Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment: U.N.

Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment: U.N.

FILE PHOTO: Workers walk outside a desalination plant, south of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 2011. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

OSLO (Reuters) – Almost 16,000 desalination plants worldwide produce bigger-than-expected flows of highly salty waste water and toxic chemicals that are damaging the environment, a U.N.-backed study said on Monday.

Desalination plants pump out 142 million cubic meters (5 billion cubic feet) of salty brine every day, 50 percent more than previous estimates,


Desalination Produces 50 Percent More Toxic Brine Than Previously Thought

photo: desalination plant

The world’s desalination plants, which use energy intensive processes to remove salt from water, produce enough toxic brine each year to cover all of Florida under a foot of water.

Factories around the world are pumping out toxic brine at a rate much higher than previously estimated and dumping it back into the ocean, according to a report published on Monday.

This super-salty brine is toxic to marine life, and … [more…]

Scientists warn of salt pollution of freshwaters — salinity

photo: The Llobregat river in Balsareny. Scientist think it is not too late to prevent further disasters of this kind if appropriate prevention and management practices are put in place. Credit: Research Group-UB

An article published today in the journal Science warns of the dangers of increasing water salinity for human health and freshwater ecosystems (rivers, lakes, etc.) and the economic cost arising from a lack of public policies to tackle this problem.

The study, prepared by an international team of scientists coordinated by the researcher Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles, of the BETA research group of the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia … [more…]