With Utah in drought and the Great Salt Lake shriveling, Gov. Spencer Cox in June 2021 made an unusual request: He asked constituents to pray for rain.

“We need some divine intervention,” Cox said.

This winter, Utahns got their precipitation — it snowed like crazy. Nearly every mountain range is storing at least 1.5 times as much water as is typical. The extra runoff this spring could be an immense help to the state’s water woes.

But some scientists worry Utah is wasting a blessing.

State lawmakers chose not to implement short-term, emergency rescue measures during this winter’s legislative session to capitalize on that snowfall, replenish the lake and prevent its ecological collapse.