Sunday, June 26, 2022 | 2 a.m.
The June 9 article “ ‘Environmental nuclear bomb’ ticks as Great Salt Lake shrinks’ was misleading. Early on in the story, Owens Lake was touted as a model for what is happening to the Great Salt Lake.
The article attempted to attribute the loss of area and volume in the lakes to climate change, but both are or were diminished by appropriating 90-100% of their source water.
Owens Lake in California’s Owens Valley, which is approximately 175 miles north of Los Angeles, had its source water stolen by Los Angeles — excuse me, by buying out all the farms in the valley, not divulging they only wanted their water rights and not the farmland. William Mulholland, a great self-taught civil engineer, built the aqueducts and dams that brought the appropriated water to thirsty Los Angeles during the early part of the 20th century.
This is exactly what is happening to the Great Salt Lake, as cities and farmers appropriate 90% of the water that used to flow into the lake.
Population demand for more water drove Owens Lake into a dry lake status, and farmers and population are driving the Great Salt Lake into the same situation.
Climate change is a diversion from the fact that it is time to debate the wisdom of population stabilization and living within our means.