Sei sulla pagina 1di 9

Whitepaper

February20,2015

ImpactsofWaterDevelopmentonGreatSaltLakeandtheWasatchFront
WayneWurtsbaugh1,CraigMiller2,SarahNull1,PeterWilcock1,MauraHahnenberger3,FrankHowe1,4
UtahStateUniversity1;2UtahDivisionofWaterResources;3SaltLakeCommunityCollege;4UtahDivisionof
WildlifeResources

Summary
Although droughts and floods produce shortterm
fluctuationsintheelevationofGreatSaltLake,water
diversions since the arrival of 19th Century pioneers
representapersistentreductioninwatersupplytothe
lake,decreasingitselevationby11feetandexposing
muchofthelakebed.AsUtahmovesforward,weneed
tobeawareoftheimpactsofloweredlakelevelsand
makedecisionsthatservetheinterestsofallUtahns.In
particular, proposals to further develop the water
supplyoftheGreatSaltLakeshouldcarefullyconsider
potentialimpactstothehealthofthelakeandexamine
the tradeoffs. There are no water rights to protect
Great Salt Lake, so water development currently
focusessolelyonwhetherthereiswaterupstreamto
divert. If future water projects reduce the supply of
water to the lake, its level will continue to drop.1
Although water conservation has reduced urban per
capitauseby18percent,overallmunicipalwateruse
has increased by 5 percent because of our growing
population.2 To significantly reduce water use, a
balancedconservationethicneedstoconsideralluses,
including agriculture, which consumes 63 percent of
thewaterintheGreatSaltLakeBasin.

Figure1.GreatSaltLakeshowingitsmajorbaysand
therelativecontribution(%)ofeachofthemajorriver
inflows.Thewhitelineshowsthelakemarginforits
averagenaturalelevationof4208feetandtheJuly
2015NASAphotographshowsthelakeatnearrecord
lowlevels,exposinghalfofthelakebed.

IncreasedawarenessofhowwateruseisloweringGreatSaltLakewillhelpusavoidthefateofothersaltlakes
suchastheAralSeainCentralAsiaorCaliforniasOwensLake,bothofwhichhavebeendesiccatedandnow
causesevereenvironmentalproblems.Wemustlookbeyondthenextfewdecadesanddecidehowwevalue
thelakeforfuturegenerations.Lowerlakelevelswillincreasedustpollutionandrelatedhumanhealthimpacts,
andreduceindustrialandenvironmentalfunctionofGreatSaltLake.Wemustbewillingtomakedecisionsnow
thatpreserveGreatSaltLakesbenefitsandmitigateitsnegativeimpactsintothecomingcenturies.


Introduction
UtahsGreatSaltLakeisimmenselyvaluableasanenvironmental,cultural,andeconomicresource.A2012
analysis by Bioeconomics3 estimated the economic value of the lake at $1.32 billion per year for mineral
extraction,brineshrimpcystproduction,andrecreation.Theabundantfoodandwetlandsofthelakeattract3
millionshorebirds,asmanyas1.7millionearedgrebes,andhundredsofthousandsofwaterfowlduringspring
andfallmigrations.Becauseofthis,ithasbeendesignatedasaWesternHemisphereShorebirdReserveNetwork
Site.Notably,thelakeisthenamesakeofUtahscapitalcity,whichunderscoresitsculturalsignificance.
GreatSaltLakeliesinaterminalbasin(Figure1).Thismeanswaterflowingintoitonlyleavesbyevaporation.
Freshwaterlakeshaveriveroutflows,butnotGreatSaltLake.Itstributariesbringtraceamountsofsalt,which
isleftbehindwhenwaterevaporates.Theconcentratedsalts,includingsodium,chloride,potassium,sulfate,
magnesiumandothers,provideavaluableresourceformineralextractioncompanies.Becausemostofthelake
istoosaltyforfishtosurvive,millionsofmigratorybirdsarethedominantpredatorsoftheabundantbrine
shrimpandbrinefliesthatcantoleratethesaltywatersinthemainlake.BearRiverBayandFarmingtonBay,
whichreceivefreshwaterinflowsandarelesssalty,harboranevengreaterdiversityofinsects,crustaceansand
fishwhicharealsoimportantpreyforthebirdcommunity.
Sincethelakeisinaclosedbasin,itnaturallyriseswithgreaterwatersupplyduringwetperiodsandfallsduring
droughts.Ontopofthisnaturalpattern,watersupplytothelakehasdecreasedovertimeasmoreandmoreof
itisconsumedforagricultural,industrialandurbanuses.Aswatersupplydecreases,thelakelevelfalls.There
are compensating factors that can slow shrinkage of the lake when water supply is reduced. First, as the
elevationdeclines,thesizeofthelakedecreases,andthus,thereislessevaporativesurfacearea.Second,asthe
lakeshrinks,saltsbecomemoreconcentrated,whichfurtherreducesevaporation.4Theseprocessesslow,but
do not stop, the decrease in lake elevation when water supply decreases. The lakes elevation and salinity
equilibratetotheamountofwaterflowingintoitfromrivers,rainwaterandgroundwater.Forexample,ifthere
was a 25 percent decrease in streamow to the lake, its elevation would slowly drop and, after 15 years,
equilibrateatanelevationabout2.2feetlower.4

