Extreme drought in Utah has seen the Great Salt Lake record its lowest water level ever. The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the West and is expected to decline further.
The Geological Survey of the US stated that the water level dropped by an inch from 4,191.4 ft above sea height.
The drought affecting the Western part of the USA is to blame for this receding water level in the Great Salt Lake.
More than 98% of the state is under extreme conditions of drought, and 70% is under the highest category of “exceptional” drought.
Candice Hasenyager had commented that the Great Salt Lake was in the receding phase but the drought has rocketed this decline. Candice is the deputy director in Utah’s Water Resources Division.
The Lake faces its dry season from June all through the Fall. The Water Science Center has stated that the water level will continue to recede.
The Receding Level Of The Great Salt Lake
Ryan Rowland, who is the data chief at this Center, calculated another drop of around a foot and a half.
Increased consumption is the biggest reason for this incident. The water is used in mineral extractions, agriculture and also in the industrial sectors. Climate change has altered the volume of water flowing into this lake. Higher temperatures have reduced the snowpack and changed the pattern of precipitation. Scientists have predicted a change in temperatures and are expecting to see extremes of the conditions.
The receding water at the Great Salt Lake does not have any direct implications but can create a domino effect.
The dried-up lake can lead to loss of habitat, reduction in snow, and an increase in dust. This could degrade the quality of air and increase the salt concentration in water.
The shorelines can also be affected as the Great Salt Lake is quite shallow. The lake bed will be exposed and small changes could lead to larger ones in the surface area of the Great lake.