Amy Joi O’Donoghue
Deseret News Reporter
Amy Joi O’Donoghue is a reporter for the Utah InDepth team with decades of expertise in land and environmental issues. In 2019 she received a silver medal in the prestigious Kavli competition by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Amy’s family lives in Weber County with their horses, chickens, Irish Wolfhounds and Jack the cat.
GSL briefing details multifaceted effort to help the saline lake A number of legislative proposals and appropriations dealing with the drought and diversion-stricken Great Salt Lake are winding their...
The Willard Spur Waterfowl Management Area near the Great Salt Lake is pictured in Box Elder County on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Willard Spur Waterfowl Management Area near the Great Salt Lake is pictured in Box Elder County on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Willard Spur is in desperate need of water, and so is Ogden City A partnership proposed by Ogden City with the state of Utah has the potential to save millions of gallons of water per day, ensure a re...
The water level is rising in the Great Salt Lake due to snowmelt on May 3, 2023. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
The water level is rising in the Great Salt Lake due to snowmelt on May 3, 2023. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
Utah lawmaker presses measure to prioritize water for the Great Salt Lake Rep. Casey Snider, R-Paradise, wants to “color” the water saved for the Great Salt Lake. If you can imagine taking a red marke...
Phragmites line the shore of Utah Lake near Mulberry Beach in Utah County on Jan. 13, 2022. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Phragmites line the shore of Utah Lake near Mulberry Beach in Utah County on Jan. 13, 2022. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Proposal outlines stepped-up removal program for plant As Utah lawmakers, advocates, state agencies and researchers continue to look for answers to help the Great Salt Lake, one funding request aims t...
Farm fields in Utah County, near Spanish Fork, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Farm fields in Utah County, near Spanish Fork, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Water funding requests get a hearing at Capitol For the third consecutive year, water is once again a dominant issue at the state Legislature as lawmakers grapple with the issues of water scarcity, an...
Area has not been mapped since 1990s, groundwater is diminishing Cache Valley is highly dependent on groundwater from springs and the valley aquifer, but most groundwater wells monitored by the U.S. G...
Panel votes to exempt small water districts of 2,500 or less from metering A committee of lawmakers voted Tuesday to potentially broaden the exemptions for those water providers subject to the meterin...
The pipeline is for future water deliveries A future pipeline for water deliveries to the growing Wasatch Front may be decades off, but the state of Utah is buying land now in Box Elder County to make...
It may have snowed and snowed and snowed some more last winter, but the record precipitation has done little to douse the concern a majority of Utah residents have over the Great Salt Lake’s condition...
The west end of the Behrens Trench of Compass Minerals is seen on Oct. 18, 2016. The trench moves brine from the west pond complex to the east pond complex of Compass Minerals.
The west end of the Behrens Trench of Compass Minerals is seen on Oct. 18, 2016. The trench moves brine from the west pond complex to the east pond complex of Compass Minerals.
Legislature intends to rein in Compass Minerals’ operation on the north arm Utah House Majority Leader Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, said Compass Minerals operating on the north arm of the Great Salt Lake i...
Brad Blanch looks over a dam on the Weber River in Weber County on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. Blanch is a West Weber resident who wants to lease several hundred acre-feet of water to benefit the Great Salt Lake. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Brad Blanch looks over a dam on the Weber River in Weber County on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. Blanch is a West Weber resident who wants to lease several hundred acre-feet of water to benefit the Great Salt Lake. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust helps people like this Weber County farmer help the lake President Joe Biden made an historic announcement Tuesday designating a new national monument in Ar...
The Great Salt Lake is pictured on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act, sponsored by Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is a way to tap into a pool of money already set aside for water projects, but unused.Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
The Great Salt Lake is pictured on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act, sponsored by Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is a way to tap into a pool of money already set aside for water projects, but unused.Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Curtis, Lee push adoption of key legislation The importance behind a key piece of legislation designed to help the Great Salt Lake and its vast watershed was detailed in a congressional subcommittee h...
The Antelope Island marina is pictured in the Great Salt Lake on Monday, June 5, 2023. Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Utah Rep. John Curtis unveiled the Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act, which addresses the ecological crisis facing the Great Salt Lake.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Antelope Island marina is pictured in the Great Salt Lake on Monday, June 5, 2023. Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Utah Rep. John Curtis unveiled the Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act, which addresses the ecological crisis facing the Great Salt Lake.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Legislation expands spending authority of Central Utah Completion Act A proposed boost in federal money to help the Great Salt Lake watershed and ultimately the lake itself was introduced Wednesday in...