EffectsofwaterwithdrawalsonGreatSaltLakelevels

Althoughfluctuationsinrainfallandriverflowcausethelakeleveltoriseandfall,therehasbeennosignificant
longtermchangeinprecipitation5andwatersupply6frommountaintributariessincethepioneersarrivedin
1847(Figure2A).Incontrast,waterdevelopmentandriverdiversionsovermorethanacenturyandahalfhave
producedapersistentreductioninwatersupplytothelake(Figure2B).Someofthedivertedwaterislostvia
evaporationfromagriculturalfields,urbanlandscaping,andindustrialactivity,includinglossesfromsaltponds.
ThesereducedstreamflowshavebeenoffsetbyeightpercentwithimportedwaterfromtheColoradoRiver
Basin through the Central Utah Project, as well as return flows from upstream diversions. Overall, however,
consumptive water use has reduced net river inflow to the lake by 39 percent over the past 150 years.7 This
consumptivewaterusecausestheGreatSaltLaketoshrink(Figure2C,redline).Althoughwetperiodslikethose
inthemid1980sandthecurrentdroughtcausewatersupplyandlakelevelstofluctuate,thelakelevelhas
persistentlydeclinedsincethepioneersarrived.8Thiscontrastsstrikinglywiththeconstantlongtermaverage
ofprecipitationandriverflowintheupperwatershedsnotedaboveandinFigure2A.

This decline in lake level is more


obvious when compared against a
hydrological model9 that estimates
lakeelevationifnoconsumptiveuseof
water occurred (Figure 2C, blue line).
This analysis demonstrates that
without consumptive water use, the
longtermtrendinthelakelevelsince
1847 would have been flat with a
natural mean elevation of 4,208 feet.
Put another way, the lake is now 11
feetlowerthanit would havebeenif
we were not diverting water for
agricultural, industrial, urban and
impoundedwetlanduses.This11foot
elevationdrophasreducedthevolume
of the lake by 48 percent. Table 1
shows how much each of the various
usesofwaterhavecontributedtothe
decreaseinlakelevel.
Anyfuturedevelopment ofwaterwill
cause the lake to drop more. For
example, the Utah Division of Water
Resources estimates that water
consumption associated with the
proposed Bear River Development
Project10 would decrease the level of
Great Salt Lake approximately 8.5
inches. This would expose about
another30squaremilesoflakebed.11
The logic is straightforward: if less
waterisdeliveredtothelake,thelake
level must drop. This is an inevitable
consequenceofeverincreasingwater
consumption.

Figure2.A.Waterflowinheadwaterstreams(BlacksmithRivergage
data; Bear River flow based on treering reconstructions6).
B. Estimated consumptive use of water for agriculture, salt ponds,
wetlandsandcities.C.ObservedlevelofGreatSaltLake(dashedred
line). The solid blue line shows a model of lake elevation in the
absenceofconsumptivewateruses.Waterusehasloweredthelake
11feetanddecreaseditsvolumeby48percent.

