Water Resource Plan

Water Resource Plan - Salinization is the increase in...

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Salinization is the increase in chloride ions in freshwater aquifers. Saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers occurs mostly in coastal areas and once it occurs, it is almost impossible to reverse. Once saltwater has intruded into freshwater, the freshwater aquifer often becomes too brackish to be used for human consumption. There are several causes of saltwater intrusion and salinization with some being natural and others being human induced. Mitigation programs only work to slow or stop the saltwater intrusion process. There is no way to restore aquifers affected by saltwater intrusion. One natural cause of saltwater intrusion and salinization is storm surge caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. Along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, Hurricane Katrina brought high winds, high waves, and lots of destruction. Hurricane Rita similarly affected the Louisiana and Texas coasts in 2005 as well. The storm surge pushed saltwater well up into the freshwater marshes that help protect the coastline. In some places, the freshwater marshes were flooded for weeks. Though the storm was quickly over, the effects from the storm surge could be long-term. If fresh water is available to flush out the saltwater, then the fresh water wetlands plants and ecosystems may not be as impacted. However, if there is not sufficient fresh water for flushing, the salinity levels could increase because of evapotranspiration and begin to affect the productivity of the wetland plants (Steyer, 2007). Climate change could be another natural cause of saltwater intrusion.
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This document was uploaded on 06/12/2010.

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Water Resource Plan - Salinization is the increase in...

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