Legislation allocates $25 million for monitoring efforts into Utah’s Great Salt Lake, California’s Mono Lake, and Oregon’s Lake Albert as these water bodies recede
United States President Joe Biden has signed a law to allocate funds for studying salt lake ecosystems in the drought-stricken U.S. West.
The legislation which has already been passed by Congress will allocate $25 million for monitoring efforts into lakes and comes in the face of unprecedented existential threats caused by the lack of water.
The allocated funding would allow the United States Geological Survey to study the hydrology of the ecosystems in and around Utah’s Great Salt Lake, California’s Mono Lake, Oregon’s Lake Albert, and other saline lakes.
Amid a decades-long drought, less snowmelt has flowed through the rivers that feed into the lakes, causing shorelines to recede and lake levels to plummet.
As the water levels in these lakes dwindle, it has directly affected the people’s livelihoods and animals which rely on these water bodies and the ecosystem.
In Utah, the Great Salt Lake shrunk to its lowest point in recorded history, posing threats to economic output, snowpack, public health and wildlife. Ski resorts worry about a future without lake-effect snow.