Road salt runoff threatens US, Canada lakes: study: HumSub.TV

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Road salt runoff threatens US, Canada lakes: study: HumSub.TV

Road salt runoff threatens US, Canada lakes: study: HumSub.TV: Salting of roads in winter helps drivers navigate snow and ice, but the runoff may be irreparably damaging freshwater lakes in the United States and Canada, researchers warned Monday.

Most of the 371 North American freshwater lakes in the US Northeast and Midwest and Ontario province are showing an increase in salinity from chloride runoff, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And if the trend continues it could doom aquatic life and reduce water quality, limiting the supply of drinking and irrigation water, the researchers said.
“The picture is sobering,” said lead author Hilary Dugan, a freshwater specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We compiled long-term data, and compared chloride concentrations in North American lakes and reservoirs to climate and land use patterns, with the goal of revealing whether, how, and why salinization is changing across broad geographic scales,” Dugan said in a statement.

“For lakes, small amounts of shoreline development translate into big salinization risks.”

Each lake studied was larger than four hectares (0.02 square mile) and had at least 10 years of chloride data.

The majority (284) of the lakes were located in the North American lakes region that includes 10 US states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin — as well as Ontario province.

The use of road salt to keep winter roads navigable has been rising since the 1940s. The researchers determined that each year, some 23 million metric tons of sodium chloride-based de-icer are applied to North American roads.

Underestimated problem

Much of that road salt washes into nearby water bodies, becoming a major source of chloride pollution to groundwater, streams, rivers and lakes.

To measure the quantities of road salt applied to roadways and other impervious surfaces, such as parking lots and sidewalks, the researchers evaluated road density and land cover within a 100- to 1,500-meter (0.06-0.09 mile) buffer around each of the study lakes.

Their findings were clear: roads and other impervious surfaces within 500 meters of a lake’s shoreline were a strong predictor of elevated chloride concentrations in the water.

When the results of the study are extrapolated to all lakes in the North American lakes region, some 7,770 lakes may be at risk of rising salinity.

If the escalation in salinization continues, it said, many lakes will exceed in the next 50 years the aquatic life threshold criterion for chronic chloride exposure set by the US Environmental Protection Agency of 230 milligrams per liter.

According to the study, 14 lakes are expected to exceed the EPA standard by 2050, and 47 are on track to reach chloride concentrations of 100 milligrams/liter during the same time period.

“These results are likely an underestimation of the salinization problem, as a number of regions with heavy road-salt application, such as Quebec or the Maritime Provinces of Canada, had no long-term lake data available,” said co-author Flora Krivak-Tetley, a graduate student at Dartmouth College.

High chloride levels in lakes have been shown to alter the composition of fish, invertebrates, and the plankton that form the base of the aquatic food web.

That can reduce aquatic species and, in extreme cases, salinization can cause low oxygen conditions that smother aquatic life and reduce water quality, the study noted.

Road salt runoff threatens US, Canada lakes: study: HumSub.TV

Road salt runoff threatens US, Canada lakes: study: HumSub.TV

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Introduction
HumSub TV is Pakistan’s leading forwarding-thinking, edutainment channel, aimed at promoting and upholding peace, interfaith harmony and social responsibility within Pakistan through informative and insightful programmes and documentaries; analytical interviews on issues pertaining to social, economic, legal and environmental set-up; dedicated shows to canvass and thereby promote the culture and heritage of Pakistan and in-depth coverage of national and international news.

HumSub TV is the first channel and thus a pioneer within its own right that mainly focuses on emphasising the “Rights” as well as the “Obligations” of the citizens in light of the Constitution of Pakistan, numerous International declarations signed by the Government and various laws that have been promulgated over the years but are not in the knowledge of the common citizen.
HumSub TV also aims to enter into bilateral agreements with other countries to promote not only their culture, heritage and tourism, but also their educational and medical facilities.
Following the successful launch of HumSub TV’s head office in Blue Area, Islamabad; the bureau office has been set up in Lahore.

Vision
To project positive image building of Pakistan and inculcate nationalism, as per the vision of the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Mission
HumSub TV is resolute about the promotion of a pluralistic, inclusive and egalitarian society in Pakistan where all citizens are allowed to contribute to promote interfaith harmony, peace and collective wisdom in the social, political and economic development of Pakistan and to encourage critical and lateral thinking in the society. HumSub TV strives to make a positive contribution to this end.

HumSub TV’s Theme
HumSub TV, Pakistan’s first EDUTAINMENT Channel, has been set up for not only those audience residing in Pakistan or overseas but the international community on the whole. The vision of the channel is to project positive image building of Pakistan and inculcate nationalism as per the vision of the founder of the nation.

HumSub TV strives to make a positive contribution to this end by promoting pluralism, inclusiveness and egality in Pakistan and give voice to the suppressed. It endeavors to act as a positive catalyst for social change and Pakistani nationalism. It envisions providing a platform for airing critical and lateral thinking and collective wisdom by inviting positive minded intellectuals and opinion forming individuals for the promotion of interfaith harmony and peace in the social, political and economic development of Pakistan.

Whereas the channel airs upbeat edutainment programmes, it, nonetheless, has the primary objective of countering negative anti-Pakistan regional and international propaganda as well as advancing fundamental rights as encapsulated in the Constitution of Pakistan.

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