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Increased salinization of fresh water in the Northeastern United States

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

By:
, , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0506414102

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Abstract

Chloride concentrations are increasing at a rate that threatens the availability of fresh water in the northeastern United States. Increases in roadways and deicer use are now salinizing fresh waters, degrading habitat for aquatic organisms, and impacting large supplies of drinking water for humans throughout the region. We observed chloride concentrations of up to 25% of the concentration of seawater in streams of Maryland, New York, and New Hampshire during winters, and chloride concentrations remaining up to 100 times greater than unimpacted forest streams during summers. Mean annual chloride concentration increased as a function of impervious surface and exceeded tolerance for freshwater life in suburban and urban watersheds. Our analysis shows that if salinity were to continue to increase at its present rate due to changes in impervious surface coverage and current management practices, many surface waters in the northeastern United States would not be potable for human consumption and would become toxic to freshwater life within the next century. ?? 2005 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Increased salinization of fresh water in the Northeastern United States
Series title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0506414102
Volume
102
Issue:
38
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
13517
Last page:
13520
Number of Pages:
4