SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah Division of Water Resources is sharing good news about the impacts all the rain is having on the Great Salt Lake, whose water levels reached a historic low last year. 

The department said in a Tweet Wednesday that the lake has risen 12 inches since its historic low in early November of last year. Water levels at the Lake remain low, but this is a big win this early in the season when the lake barely rose a foot during the last two years.  

On average, the Great Salt Lake water level will rise and fall by roughly two feet each year, with runoff and inflow replacing what evaporates in the summer. With poor snowpack levels in 2021 and 2022 and record heat in the Summer of 2022, this hasn’t been the case.  

“Because of how hot it was, especially in 2022, we just lost a lot of water out of that from evaporation,” said Laura Haskell, the Division of Water Resources drought coordinator.

The Great Salt Lake averages a depth of just 14 ft. with lake records going back to 1847. The Lake is currently sitting at 4,189 feet in elevation, which is 11 feet below average. And with the historic record low water levels last fall, many Utahns may recall the W.E. Marsh No. 4 wreckage that became visible for the first time since it disappeared in 1950.  

“The W.E. Marsh starboard side of the boat was sticking up,” said Angelic Anderson, a park ranger at the Great Salt Lake, “but we’ve got a picture here and then on this backside. You can see that’s the sand, and that is basically the waterline.” 

The wreckage is once again under water with the recent rise but, Angelic said they still highlight the area on tours even with it covered up.   

More good news: With the incredible start to the snowpack season, Utahns should expect to see improvement in water levels through early April. The Utah Division of Water Resources says that in a good snowpack year, lake levels can rise by three or even four feet.