Two people watch the sunset over the Great Salt Lake from Ladyfinger Point on Antelope Island on Monday, June 5, 2023.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Two people watch the sunset over the Great Salt Lake from Ladyfinger Point on Antelope Island on Monday, June 5, 2023.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Poll shows concern remains strong, but slightly diminished in light of snowpack The endless winter storms that draped Utah’s watersheds in a canopy of white, breaking records, collapsing roofs and bur...
New wetlands are seen following the completion of the Freeport Drain project at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve in Layton on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.Ryan Sun, Deseret News
New wetlands are seen following the completion of the Freeport Drain project at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve in Layton on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.Ryan Sun, Deseret News
Layton shoreline preserve showcases 40-acre wetlands project years in the making A red vintage 1950 McCormick Farmall tractor in cherry condition has been loaded up with hay on its trailer, ferrying g...
The Willard Bay spillway gates are opened for flood mitigation in Box Elder County on Thursday, May 11, 2023.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Willard Bay spillway gates are opened for flood mitigation in Box Elder County on Thursday, May 11, 2023.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
71.6 billion gallons of water will come from upstream reservoirs With the turn of a wheel, 650 million gallons of water a day will eventually travel from Willard Bay to the ailing Great Salt Lake. Alt...
The water level is rising in the Great Salt Lake due to snowmelt as photographed from above on Wednesday, May 2, 2023. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
The water level is rising in the Great Salt Lake due to snowmelt as photographed from above on Wednesday, May 2, 2023. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.
Aerial tour by EcoFlight showcases uniqueness of Utah’s saline lake
Boats are pictured on land at the Great Salt Lake State Park marina in Magna on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Rising water levels are making the lake accessible to boats again.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Boats are pictured on land at the Great Salt Lake State Park marina in Magna on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Rising water levels are making the lake accessible to boats again.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Utah state parks plan for open boat ramps at popular reservoirs After being forced to dock their boats at the Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina due to the drought two years ago, sailors are readyi...
Dust blows across the dry lakebed of the Great Salt Lake near Salt Lake City on Aug. 12, 2022. The Utah Air Quality Division’s technical team will begin reviewing strategic locations for the placement of four new dust monitors to capture wind events over the Great Salt Lake’s exposed bed to determine the levels of arsenic and other pollutants carried to the Wasatch Front.Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Dust blows across the dry lakebed of the Great Salt Lake near Salt Lake City on Aug. 12, 2022. The Utah Air Quality Division’s technical team will begin reviewing strategic locations for the placement of four new dust monitors to capture wind events over the Great Salt Lake’s exposed bed to determine the levels of arsenic and other pollutants carried to the Wasatch Front.Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Utah’s pollution problems get a state funding boost to help clear the skies The Utah Air Quality Division’s technical team will begin reviewing strategic locations for the placement of four new dust m...
A couple and their dog walk near the Great Salt Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
A couple and their dog walk near the Great Salt Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah Farm Bureau says new law is a game changer in agricultural water use Critics panned the Utah Legislature for failing to set a target elevation for the Great Salt Lake via a nonbinding resolution....
I-80 near the Great Salt Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. The Kem Gardner Institute will soon release a policy briefing on the Great Salt Lake containing six major policy insights and recommendations.Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
I-80 near the Great Salt Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. The Kem Gardner Institute will soon release a policy briefing on the Great Salt Lake containing six major policy insights and recommendations.Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Even in ‘wet’ years, conservation, policy changes are paramount to restore the lake Life as usual cannot go on in northern Utah if the state wants to replenish the Great Salt Lake to an ideal elevatio...
A northern harrier flies over the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve next to a school in western Davis County on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Development in Davis County has tripled between 1997 and 2022.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
A northern harrier flies over the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve next to a school in western Davis County on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Development in Davis County has tripled between 1997 and 2022.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
A growing bird count over 3 years defines success, defies GSL drought The 22-year drought in Utah has been the harbinger of bad news, with everything from the Great Salt Lake dropping to a historic lo...
The marina at Great Salt Lake has very little water around it on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
Legislators commit to spending a half billion or more on Utah’s water It took more than 150 years since pioneers first arrived in Utah to drop the level of the Great Salt Lake by 11 feet with developm...
Phill Kiddoo, air pollution control officer for the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, shows journalists a tube that collects fine particulate, one measure of how much is being blown around in the wind, at an air quality monitoring site on the north shore of Mono Lake in Mono County, California, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Phill Kiddoo, air pollution control officer for the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, shows journalists a tube that collects fine particulate, one measure of how much is being blown around in the wind, at an air quality monitoring site on the north shore of Mono Lake in Mono County, California, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Is Utah behind the curve when it comes to dust mitigation from the drying Great Salt Lake? Owens Lake in California, once the nation’s largest source of dust pollution, has nine monitoring stations to...