Impactsofloweredlakelevels
Dust&healthWaterdiversionsanddroughthavereducedlakeareafromaround1,600squaremileswhenthe
pioneersarrivedto1,050squaremilesin2015.Theexposed550squaremilesoflakebedincreasesthepotential
forlocallysevereduststorms.Figure1showslakeareaatanelevationof4208feet,the18472015average
estimatedlakeleveliftherehadbeennodiversions(Figure2C),andthelevelinJuly2015asthelakeapproached
itslowestrecordedlevel.Atthecurrentlakeelevation,48%ofthelakebedisexposedcomparedtowhenthe
lakeisat4208feet.

Decreased lake elevation, however,


affectsvariousbaysofthelakedifferently.
Shallow Bear River and Farmington Bays
are particularly impacted, and at the
current lake level, more than three
quarters of their lake beds are exposed,
making them potential sources of dust
that
influence
Wasatch
Front
communities.

Table1.Typesofhumanwaterconsumption(depletions)and
theirinfluenceondecreasingtheleveloftheGreatSaltLake
(Source,UtahDivisionofWaterResources,2016).
Sourceandpercentofwateruse

Medianestimateddecrease
inlakelevel(Total=11.1ft)

Agricultural (63%)

7.0feet

Municipal&industrial(12%)

1.4feet

Mineralextrac onsaltponds(12%)

1.3feet

Impoundedwetlands (10%)

1.0feet

The increase in exposed lake bed from


Reservoirevaporation(3%)
0.4feet
waterwithdrawalsanddroughtcanhave
important consequences for human
health. Airborne mineral dust increases hospital visits for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases12, and
increasesratesofdeath13.Dustexposurealsoincreasestheprevalenceofasthma,inhibitsimmuneresponse,
and results in cellular and DNA damage, lung infection, and respiratory disease. Additionally, the dust can
transportbacteriaandmicroorganismsthatnegativelyimpacthumanandecosystemhealth.14WhenGreatSalt
Lakeisatitsmeannaturalelevation(4208feet),itproducesonlysmallamountsofdustduetothelimitedarea
ofexposeddrylakebed.However,asexposedlakebedincreases,moredustisproducedfromthisarea,causing
duststormssuchasseeninFigure3.15Increaseddustproductionfollowinglakedesiccationhasoccurredin
numerousotherclosedbasinsnationallyandinternationally,includingOwensLakeinCalifornia16,LakeUrmiain
Iran,andtheAralSeainKazakhstanandUzbekistan.Ineachcasetheprimarycauseofrapiddesiccationhas
beenincreasedwaterwithdrawalsforagricultureandotherconsumptiveuses.Forexample,diversionsfromthe
OwensRiverforthecityofLosAngelesdesiccatedOwensLakeby1926,causingittobecomeoneofthelargest
sources of particulate matter (PM10) pollution in the country.17 This dust affects about 40,000 permanent
residentsintheregion,causingasthmaandother
healthproblems.Asaconsequence,since2000,the
City of Los Angeles has spent $1.3 billion for dust
mitigation18andby2018willhavespentmorethan
$2.1billion19.BecausemostofUtahspopulationis
locatednearGreatSaltLake,health impactsfrom
exposed lake bed could potentially affect even
more people. Ongoing studies are estimating the
magnitude of the dust impact from the exposed
Great Salt Lake shoreline on Wasatch Front
communities.20Otherresearchersareinvestigating
howdustincreasessnowmeltratesanddecreases
waterrunofffromhighelevationmountains.21
Figure3.DuststormcomingofftheGreatSaltLakeviewed
MineralExtractionIndustryTheexposedlakebed
fromOlympusCovelookingNWtowardsSaltLakeCity.This
also creates problems for the mineral extraction
August5,2015duststormwascausedbyalarge
industrylocatedaroundtheperipheryofthelake.
thunderstormwith4050mphwindsatthenorthendof
Low lake levels have a positive effect of
theGreatSaltLakewhichlifteddustoffthedrylakeshore.
concentrating minerals, which facilitates their
Webcamimage,6:35PM.

