scale infrastructure projects,” said Todd Adams, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. “When the Legislature passed the Bear River Development Act in 1991, the projected need for the water was in 2015. Thanks primarily to conservation efforts, new technology and some smaller water development projects, current projections indicate the water won’t be needed until 2045 to 2050.”(more…)