A very important question everybody has been asking is ,“why are our Great Lakes drying up so quickly?” For years we have been told the reason for that being we “global warming” or some sort of climate change. What if that isn’t true? What if the reason all of our Great Lakes are drying up is because of us. Scientist are now discovering the problem the drying up the lakes are because of humans. More than 170 years of water records, and comparing these records to the amount of flowing of water has shown us that, the amount of consumption of freshwater is what could be to blame for Utah’s Great Lake.
The Great Lake has been shrinking since 1847, but the lake reached its lowest level in 2016. The lake is now about half of its original volume, that is 3.6 meters down since 1847. Many researches used to think the dry and wet spell were caused by climate changes.
For years people living around the area has been using 3.3 trillion liters of water every year, the haven’t been using the Great Lake directly but they are using the water sources surrounding it. Since the climate records have been reporting to be very stable, researches have concluded that, humans are grabbing from the streams before the Great Lakes ever get the chance to be replenished.
But how can these potentially dried up lake beds affect us? Maura Hahnenberger is an Atmospheric scientist who is located at Salt Lake Community College, she explains that “as dry lakebed is exposed, salts and sediments can go airborne, causing respiratory and cardiovascular problems.” Hanenberger also adds, “ that dust storms in Salt Lake City have typically blown in from distant lake beds like the Bonneville Salt Flats, about 170 kilometers away.”
There is more at stake then just the humans, about a quarter of bodies of water around the world is our Saltwater lakes. The Saltwater lakes create a ecosystems that are unique for animals for example that are endangered such as “Peregrine Falcon,” they also are beneficial for plants. These Saltwater lakes also create habitats for migrating birds, these lakes provide not only shelter but food.
To save our Great Lakes, Wayne Wurtsbaugh, he is limnologist at the Utah State University, suggest we need to find a happy medium between our human consumption and how much we are conserving.The Great Lakes should have the goal of “24% to 29% to maintain its health and stability” Wurtsbaugh also stresses with their growing population they need to start thinking for the long-term effect. Keeping the future in mind can save these Great Lakes, and also save the future for the new budding population going to be needing it.