Great Salt Lake Salinity Advisory Committee

GSL Causeway photo

Goal

The goal of the Great Salt Lake Salinity Advisory Committee is to guide the process of developing and, in the end, providing recommendations to Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands and Utah Division of Water Quality on the long-term management of the salinity of GSL. 

Purpose

FFSL and UDWQ are responsible for interpreting salinity data representative of the South (Gilbert Bay) and North (Gunnison Bay) Arms of GSL and making appropriate changes to Union Pacific Railroad’s GSL Causeway opening and berm geometry, if required, that maximize the benefits of GSL in accordance with the public trust doctrine and the Utah Water Quality Act.

At a minimum, FFSL and UDWQ must receive recommendations from the SAC regarding the need and measure of potential FFSL modifications of the UPRR causeway opening, berm or channel.

Studies

Round Robin of Methods to Estimate the Salinity of Great Salt Lake Waters

This study was completed by the Salinity Advisory Committee to compare results from various field and laboratory analytical methods used to estimate the density, salinity, and major ions of GSL waters. This memorandum summarizes the methods and results from the round-robin, available density and salinity datasets, and the SAC’s recommendations for the next steps.

Standard Operating Procedure – Great Salt Lake Water Density Measurement and Salinity Calculation

The Salinity Advisory Committee developed and recommends the use of this Standard Operating Procedure for water density measurement and salinity calculations for Great Salt Lake waters.

Salinty Matrix

The 2013 Great Salt Lake Comprehensive Management Plan (UDNR 2013) includes a lake water level matrix that illustrates the benefit or impact of different lake water levels (y-axis) to the numerous resources and uses of GSL (x-axis). The SAC decided to develop a similar matrix for salinity to serve as a companion to the GSL water level matrix. The GSL Salinity Matrix will provide lake users, researchers, managers, and regulators a practical means to interpret salinity data and evaluate their significance for GSL. The SAC intends for this matrix to be a starting point. It is intended to be a tool that is useful today but will continue to be improved into tomorrow.