SALT LAKE CITY — The Great Salt Lake has hit a new historic low for the second time in less than a year as the ongoing megadrought worsened by climate change continues to shrink the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi.
Utah Department of Natural Resources said Monday in a news release the Great Salt Lake dipped Sunday to 4,190.1 feet (1,277.1 meters). That is lower than the previous historic low set in October, which at the time matched a 170-year record low.
Lake levels are expected to keep dropping until fall or winter, the agency said.
> Video above from May: The country's 2nd largest reservoir Lake Powell is drying up.
Dwindling water levels at the giant lake just west of Salt Lake City puts millions of migrating birds at risk and threatens a lake-based economy that’s worth an estimated $1.3 billion in mineral extraction, brine shrimp and recreation. The expanding amount of dry lakebed could also send arsenic-laced dust into the air that millions breathe, scientists say.
The state's Republican-led Legislature is trying to find ways to reverse the trend, but it won't be easy. Water has been diverted away from the lake for years for homes and crops in the nation’s fastest-growing state that is also one of the driest.
> Top stories from 9NEWS curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER right now to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Climate
MORE WAYS TO GET 9NEWS
Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER for top stories from 9NEWS curated daily just for you. Get content and information right now for can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
HOW TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.
For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9NEWS" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.