Maj. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe flies during an F-35A Lightning II demonstration team show at Hill Air Force Base near Layton on Friday, June 3, 2022. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Maj. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe flies during an F-35A Lightning II demonstration team show at Hill Air Force Base near Layton on Friday, June 3, 2022. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Lone Pine, Calif — At Owens Lake in California, once the nation’s most notorious site for dust pollution so intense you could taste it in your mouth, the mission of the nation’s largest on-land naval...
Arrash Agahi, who oversees regulatory compliance of Owens Lake for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, looks at an area of the lakebed that has been converted to a brine pool to reduce blowing dust while giving journalists a tour of the project area on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Arrash Agahi, who oversees regulatory compliance of Owens Lake for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, looks at an area of the lakebed that has been converted to a brine pool to reduce blowing dust while giving journalists a tour of the project area on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
what makes Owens Lake in California different, but similar to Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Like Owens Lake, the Great Salt Lake is a terminal saline lake in the Great Basin. The basin covers more than 200,...
The rising sun reflects off of pools of water and brine that are part of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program on the mostly dry lakebed in Inyo County, California, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
The rising sun reflects off of pools of water and brine that are part of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program on the mostly dry lakebed in Inyo County, California, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
This Great Salt Lake Collaborative story is part of day one of our series, “At water’s edge: Searching for solutions at the Great Salt Lake’s sister lakes across the Great Basin.” The in-depth project...
Izabel and Mary LePique take photos at the Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
Izabel and Mary LePique take photos at the Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
The declining water levels at the Great Salt Lake and what it may mean for Utah’s future have a majority of Utah residents concerned about its condition, and they are willing to have lawmakers throw m...
Utah State Rep. Joel Ferry, Sen. Mitt Romney and Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson tour the Great Salt Lake by fan boat, Friday, Aug 19, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
To save the Great Salt Lake, its complex ecosystem and its value to the state of Utah and the West, one has to know the Great Salt Lake. To that end, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and state House Spe...
Record low water levels are seen in the Great Salt Lake by the Antelope Island marina on Friday, July 22, 2022. State leaders are working on solutions to help restore the lake. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Against the backdrop of lush marshes whistling along the shores of the Great Salt Lake at Farmington Bay, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson worried the largest saline lake in the Western Hemisphere is a...
Carroll Dolson, a member of the Chesapeake Duck Club near Corinne, Box Elder County, prepares his boat club on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
Carroll Dolson, a member of the Chesapeake Duck Club near Corinne, Box Elder County, prepares his boat club on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
Conservation of Great Salt Lake wetlands dates back to the late 1800s. Now it’s more important than ever Hunting is about more than just killing, it is about saving. Shortly after the Civil War, priva...
The Great Salt Lake State Park on Friday, June 10, 2022. Water levels at the Great Salt Lake are continuing to reach record lows due to drought.Laura Seitz, Deseret News
The Great Salt Lake State Park on Friday, June 10, 2022. Water levels at the Great Salt Lake are continuing to reach record lows due to drought.Laura Seitz, Deseret News
New measure explores ways to get more water to the lake, adds more money With the Great Salt Lake dropping to its new historic low this summer and projected to decline even more before year’s end, the...
Christine Ray pushes daughter Bonnie Ray on a paddle board at Bear Lake’s Rendezvous Beach in Rich County on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. A new study reveals visitors to Bear Lake last summer pumped $48 million into the northern Utah region during more than a million days and nights of visitation.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Christine Ray pushes daughter Bonnie Ray on a paddle board at Bear Lake’s Rendezvous Beach in Rich County on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. A new study reveals visitors to Bear Lake last summer pumped $48 million into the northern Utah region during more than a million days and nights of visitation.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
A new study reveals visitors to Bear Lake last summer pumped $48 million into the northern Utah region during more than a million days and nights of visitation. That is a ton of money in a rural area...
Lane Henderson, of Riverton, competes in a 1-mile open swim competition at Great Salt Lake State Park in Magna on Saturday, June 11, 2022.Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Lane Henderson, of Riverton, competes in a 1-mile open swim competition at Great Salt Lake State Park in Magna on Saturday, June 11, 2022.Laura Seitz, Deseret News
‘You either love it or you hate it, there’s no in between,’ one swimmer says Forget about the bugs. They are only with you for a little bit on this journey. As intrepid water enthusiasts took to the d...
