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Monday, April 15, 2024

The Great Salt Lake could disappear from the face of the Earth in five years

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American scientists are sounding the alarm – the Great Salt Lake in Utah may disappear completely within five years. The reservoir is drying up at a dramatic rate. The water level is so low that in many places you can already see the bottom. The researchers have a way to save the reservoir, but it requires the support of the authorities.

Utah’s Great Salt Lake State has been worrying climate experts for months. Already in July, we informed about the disturbingly low water level caused by drought. A team of scientists took a deeper look at the ecological disaster threatening the reservoir. The latest report prepared by 30 researchers has just been published and it is alarming: the lake is about to be destroyed.

Experts called on the authorities to take “emergency measures” to save the famous reservoir. They added that if “drastic action” is not taken by 2024, the lake could disappear within five years.

“His disappearance could cause tremendous damage to Utah’s public health, environment and economy. The choices we make over the next few months will affect our state and ecosystems across the West for decades to come,” they wrote.

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The Great Salt Lake is drying up. Photo from July 2022Reuters

Residual amounts of water

The Great Salt Lake has recorded a record low water level for the second year in a row. According to experts, its condition is most affected by drought, excessive water consumption and the deepening climate crisis. As mentioned in the report, the reservoir has already lost 73 percent of its volume, exposed 60 percent. bottom, and the current water level is almost six meters lower than average.

– The ecosystem of the lake is further than on the brink of disaster. It’s collapsing,” said Benjamin Abbott, a professor of ecology at Brigham Young University and lead author of the report. “The lake is basically the bottom right now,” he added.

Meanwhile, climate change is not stopping. According to research, they will contribute to greater evaporation, which will also cause other water bodies to dry up at a drastic pace. As Abbott said, the Great Salt Lake is a reflection of what is already happening or will happen around the world as the climate warms.

Climate changeAdam Ziemienowicz/PAP

Save from dryness and trouble

The report concluded that huge amounts of water would have to enter the lake annually to reverse the trend. Therefore, it is important that authorities and local residents focus on capturing and using winter precipitation. Utah has received 170 percent of its snowfall in recent months, according to data on Tuesday. standards.

“We have this water, and very little of it ends up in the lake. We could just keep it in tanks, divert it and use it this year,” Abbott recommended.

The authors called on the authorities to support these ideas while introducing long-term solutions that would reduce water consumption. If the drought persists, as climatologists suspect, stabilizing the situation of the lake would require reducing the use of its resources by up to half.

The effects of this ecological catastrophe can be extensive – a threat to the habitats of many species, a destructive impact on the economy, increased pollution with harmful dust. Therefore, the authors of the report appeal to everyone, from individual users to the authorities, to act to save the lake.

“It’s the only way we can get enough water to the Great Salt Lake in time to save it,” Abbott said.

Main photo source: Reuters

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