"Lake Wasatch" is out, but turning Farmington Bay into a freshwater lake or water-storage reservoir should get further consideration by the Great Salt Lake Development Authority.
That will be the crux of a report the advisory group will send to the Legislature later this month.At its most recent meeting, the board approved a draft report that basically says the idea is neither economically nor environmentally feasible.
The board was created by the Legislature in 1989 to evaluate the potential of turning the lake's eastern areas into a series of freshwater reservoirs using dikes to link the south shore, Antelope and Fremont islands and the Promontory Peninsula.
The draft report, which will be sent to Gov. Norm Bangerter, also suggests restoring public access to Antelope Island as quickly as possible.
The report also says the group considers its mandate from the Legislature fulfilled and that it will formally disband unless directed otherwise by the Legislature.
The potential loss or significant damage to existing wetlands along the Great Salt Lake and the questionable water quality that could be attained were the major factors defeating the Lake Wasatch proposal.
Although the group supports further studies involving Farmington Bay, the report warns that water quality remains a prime concern along with the availability of sufficient freshwater rights to fill such a reservoir. And, it says, the efforts needed to bring the water quality up to acceptable standards for irrigation and industrial uses could force size limitations that could eliminate most significant recreation options.
In arguing for reconstruction of the causeway between Davis County and Antelope Island, the group recommends that the Utah Department of Transportation consider using the Wasatch Wall proposal, a system of pilings to support the road, contained in the Lake Wasatch proposal. The group said this would allow construction of flow-control structures and openings for boats to accommodate freshwater recreation in Farmington Bay if it is determined feasible in the future.