GREAT SALT LAKE COLLABORATIVE

Church of Jesus Christ donating 5.7K water shares to the Great Salt Lake

Mar 15, 2023, 10:10 AM

A great blue heron at Farmington Bay on Feb. 19, 2022. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Sai...

A great blue heron at Farmington Bay on Feb. 19, 2022. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints agreed to donate 5,700 water shares to send more water to the Farmington Bay area of the Great Salt Lake. (Carter Williams/KSL.com)

(Carter Williams/KSL.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has agreed to donate 5,700 water shares that will send more than 20,000 acre-feet of water to the struggling Great Salt Lake, Utah officials announced Wednesday.

The church’s water donation will come from the North Point Consolidated Irrigation Company, allowing water to flow to the “critical shoreline and wetland habitat” at Farmington Bay, according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources. Officials said they believe it is the largest permanent water donation to help the Great Salt Lake, ever.

“This water donation will make a real difference to the lake and the future of our state,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement. “The Great Salt Lake is a critical asset environmentally, ecologically and economically, and we all need to work together to protect and preserve it.”

The Great Salt Lake reached an all-time low for the second time last year. While it has already risen 1½ feet since then because of strong winter precipitation, experts say it’s still well below the level it needs to be to avoid serious consequences.

Utah officials said Wednesday that the church’s donation may lead to more partnerships in the future.

This story will be updated.

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Church of Jesus Christ donating 5.7K water shares to the Great Salt Lake