The Latter-Day Saints church steps up as they have donated water to the Great Salt Lake. The Utah-based church is taking various measures to address the impact of the impending drought.

These actions include giving a little reservoir's water rights to Utah's Great Salt Lake, switching out the grass for water-conserving landscaping, and drastically lowering water use outside the church's headquarters in Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Water Donation to the Great Salt Lake by The Latter-Day Saints Church Commended

According to ABC News, the church is among the largest owners of land and water in the western United States, and now is expanding its role in conservation to protect the future of all of God's children. Bishop Christopher Waddell made these remarks during a speech at the University of Utah, emphasizing the importance of finding solutions to ensure a sustainable future.

During a conference on the Great Salt Lake's future held at the S.J. Quinney College of Law of the University of Utah, a high-ranking church leader emphasized the significance of being responsible stewards of the planet and appreciating the natural riches we have been blessed with.

The official, Bishop Christopher Waddell, spoke after a group of scientists and Republican Gov. Spencer Cox and highlighted the church's historical focus on stewardship, tracing back to the Brigham Young era. He noted that the faith's forefathers supported the idea that water is a public resource, not just a matter of private property rights.

Bishop Waddell expressed gratitude for the wet winter and attributed it to the power of prayer. He encouraged members of the faith to conserve water and not let the season's plentiful snowpack go to waste.

In the article in Yahoo! News, the lake is operating at a 1.2 million acre-foot deficit, so it needs that much water to maintain its current levels. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated 20,000 acre-feet of water rights to the lake. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the church holds active water rights totaling at least 75,000 acre-feet.

While the donation is only a small fraction of what's needed to keep the lake at its current level, it's still a significant contribution. Scientists warn that if the lake continues to shrink, it could cause ecological, economic, and public health disasters. In addition to endangering native animals and polluting the air in nearby communities, the exposure of harmful dust to the coastline might also limit the amount of "lake effect" snow that the state's ski sector depends on.

Also Read: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Pay $5M Settlement Following Concerns on Church's Investment

Relatedness of the Great Salt Lake to the Church

During a discussion, it was highlighted that the Great Salt Lake had great significance in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, it was one of the first things the Mormon pioneers saw when they entered the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. They quickly started digging canals and diversions to cultivate food and cities.

Brigham Young, the church's prophet and leader at that time, advocated for holding water as a public resource rather than private ownership, a radical idea in the mid-19th century. The church established the Inland Crystal Salt Co. a few decades later to extract salt minerals from the lake's brine, which sold throughout the West.

The Great Saltair, a tourist attraction, was also built by the church. Waddell emphasized the need to be wise stewards of the earth by understanding the natural resources we have been blessed with and aligning our practices with environmental realities as our understanding of the environment grows.

Related Article: 'Mormon Land' Offers Insights on How Latter-Day Saints Can Engage With Easter