It's a prominent landmark on any U.S. map, but Utah's Great Salt Lake has already shrunk by two-thirds due to extended drought, booming population, and regional water usage policies. This article from The New York Times profiles a catastrophe-in-the-making as the Great Salt Lake continues to shrink, with arsenic dust filling the air, snowfall in nearby ski areas declining, and the lake's brine shrimp, a critical food source for 10 million migratory birds, dying off:
"The stakes are alarmingly high, according to Timothy D. Hawkes, a Republican lawmaker who wants more aggressive action. Otherwise, he said, the Great Salt Lake risks the same fate as California’s Owens Lake, which went dry decades ago, producing the worst levels of dust pollution in the United States and helping to turn the nearby community into a veritable ghost town. 'It’s not just fear-mongering,' he said of the lake vanishing. 'It can actually happen.'"
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