50 million gallons of water begin being diverted to the Great Salt Lake every day
The water comes from Deer Creek Reservoir, which empties into the Provo River, then finds its way into the Jordan River and finally into the lake.
While things have improved for the Great Salt Lake of late, the body of water synonymous with the Beehive State got an extra boost to quench its thirst.
Beginning Tuesday morning, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District opened the floodgates to divert 50 million gallons of water a day to the lake, which has been suffering from the state’s recent drought.
“It was an innovative process that brought a lot of people together to figure out how to direct this water in this way,” said Wade Tuft, water manager for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.
Fifty million gallons of water is equivalent to about 100 Olympic-size swimming pools. Every day for the next few weeks, this volume of water will be channeled to the Great Salt Lake through existing pipelines and aqueduct systems.
The water comes from Deer Creek Reservoir, which empties into the Provo River, then finds its way into the Jordan River and finally into the lake. Aside from being beneficial to the Great Salt Lake, it will increase the reservoir’s reservoir capacity for potential flooding after the exceptional winter snowfall.
“We have decided to lower that water today and over the next few weeks so hopefully we can avoid some of these flooding issues,” Tuft said.
In addition to the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, the Provo River Water Users Association, the Salt Lake Metropolitan Water District and Sandy City are participating in the collaboration.
“This project required a tremendous amount of creative thinking to make the most of the gift Mother Nature has given us with this year’s historic snowpack,” said Gene Shawcroft, general manager of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.
The Great Salt Lake hit its historic low in November but has since risen three feet, even ahead of the massive spring runoff expected in the next few weeks.
This article is published by the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that brings together news, education and media organizations to educate people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake — and what can be done to help make a difference before it’s too late. Read all of our stories below greatsaltlakenews.org.