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Sustainability News

America’s Freshwater is Getting Saltier. And That’s Not Good.

“A new study finds that the freshwater we rely on for drinking water and industry is getting saltier. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pulls data from 232 US Geological Survey monitoring sites across the country that have been collected over decades. . . .

“Utz says there could be a mix of positive and negative impacts from this trend. One negative is that as more dissolved chemical compounds related to alkalinization get in the water, they can end up becoming a solid again. This can cause deposits to build up in municipal and industrial pipes, becoming a real challenge to the country’s aging water infrastructure. Also power plants that use water as a cooling substance could be affected. ‘The more stuff that is dissolved in the water from the rivers, the harder it is for that water to be released to steam,’ explains Utz. ‘You need a higher temperature or you need to remove those chemical compounds before you use it for a cooling purpose.’

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