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The looming Great Salt Lake emergency on Wednesday's Access Utah

The scientists who authored a new emergency briefing say the “Great Salt Lake is facing unprecedented danger. Without a dramatic increase in water flow to the lake in 2023 and 2024, its disappearance could cause immense damage to Utah’s public health, environment, and economy.” They say the lake could disappear in the next five years. The authors recommend setting a minimum streamflow requirement of 2.5 million acre-feet per year, which, according to the report, translates to a 30-50% reduction in consumptive water use in the Great Salt Lake watershed.

Today we’ll talk with two of the report’s authors: Benjamin Abbott, Assistant Professor in the Plant and Wildlife Sciences Department at Brigham Young University, and Bonnie Baxter, Professor and Chair of Biology and Director of the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College.

Utah Public Radio is part of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative

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Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.