SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The season of heavy floods is soon to make a positive difference in our state as the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD) will begin redirecting 50 million gallons of water per day to the Great Salt Lake.
Made possible by existing pipelines and aqueduct systems, these diversion efforts will be routed through a spillway into the Jordan River, creating a ten-foot, man-made waterfall.
In recent years, the Great Salt Lake has seen dangerously low water levels in the lake due to the state’s ongoing drought status.
These water levels have been concerning as the lake plays a huge role in the health of the local ecology and economy. When levels are too low, the salinity increases, making the lake uninhabitable for the brine shrimp population, which is integral to the wildlife that migrates there every season.
Since October 2022, the water levels in the Great Salt Lake have already risen nearly four feet, showing promise ahead of these efforts by the Central Utah Water Conservancy.
“We all know the Great Salt Lake is extremely low,” remarks Gene Shawcroft, CEO and General Manager of CUWCD. “Even though it’s come up a little bit this winter, getting additional water to the Great Salt Lake will benefit everyone…”
This solution, as part of the Central Utah Project, will make for additional runoff storage in Deer Creek Reservoir by releasing water into the Provo River and redirecting it to the spillway leading into the Great Salt Lake.
According to the agency, it will be part of a series of steps, both to help mitigate the flooding seen through the spring runoff season after the record-breaking snowpack Utah received during the winter and to help replenish the Great Salt Lake after several years of drought.