Scientists warn of the dangers of salt pollution of freshwaters if preventive measures are not taken

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Science Daily.

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 (UVic-UCC) and the FEM research group of the University of Barcelona (UB), reveals that human activities such as agriculture and resource extraction (coal, minerals, gas, etc.) are increasing water salinity and this has adverse effects on human health and ecosystem functioning. Narcís Prat, professor at the Ecology Department of the University of Barcelona and leader of the UB Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) research group, also took part in this work.

In addition, increased water salinity could have very high economic costs due to loss of ecosystem services and direct costs related to water treatment for human consumption. The study also warns that in most cases preventive actions focus solely on human uses of water, ignoring the protection of aquatic biodiversity. Some countries, like Australia and the United States, have…

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