extraction.However,aslakeleveldrops,itbecomesincreasinglydifficultandexpensivetodeliverbrinefrom
thelaketothesaltpondsandprocessingplants.Forexample,in2014MortonSaltwasrequiredtodigafive
mile long canal to access the lakes water, and some companies in Gunnison Bay find that it is now cost
prohibitivetopumpbrinetotheirdistantfacilities.
RecreationSimilarproblemsareexperiencedbytheGreatSaltLakeboatingcommunity.Atthecurrentlow
lakelevel,themarinaonAntelopeIslandisnotfunctionalformostboats,andthelargerGreatSaltLakeMarina
iscurrentlybeingdredgedatacostofmorethan$1.5milliontoallowaccesstothelake.Additionalwaterlosses
wouldcauseevenmoresevereproblems.RecreationaluseforhuntinginBearRiverandFarmingtonBaysisalso
limitedbyashrinkingandsaltierwaterbody.Altogether,recreationinandaroundGreatSaltLakecontributes
about$135milliontoUtahseconomy.3
Environmental health and the brine
shrimp industryReducing freshwater
inflows to Great Salt Lake increases its
salinity, which has important con
sequences for brine shrimp and other
invertebrates (Figure 4). Brine shrimp
rely on intermediate salinities to grow
and reproduce. If salinity levels are too
low, as they were in the mid1980s,
predatory insects can proliferate and
obliterate
the
brine
shrimp.22
Figure4.ChangesinsalinityofGreatSaltLakessouthernarmand
Conversely,whensalinitiesaretoohigh,
therangeofsalinitiesforgrowthandsurvivalofbrineshrimp.After
the shrimp become stressed and
therailroadcausewaywasconstructedsaltsconcentratedinthe
eventually, reproduction fails.23 The
northarm,withlowersalinitiesinthesouth.Darkblueindicates
salinitylevelinGilbertBayiscurrently16 optimalsalinities(812%)forbrineshrimp. Forreference,seawater
percent,considerablyabovetooptimum salinityis3.5%.
for brine shrimp. Nevertheless, the
commercial harvestofbrineshrimpcystsisstillprofitable.However,ifdiversionsanddrought continueand
salinitiesriseabove20percent,brineshrimpproductionisestimatedtobereducedtolessthan10percentof
optimal.23Thiswillseverelyreducethe$57millioncommercialbrineshrimpharvestandprovidelessforagefor
birds.
Avian usageReduced lake levels influence the enormous bird populations that rely on Great Salt Lake for
migration and reproduction; species as diverse as American avocets, mallards, swans, and pelicans are all
negativelyimpactedbylowlakelevels.24Mostimportant,criticalnestingsitesintheshallowareasofFarmington
and Bear River Bays nearly disappear at low lake levels (Figure 1). These bays are essentially freshwater
estuariesthatproduceabundantfoodresources,andsupportahighdensityanddiversityofbirds.25Whenthese
estuaries shrink, this premier waterfowl production area and its associated $70 million waterfowl hunting
industry is threatened.26 Secondly, increases in salinity in Gilbert Bay, the largest portion of the lake, will
decreasefoodavailableforthosebirds,suchasgrebes,shorebirds,andgullsthatfeedonbrineshrimpandbrine
flies(Figure4).Additionally,furtherwaterdiversionscouldresultinmorefrequentwatershortagesforthevital
freshwaterbirdsanctuariessuchastheBearRiverMigratoryBirdRefugethatlinemuchoftheeasternshoreof
thelake.27TheproblemofdecreasinghabitatforbirdsatGreatSaltLakeisexacerbatedbecausemanyother

westernsalinelakesthathostbirdsaresimilarlyaffectedbywaterdiversionsanddrought:CaliforniasSalton
Sea28,MonoLake29,andOwensLake30,aswellasOregonsAbertLake31arestarkexamplesofenvironmental
harmtosalinelakeswhenwaterisdepletedbyconsumptiveuses.

