Water levels in Great Salt Lake have peaked this year, an expert says

SALT LAKE CITY — The Great Salt Lake has finished extracting water for the year, according to water managers.

Great Salt Lake Deputy Commissioner Tim Davis told the media Wednesday that the lake recently peaked at about 4,000 feet above sea level. That’s the highest level the lake has reached since spring 2017.

The current lake level is still three feet away from the target level of 4,198. According to Davis, that’s where healthy lake levels start.

While there is still room for improvement in Great Salt Lake water levels, they are about 6 feet higher than they were at the end of 2022, when they were all-time lows recorded.

The southern arm of the lake rose about three feet, thanks to strong winter and spring runoff. However, Davis warned that the lake’s water level drops an average of two feet each summer. That means some of that new water will soon disappear.

The need to preserve

Despite the current high levels in Utah’s reservoirs and the significant improvement at the Great Salt Lake, Davis said people along the Wasatch Front must continue to conserve water.

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“It’s going to take everyone conserving water, dedicating it to the lake and delivering it to the lake every year … to get the lake to a healthy level,” Davis said. “It cannot simply be a solution for the dry year.”

Davis talked about ways people can help conserve water during the summer. They include:

Additionally, Davis said a major focus for his office is ensuring that the stored water ends up in the Great Salt Lake.

“Just saving water for the sake of conservation is not enough; we really need to take those extra steps,” Davis said.

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