"FARMINGTON, Utah — In an effort to help save the shrinking Great Salt Lake, environmentalists are attempting a novel idea: securing water rights for a terminal system.
The Great Salt Lake is now nearly a foot below its last recorded level in 1963, alarming environmentalists and Utah’s policymakers.
“Right now, Great Salt Lake is facing its lowest recorded levels ever since 1847. We’re anticipating even lower levels. We hope we don’t see that. With climate change and the serious drought and continued desires to divert more water, this is going to be a challenge,” said Marcelle Shoop, the director of the Audubon Society’s saline lakes program.
Legally speaking, the lake is considered to have “no beneficial use” because it’s a terminal system — water that enters the Great Salt Lake ends there. That has historically contributed to some of the pressure to divert water away from it for agriculture, development and other needs."