Utah is awash with money and snow. It may not be enough for the Great Salt Lake to be saved.

With Utah in drought and the Great Salt Lake shriveling, Gov.

“He’s totally wrong about what we did, and the effect it’s going have on the lake,” stated Brad Wilson, the Utah House Speaker, who is a Republican. He said that Abbott was an “alarmist”.

Wilson stated, “This year is the second of what I believe will have to be 10-year efforts.” We accomplished all that we set out to accomplish and more. “I feel very proud of what we have done and where we are with the lake.”

The Great Salt Lake’s water level reached an all-time low last fall. Worse, the lake’s salt levels reached alarming levels. Scientists aren’t sure how long the creatures at base of the food chain — brine flies adapted to extreme environments — can survive.

Abbott, along with other conservationists and scientists, released a January report stating that the lake required “emergency actions” to stop its “ongoing collapse” as well as that the “lake so we know it” is “on track to disappear within five years.”

These consequences can have devastating effects.

Around 10 million birds migrate each year to the lake, which is home to more than 300 species. Low water levels pose a threat to several industries. These include mining companies that evaporate lake brine in order to extract metals, and commercial producers who farm brine shrimp for aquaculture.

More unhealthy dust will be blown into the lakes as the lake dries. Scientists are worried because dust is high in toxic metals.

Scientists and politicians believed that this winter could mark a turning point in January.

Utah’s accounts were flooded with unexpected revenue. Lawmakers promised to spend generously on the lake. The good snow year was a boon for lake levels.

Cox suggested that Utah spend more $560 million on water improvement. This includes $100 million to address the crisis and purchase short-term agricultural water leases. He also proposed that Utah “shepherd that water to the Great Salt Lake.”

According to a list of budget appropriations , legislators agreed to spend over $400 million in ongoing and one time funding for the Great Salt Lake.

Feb. 21, 202300:31

The $200 million was spent by lawmakers to finance a program to maximize agricultural water use. They also invested in cloud seeding, water measurement infrastructure, and other infrastructure. They also funded air quality and dust studies, and established a new state office called the Great Salt Lake Commissioner.

Legislators passed bills to encourage sod removal, efficient landscaping, and to ban water reuse within the Great Salt Lake Basin to increase water flow into the lake. A bill was also passed to give the state emergency powers in case of ecological or salinity breaches.

The lawmakers did not set a target for lake level or spend millions of dollars to increase lake levels through the purchase of short-term water rights.

Others argued that such emergency measures were unnecessary.

state Senator Scott Sandall stated that there was an emergency plan in place. “We would have had enough water to save the ecology,” he said at a recorded media event. Mother Nature was our helper. We didn’t need to pull the lever for emergency use.

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