Conclusion
Figure5summarizeshowwateruseandclimaticfluctuationsinfluenceGreatSaltLake.Climatefluctuations,
suchasthefloodinginthemid1980sandthecurrentdrought,causefloodinganddryingcycleswith530year
intervals6.Consumptivewateruses,however,produceapersistentdecreaseinwatersupplytothelakeand
thus,lakelevels(Figure2).Sincethepioneersarrivedin1847,therehasbeennosignificantlongtermtrendin
precipitationorstreamflowoutofthemountains(Figure2A).Consumptiveuses,however,havereducedthe
lakelevelby11feet,decreaseditsvolumeby48%,increasedlakesalinity,andexposedapproximately50%of
thelakebed. Thishasincreasedwindblowndust,impairedthe useof marinas,and caused costlylogistical
constraints for the mineral extraction industry. Shallow Bear River Bay and Farmington Bay have been
particularlyimpactedbydesiccation,thusreducingwetlandhabitatandtheirusebywaterfowlandshorebirds.
Additionalwaterdevelopmentinthebasin,exacerbatedbylongtermclimatevariability,mayfurtherreduce
thelakeslevelunlessconservationeffortsareincreasedforurban,industrial,andespeciallyagriculturaluses.
Utahneedstobeawareofhowwaterdevelopmentsinthepast,andthoseproposedforthefuture,affectthe
lakeandtheimportantresourcesitprovides,aswellashumanhealthandtheeconomicstability.

Figure5.Summaryofexternalforcesinfluencinglakeareaandvolume,andtheeffectsofthese
changesonGreatSaltLakesnaturalresources.


Acknowledgements.
JustinDeRosefromtheU.S.ForestServiceprovidedimportanttreeringreconstructionsofprecipitationand
riverdischargeandcontributedtootheraspectsofthepaper.DavidTarbotonofUtahStateUniversity
contributedsubstantiallytosomeoftheconceptspresentedhere.MaryAnnMuffolettofromUtahState
Universityeditedthepaper.ToddAdams,EricKlotz,MarisaEgbert,DavidColeandJoshPalmeroftheUtah
DivisionofWaterResources,andMikeCollins,BryanDixonandLynndeFreitasprovidedcommentsonearlier
draftsofthepaper.Thefinaldocumentdoesnotnecessarilyrepresenttheirviewsortheviewsoftheir
organizations.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Footnotes
1

Fornataro,E.A.2008.ThelastuntappedriverinUtah:AnargumentagainstthedevelopmentoftheBearRiver.J.Land,
ResourcesandEnvironmentalLaw28:141162.http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlrel/article/viewFile/103/93.
2

Although per-capita urban water use has decreased 18% in the watershed, overall urban use has increased from 131,400
acre-feet in the 1989-2000 period, to 138,800 acre-feet in the 2010-2014 period, a 5.6% increment (Utah Division of Water
Resources data).
3

Bioeconomics.2012.EconomicsignificanceoftheGreatSaltLaketotheStateofUtah.PreparedfortheStateofUtah
GreatSaltLakeAdvisoryCouncil,SaltLakeCity,Utah.50p.
http://www.gslcouncil.utah.gov/docs/2012/Jan/GSL_FINAL_REPORT12612.PDF,accessed8February2014.

Mohammed,I.N.,andTarboton,D.G.2012.AnexaminationofthesensitivityoftheGreatSaltLaketochangesininputs.
WaterResourcesResearch48.117,DOI10.1029/2012wr011908.
5

RainfallfortheWasatchFrontwasderivedfromacompositeraingageavailablefromtheNationalOceanographicand
AtmosphericAdministration,http://w2.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=slc.Despitedroughtsandwetcycles,
therehasbeennosignificant(p=0.52)longtermchangefrom18752015.Regression;inches=24.670.00465*year;p
=0.52,notsignificant.

