“All the minerals from the mountains, all the heavy metals from the mountains have been coming into this lake for thousands of years, and if the lake bottom is completely dry, then the wind picks up and creates dust storms that carry those heavy metals into the air and spread them around to urban areas like Salt Lake City.”–Brian Footen, Earthviews
The Great Salt Lake continues to shrink. Last Tuesday, the Great Salt Lake in Utah reached the lowest recorded level in its history. With temperatures in the hundreds throughout this week, that trend won’t be slowing down anytime soon. One such concern about the lowering water levels, as elaborated further in a June New York Times article, is the amount of Arsenic in the ground of the Great Salt Lake that could lead to toxic dust storms.
CBS Saturday Morning traveled to Utah to see how the situation has gotten so dire. One issue that the University of Utah pointed out, who was interviewed in the piece, is that HOAs are requiring homeowners to water their lawns as a primary issue. Farmer and Utah state representative Joel Ferry is also interviewed, as he showed a few of the conservation methods he’s implemented at his farm. Oddly, Governor Spencer Cox recently appointed Ferry as the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, whose main focus will be teaching about water conservation. Personally, I don’t think having a farmer teaching about water conservation in the desert is a good idea.
This news of the Great Salt Lake’s rapidly decreasing water level has been followed by numerous wildfires in the state, one of which is relatively close to Salt Lake County. It seems like a good time for the Governor to ask people to pray for rain again.
Image/Video Credits: R. Douglas Ramsey, Great Salt Lake State Park & Marina, CBS