The Great Salt Lake’s Northern Arm in Utah has reached it record lowest altitude of 4,191.6 feet above sea level. The inland sea is literally on the verge of becoming the Great Salt Lakebed as it loses its enormity and reaches a dangerously low level. A new set of rules are being formulated to preserve the lake’s ecological strength and economic role.
The new protocols, to be put in effect by land managers, include complete restrictions on new mineral leasing around the lake and on illegal travel across the lakebed through motor vehicles. The land managers are also trying to gain approvals for dredging. The information was provided by Jason Curry of the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (FFSL). "It is becoming increasingly difficult for [extractive industries] to reach the brine water. One [company] is extending their intake canal. We are still committed to facilitate continued access for the leases currently in place," said Curry.
The protocols have been laid down in the Great Salt Lake Comprehensive Management Plan of 391 pages. It was approved in 2013 with an aim of preventing various benefits of the lake. The plan had to be formulated in the wake of increasing demand for the few water supply resources, which maintain the level of the sea. Economic activities generated by the lake are worth about $1.3 billion. The lake also acts as dwelling lace for millions of migratory waterfowl. The level of the lake’s South Arm is 4,192.5 feet.