Riverflowintheuppertributarieswasbasedonthe100yearcontinuousrecordfromtheBlacksmithFork(USGSgage#
10113500),atributarytotheLoganRiver,andontreeringestimatesofprecipitation.Inhighprecipitationyears,trees
formthickergrowthrings,suchthatthewidthsoftheseringscanbecorrelatedwithmeasuredflowsinriversforthe
yearswhenflowdataareavailable.Thetreeringwidthsinyearspriortodocumentedriverflowscanthenbeusedto
estimateflowsinthoseyears.Here,wevepresentedflowestimatesfortheBearRiveratasitehighinthewatershedand
aboveanywaterdiversionstructures(USGSgage#10011500;DeRose,R.J.etal.2015,Amillenniumlength
reconstructionofBearRiverstreamflow,Utah.J.ofHydrology,doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.01.014).Similar
reconstructionsfortheWeberRiverandLoganRiversalsodemonstratethattherehasbeennolongtermdecreasein
riverflowinupperbasins(Bekker,M.F.etal.2014.A576YearWeberRiverstreamflowreconstructionfromtreeringsfor
waterresourceriskassessmentintheWasatchFront,Utah.JAWRAJ.oftheAm.Wat.ResourcesAssoc.50,13381348.
doi:10.1111/jawr.12191,Allen,E.B.etal.2013.AtreeringbasedreconstructionofLoganRiverstreamflow,northern
Utah.WaterResourcesRes.49,85798588.doi:10.1002/2013WR014273).AlsoseeDeRose,R.J.,etal.2014.Treering
reconstructionofthelevelofGreatSaltLake,USA.TheHolocene24,805813.doi:10.1177/0959683614530441.These
reconstructionsdocumentlongtermdroughtsandwetcyclesmoreseverethanhavebeendocumentedsince1847.
Duringthesecyclesthelakedriedsignificantlymorethanourcurrentsituationandatothertimesexpandedbeyondeven
thefloodingseeninthemid1980s.
TheregressionlineinFigure2AisacompositeoftheBlacksmithRiverflowandthetreeringestimatedflowfortheBear
River,andshowsnosignificanttrend(n=267,p=0.085).Similarly,therewerenosignificanttrendswhentheBlacksmith
River(n=98,p=0.349)andtheBearRivertreeringdata(n=165,p=0.078)wereanalyzedseparately.
7

Estimatesofagriculturalandreservoirconsumptiveuse(calleddepletionsbyhydrologists)forthelast30yearswere
computedfromnetcropevapotranspirationlesswintercarryoversoilmoisturestorageonaperacrebasis.Reservoir
depletionswerecalculatedasnetaverageannualevaporationtimes80%ofmaximumsurfacearea(Hill,R.W.1994.

ConsumptiveuseofirrigatedcropsinUtah,UtahAgr.Exp.Station.Res.Report#145;WaterRightswebsite,
http://www.waterrights.utah.gov/cgibin/damview.exe).BearLakeandUtahLakewerenotincludedinthiscalculation,
meaningthattheactualevapotranspirationdepletionsmaybesomewhatlargerthanshown.
Toobtainweatherinputsforthesecalculations,30year(19712000)averageweatherdatawereextractedfromPRISM
(http://www.prism.oregonstate.edu/).Municipaldepletionswerecalculatedbysubtractingestimatedimpervioussurface
runofffrommunicipalcalculatedconsumptiveuse.Evapotranspirationfromimpoundedopenwaterwetlandswas
estimatedusinganareaof56,000acres(Emerson,R.andT.Hooker.2011.Utahwetlandfunctionalclassificationand
LandscapeprofilegenerationwithinBearRiverBay,GreatSaltLake,Utah.USGS,https://www.mendeley.com/profiles/
richardemerson1/)multipliedbythenetaverageannualevaporation(GridETprogram;authorClayLewis,2015,
https://github.com/claytonscottlewis/GridETURL).Mineralextractiondepletionwascalculatedas75%oflake
withdrawals(CompassMinerals,personalcommunication).Depletionsduetoevaporativelossesinthebasinwerethen
loweredbytheamountofwaterimportedfromtheColoradoRiverBasin.
The39%decreaseinriverinflowtothelakeisbasedona10yearaverage(20032012).Thiscalculationaccountsforthe
importationofColoradoRiverwaterintothebasin.The39%decreaseduetodepletionsiscalculatedbasedontotal
depletions(correctedforColoradoR.imports)of1,451,000acrefeet(UtahDWR)andcurrentriverinflowtothelakeof
2,303,000acrefeet(Mohammed,I.N.andD.G.Tarboton,2012).
ThedatauseforthedepletionestimatesareacompositeofearlydataanalysesintheUtahDivisionofWaterResources,
andmoredetaileddataafter1989.Depletionspriorto1970weretakenfromestimatesofR.PalmerandG.L.Whittaker
(Unpublisheddata,UtahDivisionofWaterResources).Thepost1989datashowsshorttermresponsestodroughtsand
wetcycles,andisthusirregular.Consequently,thedatainFigure2Bweresmoothedwitha5pointrunningaverage.
Estimatesofwaterdepletionsareimprecise.Consequently,additionalanalysesoftheeffectsofdepletionsonthelakes
levelarewarrantedandmaychangetheresultssomewhat.Nevertheless,theabsenceofalongtermtrendinrainfall5
andmountainrunoffoverthepast170years(Fig.2A),whencomparedtothepersistentdecreaseinlakelevel(Fig.2C),
indicatesthatwateruseandconsumptionishavingamajorimpactonthelake.Additionalanalysesofwateruseonthe
lakeareongoingaspartoftheGreatSaltLakeIntegratedWaterResourceModelbeingdevelopedbytheDivisionof
Forestry,FireandStateLands.
8

