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Weekend fundraiser at Alta to benefit drought-challenged Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake
Rick Bowmer/AP
/
Pool AP
The Great Salt Lake had a depth of 4,190.1 feet on June 5, 2022 - a new low at the time. As of November 11, 2022 it was two feet lower, at 4,188 feet. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)

The Great Salt Lake is disappearing, and some advocates are rushing to save it. This weekend one of those organizations, Brolly Arts, hosts an event in the mountains to highlight this crisis.

The Great Salt Lake has lost half its water. Scientists and environmental groups have watched and documented the lake’s decline and the threat that poses to ecosystems, air quality and even the economy.

A collective of people from the art world are trying to help. Amy MacDonald, founder of Brolly Arts, is co-hosting a community meeting this Sunday in Alta to raise awareness of Utah’s water use and misuse. It’s called Evaporation: what does it take to save enough water for Great Salt Lake?

MacDonald explained to KPCW that Utah’s water policies need a reboot to address climate change realities.

“Our water policy which is over 100 years old is very outdated," she said. "And it says that anything that is not any use of water that is not a beneficial use is not valuable. And at the time that that was created, water in a reservoir or water in a lake was not deemed beneficial. And so we could consume, we could divert, we could do a lot of different things. Our economic paradigm has left nature out, we have not considered the role of nature and we're now paying a very dear price.”

MacDonald said the lake’s lost volume is having a catastrophic impact on the brine shrimp, which no longer reproduce. Shrimp is a main food source to the thousands of birds that migrate to the lake.

Beyond wildlife, the Great Salt Lake helps maintain a delicate ecosystem which affects air quality and ultimately snow. As it continues to shrink the impacts will be felt in the Wasatch Back.

MacDonald says the reason for Sunday’s event is to hear from experts in the field and to experience an artist’s perspective on what’s happening to the lake.

The meeting takes place Sunday, November 13th at Alta’s Our Lady of the Snows Community Center at 3:30 p.m. It will feature multi-media presentations, reading and improvisation, and a performance art piece.

Tickets are $5 and space is limited.

For more information click here.

Michelle, who joined KPCW in 2021, arrived in Utah in 2018 by way of Massachusetts, where the skiing was icy and the mosquitoes formidable. A former daily newspaper reporter and editor (at the Visalia Times-Delta in CA) and columnist (at The Cohasset Mariner in MA), Michelle has been a writer and editor for decades. She holds a journalism degree from CSU Fresno and has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and web content creator, reporting extensively on education and youth along with general assignment and breaking news.