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Church donates thousands of water shares to benefit Great Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced today that it will donate over 5,700 water shares in the North Point Consolidated Irrigation Company to the state of Utah, to benefit the Great Salt Lake.

The donation is approximately the size of Little Dell Reservoir in Salt Lake County, and is believed to be the largest permanent donation to benefit the Great Salt Lake yet.

“The Great Salt Lake and the ecosystem that depends on it are so important,” Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, said in a press release. “The Church wants to be part of the solution because we all have a responsibility to care for and be good stewards of the natural resources that God has given to us. We invite others to join with us to help.”

Cinnamon Teal flying in for a landing at Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area at Great Salt Lake.
Cinnamon Teal flying in for a landing at Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area at Great Salt Lake. Photo: TownLift // Kevin Cody.

The donation will be managed by the Utah Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust.

“This donation is invaluable because it’s a permanent, dedicated source of water that will benefit the lake year after year. I appreciate the collaborative effort among the Church, DNR and conservation groups,” Joel Ferry, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, said in a press release. “We look forward to continuing to work together to safeguard the lake.”

The Great Salt Lake is an integral piece of Utah’s environment, economy, and agriculture. The shrinking lake made national headlines last year after hitting its lowest recorded water level.

“We’re grateful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for this generous donation,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in a press release. “This water donation will make a real difference to the lake and the future of our state. The Great Salt Lake is a critical asset environmentally, ecologically and economically, and we all need to work together to protect and preserve it.”

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