On June 8, 2022, yours truly wrote a blurb titled Tick, Tick, Tick ... detailing an uncomfortable truth about the Great Salt Lake and the potential of toxic chemicals, created by mining back in the day, being released, thus threatening the existence of Salt Lake City as the lake continues to dry out thanks to 74% of diverted lakewater being used for unsustainable agricultural practices.
And we haven't even discussed the ongoing building boom happening in the city itself.
Utah's Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, could be set to disappear within the next five years, exposing millions of people to the toxic dust trapped in the drying lake bed, according to scientists.
The urgent warning, issued in a Jan. 4 report by a team of 32 ecologists and conservationists, says that the lake has lost 73% of its water and 60% of its surface area since 1850 and is facing "unprecedented danger." Without emergency measures to add an additional 326 billion gallons (1,234 billion liters) of water to the lake per year, or enough water to fill nearly 500,000 Olympic-size swimming pools, it could pass the point of no return by the end of 2024.
The Great Salt Lake provides a habitat for around 10 million migratory birds and brings Utah roughly $2.5 billion a year in economic activity, but, after drying at record rates since 2020, is currently sitting at 19 feet (5.8 meters) below its natural average levels, the report found. Scientists and conservationists pin the blame squarely on excessive water use by the region's alfalfa and hay farms, which take 74% of the many trillions of gallons of the total diverted lakewater to irrigate their vast operations, according to the report. If the lake is to be saved, overall water usage must be rapidly cut by 30 to 50%.
Good luck with that because ... metropolitan Salt Lake City has barely enough water to support its current population. And it is expected to grow almost 50 percent by 2060.
Same as it ever was - Talking Heads