July 2017 Recommended State Water Strategy 

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“We’re talking about the need to be nimble and adaptive, practical and proactive in our approach. We need to evaluate the future of water planning and its relevance to land use and economic planning so that it’s cohesive and resilient in the scheme of sustainability thinking for Utah’s population and our precious natural systems that includes Great Salt Lake.” 

        -Joanna Endter-Wada, USU and Advisory Team cohort.

With an eye on the projected doubling of Utah’s population by 2060 and how to reconcile this with managing the state’s water resources, in 2013 Governor Herbert initiated a 50-Year State Water Strategy. The strategy is supposed to “define priorities, inform water policy, and chart a path to maintaining and constructing needed infrastructure without breaking the bank or drying up our streams.”

Forty one of members of the Advisory Team, including FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake Executive Director Lynn DeFreitas, were tasked by the Governor to “(1) solicit and evaluate potential water management strategies; (2) frame various water management options and implications of those options for public feedback; and (3) based on broad input develop a set of recommended strategies and ideas to be considered a part of the 50-yr water plan.”

The Recommended State Water Strategy is the result of respectful and robust debate among team members working in small groups to identify the issues and recommendations that support the policy questions in the strategy. 

The Recommended State Water Strategy focuses on 12 key policy questions and you can read the July 2017 Recommended State Water Strategy Here.

Photo: FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake Executive Director, Lynn de Freitas and the State Water Strategy Team after presenting the Strategy to Governor Herbert, July 2017. 

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Why We Care

  • We suggest that Great Salt Lake is a phenomenal asset to the state of Utah. Its mineral resources have been appreciated for almost 150 years. Brine shrimp are now appreciated because they are economically valuable. To only a very limited extent is the lake appreciated for tourism, for culture, for earth systems history and for education. 

    Scientific Review Committee, Comments to the Great Salt Lake Management Planning Team, 1999