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The environmental cost of quenching the world′s thirst

Desalination makes fresh water available for millions of people, but it has environmental impacts: Lots of energy is needed and marine wildlife suffers because of the salty and toxic slush dumped in the sea.
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Desalination plant outfall at San Ramón (Credit: Alan Harper/flickr)
Originals

Desalination plants are on the rise—so is their salty, chemical waste

The rise of desalination plants, now almost 16,000 worldwide, has led to a glut of brine waste—much of which is dumped into oceans, which can raise salinity to dangerous levels and put toxic chemicals in the marine environment threatening ocean life, according to a new study.

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