Water Quality

Key Facts

Planting Rice Paddy
Over 80% of the 1,067 fields sampled produced rice grains with Cd concentrations greater than the limits recommended by the joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Programme (WHO) Food Standards Programme.
Learning how to measure salinity in a salt marsh
Our global water reserves consist primarily of saline waters, i.e., 96.5% is seawater and almost 1% is saline groundwater. This leaves only 2.5% of the global water reserves as fresh, non-saline water, of which two-thirds occurs as ice and only about one-third is fluid fresh-water.
Salt-covered bird
Rising salt levels occur in many streams and rivers in the south of the continent, leading to environmental degradation (loss of species) estimated at $US 26 million and a cost to water treatment of about $US 40 million per year. (PMSEIC, 1999)




Photos: 1 – McKay Savage on Flickr, 2 – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region, 3 – USFWS Mountain-Prairie