The Stream, August 21: Increasing Salinity Another Threat to Fresh Water

The salinity of fresh water systems in the United States is growing due to urban wastewater, stormwater and fertilizer runoff, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Guardian reported. The salinity is creating problems for cities that rely on surface water supplies for drinking, and can also create issues for agricultural irrigation.

A series of illnesses and deaths has prompted an investigation into the practices of India’s only uranium mining company, which operates a waste dump near several east India communities, Bloomberg News reported. A regional judge has ordered the company to release data about heavy metals in the water and soil near the communities.

Water Supply
More than 2,000 people in the Irish city of Limerick were told not to drink their water due to high levels of lead, the Irish Times reported. The water utility, which was aware of the lead levels five days before it issued warnings, is working to replace old lead water pipes by the end of the year.

A new plan outlining how Detroit will pay off its debt has proposed a regional water authority, Reuters reported. The authority would cover Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are investigating how to generate power from the meeting of fresh water and salt water, such as the confluence of rivers and oceans, reported. The process could also be used by coastal wastewater treatment plants by combining seawater and wastewater discharges to create energy.

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