The world’s thirst for fresh water is causing a salty problem.
According to a scientific study released Monday, desalination plants worldwide are producing 142 million cubic meters (5,014 million cubic feet) of brine daily — about half more than previously estimated.
The report by researchers from Canada, the Netherlands and South Korea claims that would be enough to swamp Florida in a foot of brine every year.
Because much of it is dumped untreated into the sea, and some is laden with toxic chemicals, the authors are calling for better brine management.
Manzoor Qadir, assistant director of the U.N. University’s Canada-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, said this is particularly important in countries producing large volumes of brine such as Saudi Arabia and smaller neighboring Gulf states.