Utah Lake May Become a Fresher, Cleaner Recreation Spot as UVU Team Studies How to Rejuvenate It

Utah Lake, a giant puddle of 300 billion gallons of water, is the third-largest lake west of the Mississippi and a team from the UVU is working to help figure out how to clean it up! Did you know that Utah Lake is the third biggest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River and when it is “full” it holds 870,000 acre-feet of water, according to Wade Tuft, a raw water manager of the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District? (Who knew there even was a “raw water” manager?) In case you wanted to know, 870,000 acre-feet of water equals 283,490,742,847 gallons of water! Yes, you read that right that is nearly 300 billion gallons of freshwater! Utah Lake’s 300 billion gallons of water cover about 150 square miles and because the depth of the lake averages only about 9-10 feet deep some may consider it a giant puddle. Another interesting fact, according to Tuft, is that on an average hot summer day, with water being about 73 degrees, over 11 billion gallons of water evaporates off the lake.” Yes, every day 11 billion gallons of water go up into the air. Crazy! It is no secret that Utah Lake has always been a little less than a desirable place to swim, boat, and fish because of the murky shallow, and dirty water. But there is good news! A team of Utah Valley University faculty just received a $350,000 grant to study and recommend ways to rejuvenate Utah Lake, according to a story on ABC news. “There is such a negative stigma surrounding Utah Lake,” said Hilary Hungerford, one of the UVU professors involved in the project. The grant will allow faculty and students to investigate the ecological, environmental, economic, and social impact of the lake. That information will inform local policymakers of the findings so the lake can be brought back to a more pristine condition and to make Utah Lake a place where residents want to go and recreate. And that is good news! Nugent Magazine loves to share the good news happening in Utah and the world. If you have a good news story or know of a "Hometown Hero” please let us know. Email Gina at gina@nugentmagazine.com

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