Salinity and the sustainable management of saline impaired water are two of the most serious environmental problems facing Australia, requiring smart and sustainable remediation measures and billions of dollars of investment to help alleviate these problems.
Other countries affected by large scale dryland salinity problems include Argentina, Brazil, China, Chile, Commonwealth of Independent States (eastern part of former USSR), Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Peru, Spain, Syria, Thailand, Turkey and the USA.
Saline impaired waters originate from many sources and have diverse salinity levels and chemical compositions, reflecting the source and the nature of human activities and natural processes as well as the extent of contaminant input to source water.
Australia’s salinity problem is complex and there is no blanket solution. There are few catchment-scale salinity control measures and it is now widely acknowledged that most of current measures and land use practices will soon become unsustainable – in short, they will not be economically viable. Large volumes of saline impaired water produced by land and water use activities and resource production industries are being added to Australian landscape by way of discharge, storage and so-called engineering solutions. Most saline water pollution of land is occurring unchecked and at at an accelerated rate.
The effective management of salinity requires leadership, a long-term commitment and many years of concerted effort.
In view of the scale and rate of water and landscape salinization in Australia, finding sustainable solutions to this grave problem would require a whole-nation approach and a bipartisan support by all sectors of the Community and the governments. The challenge is obviously large and overwhelming; it needs the transfer of factual information to Community to stimulate thinking, discussion and participation. The information package listed below is specifically for this purpose. Please select and double click any of the topics listed below to access the text.