Utah Delegation Introduce Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Burgess Owens (UT-04), John Curtis (UT-03), Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Blake Moore (UT-01) introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to use unexpended funds from the Central Utah Project Completion Act to conduct water conservation measures in the Great Salt Lake basin.

“From water districts to Washington, DC, we need every tool in the toolbox to save the long-term health of the Great Salt Lake for generations to come,” said Rep. Owens. “The Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act allocates financial resources for drought mitigation measures, employs innovative approaches to water conservation efforts, and helps replenish the water levels of the Great Salt Lake. I am proud to join the Utah delegation to continue to bolster local efforts to preserve and maintain our state’s precious water resources from historic drought conditions.”

“We have seen action from local to the federal level to protect the Great Salt Lake and ensure its viability for generations to come,” said Rep. Curtis. “Through this bill, we are ensuring no door is left unopened in this fight.”

“The Great Salt Lake is synonymous with the Beehive State,” said Rep. Stewart. “And it’s our responsibility to ensure this staple of our community is maintained, preserved, and protected for the people of Utah. I’m proud to work alongside my fellow Utah colleagues to ensure the Great Salt Lake has protection for future generations.”

“Preserving the Great Salt Lake has been one of my top priorities, and I’m grateful for all the progress that has been made on the state and federal level,” said Rep. Moore. “The Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act is a critical next step that will provide the necessary resources to support water conservation efforts that will help stabilize the Great Salt Lake. I appreciate the opportunity to work with my Utah colleagues on this important issue.” 

The Great Salt Lake plays a crucial role in the ecological and economic fabric of the region. Nevertheless, the lake currently confronts severe drought conditions that jeopardize its long-term survival. Recognizing the pressing nature of the issue, the Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act proposes an extension of the existing water conservation program established by the Central Utah Project Completion Act (CUPCA). This extension would encompass the entire Great Salt Lake drainage basin and permit the utilization of unspent funds allocated under CUPCA for vital water conservation endeavors.

Under the proposed legislation, the Secretary of the Interior would gain increased flexibility to allocate unused funds from other sections of CUPCA to the existing water conservation program. By expanding the program’s geographical scope to cover the entire Great Salt Lake drainage basin, the bill aims to provide support to the State of Utah, local communities, and water districts north of Salt Lake County in their conservation efforts and initiatives to replenish the lake.

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