Question by Sharen Perry, Ogden City area 

 Two critical new state laws appropriate $45 million toward conserving and managing the lake.

HB410 created the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program to oversee a $40 million water trust that will identify conservation and sustainability projects, according to Great Salt Lake Collaborative partner Deseret News

The state recently awarded oversight to the National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy. They will oversee four goals:

  • Retain and enhance water flows to the lake.
  • Improve water quality and quantity in the watershed.
  • Conserve and restore upstream habitats.
  • Integrate water quality and management plans.

The conservation organizations can obtain water rights for Great Salt Lake. 

HB429 sets aside $5 million to “ensure coordination among water agencies by creating the Great Salt Lake Watershed Integrated Water Assessment,” according to the Deseret News. This assessment will study the best water management practices.

The state’s Division of Water Resources must complete the assessment by November 2026, though it will report to the Legislature its plan for the assessment by September 2023. 

“I expect that they’ll have some very detailed ideas of who is going to coordinate the conservation [by September 2023],” said HB429 sponsor Rep. Kelly Miles. 

—Reported and written by McCaulee Blackburn