One of two Arthur V. Watkins Dam siphon pipes that will be replaced with a direct outlet pipe is visible in Willard Bay’s low water levels in Box Elder County on Friday, May 20, 2022. The purpose of both the existing siphon pipes and future delivery conduit is to move fresh water from Willard Bay to the pictured canal that supplies several industrial customers.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
One of two Arthur V. Watkins Dam siphon pipes that will be replaced with a direct outlet pipe is visible in Willard Bay’s low water levels in Box Elder County on Friday, May 20, 2022. The purpose of both the existing siphon pipes and future delivery conduit is to move fresh water from Willard Bay to the pictured canal that supplies several industrial customers.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
How money can help the West navigate the water supply issue of drought Communities across the West and elsewhere in the country are tapping more than 660 million reasons to boost the integrity of wate...
The shores of the Great Salt Lake on the southwest side of Antelope Island are pictured on Thursday, May 10, 2018 Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
The shores of the Great Salt Lake on the southwest side of Antelope Island are pictured on Thursday, May 10, 2018 Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — There are two things the waters of the Great Salt Lake and agricultural lands have in common: they are both in steady, rapid decline. A three-day forum hosted by Friends of the Great...
Low water levels are pictured in the Great Salt Lake near Tooele County on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Low water levels are pictured in the Great Salt Lake near Tooele County on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
First Great Salt Lake Summit strives for solutions Brad Wilson, a bunch of other folks and a dog named Max took to the waters of the Great Salt Lake on airboats one recent December morning. Wilson, th...
Traffic passes a grassy landscape on Green Valley Parkway in suburban Henderson, Nev., on April 9, 2021. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation on June 4, 2021, to make the state the first in the nation to ban certain kinds of grass. The measure banned water users in southern Nevada from planting decorative grass in an effort to conserve water.Ken Ritter, Associated Press
Traffic passes a grassy landscape on Green Valley Parkway in suburban Henderson, Nev., on April 9, 2021. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation on June 4, 2021, to make the state the first in the nation to ban certain kinds of grass. The measure banned water users in southern Nevada from planting decorative grass in an effort to conserve water.Ken Ritter, Associated Press
Southern Nevada prohibits ‘ornamental’ turf in some areas By 2027, more than 5,000 acres of what are deemed useless or simply ornamental turf will be ripped out of the Las Vegas Valley in what is the...
Students from Creekside Elementary explore the marshes at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Wings & Water program in Layton on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Students from Creekside Elementary explore the marshes at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Wings & Water program in Layton on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Studies show link between youth education, protecting nature To save the Great Salt Lake is to know its worth. To know its worth is to be educated about why it matters. For 16 years, The Nature Conser...
Will Munger, a doctoral student in Utah State University in the Department of Environment and Society, poses for a photo along Emigration Creek in Wasatch Hollow Preserve in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 15, 2022.Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Will Munger, a doctoral student in Utah State University in the Department of Environment and Society, poses for a photo along Emigration Creek in Wasatch Hollow Preserve in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 15, 2022.Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Back in its heyday, the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake boasted multiple resorts offering dining, dancing, concerts, picnic pavilions, a bowling alley. Thousands swarmed these resorts for entertainme...
The Great Salt Lake as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Advocates, researchers and others are concerned about the future of the lake.  Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Advocates, researchers and others intimately acquainted with the Great Salt Lake have watched with dread over the last two decades as it has steadily dwindled to a trickle of its former self. Its aili...
A Blackhawk helicopter flies over the Great Salt Lake as Utah lawmakers take an aerial tour of the Great Salt Lake with the Utah Army National Guard. The group left from the Capitol in Salt Lake City Utah on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.
Blackhawk tour highlights ‘shocking’ condition of lake A group of Utah legislators flew over the shrinking Great Salt Lake early Tuesday morning to see just how badly it is diminishing due to drought...
The Great Salt Lake’s low water levels are visible from the air on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. A committee of lawmakers on Friday unanimously approved a measure that would infuse $40 million worth of solutions into helping the ailing lake. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Utah legislative committee unanimously endorses measure A committee of Utah lawmakers on Friday unanimously approved a measure that would infuse $40 million worth of solutions into helping the ailing...
Water runs out of Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.
Forecast says Utah and the West look to remain in drought A new poll shows an overwhelming majority of Utah residents are concerned about the drought and a mostly dry January isn’t doing much to ease...
What you need to know about water in Utah and why you should care
Management is complex in one of the nation’s driest states Utah’s use of water and the delivery systems that get the finite resource to the tap, farms, fields and landscaping is likely to be front and...