New online one-stop-shop for all things Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake Hydro Mapper is a user-friendly webpage with information about what’s happening with Great Salt Lake in real-time, like the water and salinity levels and most importantly, what’s happening up stream.
"So how the rivers are flowing into the lake and what the snowpack is looking like upstream. It will help us better understand and estimate what conditions we will see in the future," said Great Salt Lake Coordinator Laura Vernon, with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands.
Vernon said the website also shows the effects of the lake levels on specific natural resources such as minerals, birds, and brine shrimp.
"Understanding the salinity level now is important because as the lake decreases, the salinity is increasing and that has the potential to adversely impact the brine shrimp," said Vernon.
In addition to helping the brine shrimp industry predict what their harvests will be like, it can help mineral companies determine how much water they can draw out of the lake based on snowpack and spring runoff.
And Vernon says it’s not just for industries and scientists.
"We want legislators, school children to be able to use this tool. People all throughout the Great Salt Lake watershed to be able to come in here and get the information they are curious about and be informed."
This story is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake — and what can be done to make a difference before it is too late. Read all of our stories at greatsaltlakenews.org.