Jodi Gardberg

Conserving Great Salt Lake: Meeting the water quality challenge

Under both state law (UAC R317) and federal Clean Water Act authority, the Utah Division of Water Quality (UDWQ) is entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the lake’s “beneficial uses”—recreational activities such as swimming and duck hunting and protection for waterfowl, shorebirds and other water-oriented wildlife including their necessary food chain. Yet the extent that the lake is resilient to or threatened by pollutants and their effect on the lake’s beneficial uses is largely unknown. Great Salt Lake’s unique characteristics, particularly salt concentrations that range from freshwater conditions to conditions tenfold greater than the ocean, requires a management approach that is specific to the lake.

UDWQ is proposing a Great Salt Lake Water Quality Strategy to better coordinate and communicate efforts to develop numeric water quality criteria for the lake, improve water quality monitoring and prioritize research. UDWQ believes that implementing this strategy will result in increased water quality protection of the Lake’s beneficial uses, greater certainty for regulated industries and cities, and more effective use of scarce resources by all concerned. UDWQ will explain this newly developed strategy to protect this precious resource.

Jodi Gardberg is the Great Salt Lake Watershed Coordinator for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality (UDWQ). In this capacity, she coordinates UDWQ activities pertaining to the lake including monitoring, beneficial use assessments of the open water and wetlands, 401 certification planning and staff support for the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council. In addition, she is a Statewide Mercury Coordinator and assists with the Statewide Mercury Workgroup, research, fish sampling and consumption advisories.
 Posted by at 10:06 am