NewsGreat Salt Lake Collaborative


50 million gallons of water begins daily diversion to Great Salt Lake

Posted at 1:23 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 19:02:21-04

DRAPER, Utah — While things have been looking up for the Great Salt Lake recently, the body of water synonymous with the Beehive State began getting an extra boost to quench its thirst.

Starting Tuesday morning, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District opened the floodgates to divert 50 million gallons of water each day into the lake, which has suffered during the state's recent drought.

"It was an innovative process that a lot of people came together to figure this out to be able to run this water this way," said Wade Tuft, water manager for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.

Fifty million gallons of water equals about 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Each day over the next few weeks, that amount of water will be heading to the Great Salt Lake through existing pipelines and aqueduct systems.

The water comes from the Deer Creek Reservoir, which is released into the Provo River, then makes its way into the Jordan River and eventually into the lake. In addition to being a benefit to the Great Salt Lake, it will increase storage room at the reservoir for possible flooding after the extraordinary winter snowfall.

"We've decided to bring this water down today and for the next couple of weeks so that we can hopefully avoid some of those flooding issues," said Tuft.

Along with the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, the Provo River Water Users Association, Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy City are taking part in the collaboration.

“This project required a tremendous amount of creative thinking to make the most of the gift that Mother Nature gave us with this year’s historic snowpack,” said Central Utah Water Conservancy District General Manager Gene Shawcroft.

The Great Salt Lake hit its historic low point in November, but has since risen three feet even before the massive spring runoff which is expected over the next few weeks.

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake—and what can be done to make a difference before it is too late. Read all of our stories at