Utah has been plagued with a series of water quality problems this summer. It began in July with a toxic algal bloom that originated in Utah Lake and spread to the Jordan River. The waters were closed to public access and irrigation systems throughout southern Salt …
Deseret News – California’s scorching drought and the massive Gold King Mine spill impacting three states drew national attention to water issues in the West and likely elevated the topic as a top concern in research and outreach done by the Utah Foundation.
Deseret News – A joint state team of experts from the U.S. Geological Survey began an extensive study probing nutrients at the Jordan River surplus canal. They also plan to map nutrients at the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake to understand their distribution.
Deseret News – A toxic algal bloom at Utah Lake that spread to the Jordan River system is suspected of sickening more than 300 people and possibly killing 100 ducks and a goat. Major concerns persist for Salt Lake County farmers and their crops.
Improvements to secondary digesters, primary sludge thickening, and cogeneration are now finished. “The purpose of the upgrade is to increase the solids treatment and handling capacity to serve needs through the year 2035,” said general manager Kevin R. Cowan.
Utah Lake Commission – See the winning 2016 photos here.
Standard-Examiner – Water-related problems can’t be solved myopically, says Tage Flint, general manager of Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, in this special to the Standard-Examiner. “It will not be easy, it will not be cheap, and it should be brimming with input and discussion,” he says.
Deseret News – Equipment failure in Elk Ridge’s primary well that supplies water to residents and businesses has led to an outdoor watering prohibition for as long as five weeks.
Deseret News – A wet, cool May helped delay the use of irrigation water for fields and lawns, keeping reservoir levels steady across much of Utah. The rainstorms put Utah on track to log an average year for precipitation.
UNews – Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new University of Utah study.
World Bank – The impacts of climate change will be channeled primarily through the water cycle. These challenges are not insurmountable, however. This new World Bank report describes how smart policies that induce water-use efficiency, align incentives, and invest in adaptive technologies can go a long way.
New York Times – Giant dam projects promised to elevate the American West above its greatest handicap—a perennial shortage of water. But today, there are signs that the promise of Glen Canyon Dam and others has run its course. Could the end be near for one of the West’s biggest dams?
The prolonged drought has prompted the Utah Division of Water Resources to renew its efforts to promote water conservation in the state. Take the pledge now at water.utah.gov/h2oath.
Deseret News – After years of preparation, Utah has submitted a voluminous licensing application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to start the initial review process for the Lake Powell Pipeline.
Hydroterrorism—a form of terrorism in which water is the tool or the target—is intensifying. Recent incidents in the Middle East and past incidents elsewhere illustrate that water resource systems are vulnerable to both physical and virtual attacks. This white paper introduces the problem, presents pertinent examples, and offers some direction for response.