(Good Things Utah) – It has been called the biggest water conservation project in the country. Jon Benson joined the show today to talk about how the state plans on restoring Utah Lake so all Utahn’s can benefit.
The Utah Lake Restoration Project
The Utah Lake Restoration Project is a plan to provide a comprehensive restoration and improvement of Utah Lake. Utah is the fastest-growing state in the country, but also the second driest. In a now two-decade-long megadrought, we could desperately use the 30 billion gallons of additional water supply per year the project would provide. Lake Restoration Solutions has worked for years to assemble the plan, the team, and the funding to achieve what many have called impossible.
Lake Restoration Solutions and the State of Utah are undertaking the largest water conservation and clean water clean-up project in state history with the largest ecological, water, and geotechnical study ever conducted on Utah Lake.
This important public/private partnership, “The Utah Lake Restoration Project,” will provide significant water to the state’s water supply, add water storage and provide the ability to distribute significant additional water to the Great Salt Lake.
The intent of this massive conservation and clean water project is to:
Significantly improve Utah Lake’s water quality, which has been impaired by high nutrient levels making the lake’s water unsafe for recreation and culinary water use.
Restore key aspects of Utah Lake’s ecosystem to its natural function and regulation
Conserve approximately 30 billion gallons of water annually
Starting last year, and continuing over the next few years, teams of scientists and researchers have been analyzing Utah Lake’s waters, wetlands, sediments, and ecosystem. After trying to hire a team of international experts with advanced degrees in water conservation, lake restoration, geotechnical, seismic, dredging, engineering, environmental remediation, fisheries, and dozens of other key disciplines the state found a plan.
Over the coming years, they will provide additional information on how the funding raised by Lake Restoration Solutions, paired with government programmatic funding, will effectuate this important conservation vision without additional tax and regulatory burden on state residents.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is initiating an extensive and thorough public vetting of the project that demands the best available science be utilized, and that both data and opinion be considered from all perspectives.
They welcome legitimate scrutiny and constructive criticism and have spent years meeting with interested stakeholders and experts proactively seeking this kind of input. The project is also encouraged by Utahns’ interest in restoring Utah Lake to its natural state. They are working toward a shared objective of a clean, clear water state lake that protects and enhances our water resources, restores the lake and its waters, provides enhanced recreational opportunities, and provides a Utah Lake waterfront for the benefit of millions of Utah residents and visitors.
Last summer’s historic drought has demonstrated the urgency and need for drought planning for Utah Lake and its watersheds.