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Desalination's leftovers may negatively affect oceans and ecosystems

Desalination's leftovers may negatively affect oceans and ecosystems

Technology
This is an Inside Science story. About 700 million people worldwide lack reliable access to fresh water, a number which might grow due to population growth and climate change. This has pushed many nations to look to new, untapped water sources. One popular solution has been the construction of plants to remove salt from water sources such as seawater. However, new research from the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health in Canada is warning that a byproduct of these desalination plants -- super-salty, potentially toxic brine -- is being produced in large quantities and that it could pose serious environmental threats. There are now almost 16,000 desalination plants in the world. Although the majority of plants worldwide are located in the Middle East and ...