LinearregressionforredlineinFig.2C,LakeElevation(feet)=4291.30.0469*year;p<0.0001.Highlysignificant
decline.
9

Toestimatewhattheelevationofthelakewouldbeifwaterwasnotusedforconsumptionweaddedthedifference
betweenpastandcurrentdepletionsasanannualinputtotheGreatSaltLake.Theinfluenceoflakeareaandsalt
concentrationontheevaporationratefromthelakesurfacewereincludedinthemodel.

10

BearRiverDevelopmentProject.UtahDivisionofNaturalResources.http://www.gslcouncil.utah.gov/docs/2014/
10Oct/BearRiverPipelineProject.pdf.
11

TheUtahDivisionofWaterResourcesestimatesthattheproposeddiversionof220,000acrefeetofBearWaterwill
resultinadepletionof85,670acrefeetofwaterdeliverytoGreatSaltLake.Theyestimatethatthiswillcausethelaketo
decreaseameanof8.5inchesandamaximumof14inchesinelevation(C.Miller,personalcommunication).Assuminga
meandecreaseof8.5inchesfromthecurrentlakelevel(4193.1feet),anadditional30squaremilesoflakebedwouldbe
exposed.Ifthedecreasewas14inches,45squaremileswouldbeexposed.Theareasofexposurewerecalculatedfrom
thebathymetricdataprovidedbyDavidTarboton(UtahStateUniv.)anddoesnotincludetheareasinsaltponds.
12

Grineski,S.E.,Staniswalis,J.G.,Bulathsinhala,P.,Peng,Y,Gill,T.E.,2011.Hospitaladmissionsforasthmaandacute
bronchitisinElPaso,Texas:doage,sex,andinsurancestatusmodifytheeffectsofdustandlowwindevents?Environ.
Res.111,114855.DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2100.06.007.
13

Giannadaki,D.,Pozzer,A.,Lelieveld,J.2014.Modeledglobaleffectsofairbornedesertdustonairqualityand
prematuremortality.Atmos.Chem.Phys.14,957968.http://dx.DOI:10.5194/acp149572014.
14

Griffin,D.W.,Kellog,C.A.,2004.Duststormsandtheirimpactonoceanandhumanhealth:dustintheearths
atmosphere.EcoHealth1,284295.http://dx.DOI.org/10.1007/s1039300401208.
15

DusteventsfromGreatSaltLakeandotherareasinUtaharedescribedinHahnenberger,M.,Nicoll,K.,2012.
MeteorologicalcharacteristicsofduststormeventsintheeasternGreatBasinofUtah,U.S.A.AtmosphericEnvironment,
60,601612,ISSN13522310,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2.

16

Larsen,R.2014.Thehalflifeofalake.VirginiaQuarterlyReview90,2425.DOI:10.1353/vqr.2014.0068.

