"Without dramatic cuts to water consumption, Utah’s Great Salt Lake is on track to disappear within five years, a dire new report warns, imperiling ecosystems and exposing millions of people to toxic dust from the drying lake bed.
The report, led by researchers at Brigham Young University and published this week, found that unsustainable water use has shrunk the lake to just 37 percent of its former volume. The West’s ongoing megadrought — a crisis made worse by climate change — has accelerated its decline to rates far faster than scientists had predicted.
But current conservation measures are critically insufficient to replace the roughly 40 billion gallons of water the lake has lost annually since 2020, the scientists said."
Sarah Kaplan and Brady Dennis report for the Washington Post January 6, 2023.