Utah hit by rise in salt and dust storms

Water from the Utah's Great Salt Lake is increasingly being diverted to support the growing population at the expense of the environment.

The Great Salt Lake initially formed through precipitation and rivers fed by melting mountain snow. The lake is the largest remnant of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric pluvial lake that once covered much of western Utah.
The Great Salt Lake in the US state of Utah is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere. It has receded 48 percent since 1847 as a result of increased water use. While climate fluctuations, such as droughts and floods, have played their part in the shift of the lake's water levels over time, the decrease in the lake's size is predominantly due to human causes. According to a report, the heavy reliance on consumptive water uses has reduced the lake level by 11 feet and its volume by 48 percent.

With more and more of the lake bed exposed, it means more locally severe salt and dust storms. Salt Lake City is already facing serious air pollution problems, particularly during events known as winter inversions.

Scientists say increasing water use may contribute to the complete disappearance of the Great Salt Lake in a matter of decades if action is not taken.

No comments:

Post a Comment