Updated 7:02 AM ET, Sat July 17, 2021
One of Utah’s most unique natural treasures is disappearing 03:45
Great Salt Lake, Utah (CNN)Great Salt Lake is also known as America’s Dead Sea — owing to a likeness to its much smaller Middle Eastern counterpart — but scientists worry the moniker could soon take new meaning.Human water consumption and diversion have long depleted the Utah lake. Its level today is inches away from a 58-year low, state officials say, and Western drought conditions fueled by the climate crisis have exacerbated conditions.The worst part? It’s only July, and the lake historically doesn’t reach its annual low until October.
Economic downturn isn’t the only threat to humans in the area. Utah’s soil is naturally high in arsenic, a toxic compound that causes a frightening range of health problems. When it washes downstream, it lands in the lake, Perry said. When the wind blows, as it regularly does quite fiercely, it kicks up the dusty lake bed.