If this Lawsuit is unsuccessful, the entire northern portion of Utah will have less water and be exposed to toxic dust. Big Agri is using water needlessly to grow alfalfa, a water intensive plant. Feed for cattle can be replaced with other crops.
Why grow alfalfa and cattle, when there won’t be enough water left to sustain animal and human life? When do we rethink our priorities?
Unless dire action is taken, the lake could decline beyond recognition within five years, a report published early this year warned, exposing a dusty lakebed laced with arsenic, mercury, lead and other toxic substances. The resulting toxic dustbowl would be “one of the worst environmental disasters in modern US history”, the ecologist Ben Abbott of Brigham Young University told the Guardian earlier this year.
Despite such warnings, officials have failed to take serious action, local groups said in their lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday. “We are trying to avert disaster. We are trying to force the hand of state government to take serious action,” said Brian Moench of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, one of the groups suing state agencies.
“Plaintiffs pray that this Court declare that the State of Utah has breached its trust duty to ensure water flows into the Great Salt Lake sufficient to maintain the Lake,” reads the lawsuit, which was brought by coalition that includes Earthjustice, the Utah Rivers Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, among others.