Work Plan for the Great Salt Lake Basin Integrated Plan Now Complete

Work Plan for the Great Salt Lake Basin Integrated Plan Now Complete

Published 04-15-24

Specific actions outlined to help ensure a resilient water supply for the lake

SALT LAKE CITY (April 15, 2024) – The Utah Division of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation are pleased to announce the finalization of the Work Plan for the Great Salt Lake Basin Integrated Plan (GSLBIP), which charts the course for developing the GSLBIP.

After a 65-day comment period, the initial draft Work Plan was updated in response to recommendations and to include the specific actions necessary for completing the GSLBIP.

“The Great Salt Lake holds a profound importance for Utah, serving as a critical element in our environment, economy and cultural heritage,” said the Division of Water Resources Director Candice Hasenyager. “This finalized Work Plan marks a significant stride in our commitment to tackling intricate challenges in preserving and safeguarding this extraordinary asset.”

The GSLBIP is funded with $5 million by the Utah Legislature in 2022 (HB429) and $3.1 million from Reclamation’s basin study program. These combined projects will help to ensure a resilient water supply for Great Salt Lake and its watershed by:

  • Assessing current surface and groundwater supply in the Great Salt Lake Basin
  • Forecasting future water demands
  • Investigating potential benefits of forest management and watershed restoration
  • Coordinating efforts to quantify and incorporate demand into the water supply and demand model
  • Identifying and evaluating best management practices to provide a reliable water supply
  • Analyzing the trade-offs in relation to impacts on water users throughout the basin and avoiding deterioration of agriculture, industry and ecosystems
  • Recommending actionable strategies for the holistic management of water resources

“Aridification in the western U.S. is a pressing issue that demands collaboration and action,” said Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Basin Regional Director Wayne Pullan. “Working together to find solutions that chart a path to a sustainable future for our water resources is essential for addressing the challenges that face the Great Salt Lake.” 

The Work Plan identifies specific tools, being developed over the next two years, which the Great Salt Lake Commissioner’s Office has incorporated into the Great Salt Lake Strategic Plan. 

“The tools the Work Plan is developing will provide vital information and guidance as we work to get the Great Salt Lake to a healthy range and sustain it from there,” said Great Salt Lake Commissioner Brian Steed.

You can learn more about the collective project, subscribe for updates and review the finalized Work Plan at GSLBasinPlan.utah.gov

For more information, contact Michael Sanchez, public information officer, at 385-226-8967 or msanchez@utah.gov.

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The Utah Division of Water Resources is one of 10 divisions housed within the Department of Natural Resources. Tasked with planning, conserving, developing and protecting Utah’s water resources, the division serves as Utah’s water steward.
In 2023, the Utah Legislature created the Office of the Great Salt Lake Commissioner. The Commissioner has been tasked with developing and maintaining a strategic plan as well as coordinating collaborative work amongst all agencies and interests in relation to the lake. The Commissioner also holds the authority to require a state agency to act, or refrain from acting, in order to protect Great Salt Lake.

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