Research and Community Engagement

Assessment of Potential Costs of Declining Water Levels in Great Salt Lake - November 2019

"Policy solutions and investments in water for Great Salt Lake now can prevent future costs to the region. The magnitude of potential consequences, $25.4 billion to $32.6 billion over twenty years, suggests that major interventions are likely warranted. The science review and economic analyses in this study indicate that reduced lake levels at Great Salt Lake are already imposing adverse conditions and economic costs on the regional community and economy. The continued trajectory of declining lake levels will likely only increase the magnitude and expand the categories of costs imposed on Utahns."

Study by ECONorthwest and Martin & Nicholson Environmental Consultants prepared for the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council

 

Great Salt Lake Research - Good Science Informs Good Management

The GSL Ecosystem is a complex and unique saline ecosystem that is locally, regionally, hemispherically, and globally important. It provides a valuable mix of habitats from islands, open water, wetland complexes and uplands for native plant and wildlife populations. It also provides critical resting, staging and nesting capacity for over 260 avian species and millions of migratory birds. 

The Lake is an important economic contributor to the State of Utah through a variety of ecosystem services that include mineral extraction, brine shrimp, recreation and tourism among others. It provides $1.3 B annually to the state’s economy. 

The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands in the Department of Natural Resources has jurisdictional responsibility for managing the Lake sustainably for future generations. The system is a hotbed of potential research opportunities that can help inform effective management decisions toward that end.

What follows are examples of some of the resources that are in place to help identify research needs and fund proposals that generate valuable science and insights about the system. These serve to increase our understanding so we can work to protect Great Salt Lake.  

Meetings for all of these standing bodies are open to the public.  We encourage you to attend these meetings and share your voice.  In addition to good science, good management is informed by a well-educated community.

 

Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands

 

Additional Great Salt Lake Organizations 

 

 

 


 

 

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Why We Care

  • We live along the Great Salt Lake, one of the most extraordinary natural features in North America. I do not believe we, as a community, have honored its rarity. Our lack of intimacy toward this inland sea is not out of neglect, but of ignorance. We do not know the nature of this vast body of water that sparkles and sings. If we did, the shores of the Great Salt Lake would look different.

    Terry Tempest Williams, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake Advisory Board