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,

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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…]