17

GreatBasinUnifiedAirPollutionControlDistrict(GBUAPCD).OwensLakeDustMitigation.
http://www.gbuapcd.org/owenslake.htm.
18

Smith,D.2014.SettlementreachedoverdustcontrolmeasuresatOwensLake.LosAngelesDailyNews,November14,
2014.http://www.dailynews.com/generalnews/20141114/settlementreachedoverdustcontrolmeasuresatowens
lake.
19

PhillipKiddoo,personalcommunication,GreatBasinUnifiedAirPollutionControlDistrict,AirPollutionControlOfficer.
January28,2016.

20

UtahDivisionofForestry,Fire&StateLandsgrant.http://www.ffsl.utah.gov/index.php/grantprograms/statelands
researchgrants?showall=&start=1.
21

Dustincreasessunlightabsorptionandhastenssnowmelt,particularlyinareasabovetreeline.See:Maurer,G.E.and
D.R.Bowling.2015.Dusteffectsonsnowpackmeltandrelatedecosystemprocessesaresecondarytothoseofforest
canopystructureandinterannualsnowpackvariability.Ecohydrology8:10051023.

22
Wurtsbaugh,W.A.1992.FoodwebmodificationbyaninvertebratepredatorintheGreatSaltLake(USA).Oecologia
89:168175.
23

Barnes,B.D.andW.A.Wurtsbaugh.2015.TheeffectsofsalinityonplanktonandbenthiccommunitiesintheGreatSalt
Lake,Utah,USA:amicrocosmexperiment.Can.J.Fish.AquaticSci.DOI:10.1139/cjfas20140396.Null,S.,W.
WurtsbaughandC.Miller.2013.CanthecausewayintheGreatSaltLakebeusedtomanagesalinity?FriendsofGreat
SaltLakeNewsletterVol.19No.1&2:1415.http://www.fogsl.org/images/stories/2013/2MayNewsletterreduced.pdf.
24

FrankHowe,UtahDivisionofWildlifeResources,personalcommunication,15January2016.

25

Paul,D.S.,andA.E.Manning.GreatSaltLakewaterbirdsurveyfiveyearreport(19972001).1Oct.2008.GreatSaltLake
EcosystemProgramandUtahDivisionofWildlifeResources.AccessedJan.19,2016.
http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/gsl/waterbirdsurvey/.https://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/fhw11nat.pdf.

26

U.S.FishandWildlifeService.2014.2011NationalSurveyoffishing,hunting,andwildlifeassociatedrecreation:Utah.
U.S.DepartmentoftheInterior,U.S.FishandWildlifeService,andU.S.DepartmentofCommerce,U.S.CensusBureau.
27

Welsh,LW,EndterWadaJ,DownardR,andKettenringKM.2013.Developingadaptivecapacitytodroughts:the
rationalityoflocality.EcologyandSociety18:7.http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES05484180207.
28

Case,HLI,BolesJ,DelgadoA,etal.2013.SaltonSeaecosystemmonitoringandassessmentplan.U.S.GeologicalSurvey
OpenFileReport:20131133.(http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20131133).
29

Patten,D.T.,F.P.Conte,W.E.Cooper,J.Dracup,S.Dreiss,K.Harper,G.L.Hunt,P.Kilham,H.E.Klieforth,J.M.Melackand
S.A.Temple.TheMonoBasinecosystemeffectsofchanginglakelevel.NationalAcademyPress,Washington,D.C.
272p.http://www.nap.edu/read/1007/chapter/1.
30

Reheis,M.C.,1997,DustdepositiondownwindofOwens(Dry)Lake,19911994Preliminaryfindings:Journalof
GeophysicalResearch(Atmospheres),v.102,no.D22,p.25,99926,008.

31

TheOregonian.Oregonsonlysaltwaterlakeisdisappearing,andscientistsdon'tknowwhy.
http://www.oregonlive.com/lakeabert/;Moore,J.N.Inpress.RecentdesiccationofwesternGreatBasinsalinelakes:
LessonsfromLakeAbert,Oregon,U.S.A.Sci.oftheTotalEnvironment.