Other Names: Water pollution by salinity
Salt water intrusion
Adjacency of saline water
Salt water flooding
Saline water table
Nature: Rivers carry dissolved salts from exposed saline shale formations, surface salt deposits (eg salt lakes), and saline springs and seeps, into the sea. Farmers withdraw groundwater and surface flows for irrigation water, which percolates through the soil and leaches more salts into the stream or basin. Saline water tables can be drawn up by the depletion of freshwater, further adding to soil salinity. Each subsequent use of the water adds to its salinity until the water becomes too salty for human use. Salinization of rivers and inland seas is also disruptive to their natural ecosystems.
Incidence: About 2 million hectares of agricultural land in southern Western Australia is already affected by salinity, and a further 4 million hectares is threatened.
Problem Type: E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update 24.04.2000 – 00:00 CEST