Desalination is an increasingly common method of meeting potable water demands, but the associated ecological risks are not well understood. Seawater desalination plants discharge large volumes of hypersaline brine directly into the ocean, raising concerns about potential impacts to marine life. In order to reduce impacts of brine, newer desalination outfalls are often fitted with high-pressure diffusers that discharge brine at high velocity into the water column, increasing the mixing and dilution of brine with ocean water. However, there are few published studies of marine impacts of desalination brine, and no well replicated before-after designs. Here we report a six-year study testing for impacts and subsequent recovery of sessile marine invertebrate recruitment near a desalination outfall with high-pressure diffusers. We used a Multiple Before-After-Control-Impact (MBACI) design to test for impacts and recovery at two distances (30 m and 100 m) from a 250 ML/day plant outfall, as well as a gradient design to test the strength of impacts relative to distance from the outfall. The diffusers achieved the target of less than 1 psμ salinity difference to surrounding ambient waters within 100 m of the discharge outfall, but sessile invertebrates were nonetheless impacted. Polychaetes, bryozoans and sponges reduced in cover as far as 100 m from the outfall, while barnacles showed the opposite pattern and were more abundant near the discharging outfall. Ecological impacts were disproportionate to the relatively minor change in ...
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Climate change Research Articles published between Aug 08, 2022 to Aug 14, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
Articles Included: 5
Introduction: There is no consensus on the policies that should be seen as implicitly pricing carbon (see World Bank (2019a) for a discussion). The OE...Read More
Gender Equality Research Articles published between Aug 08, 2022 to Aug 14, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
Articles Included: 4
I would like to thank Anna Khakee, Federica Zardo and Ragnar Weilandt for their very useful comments as well as the participants of the workshop of 21...Read More
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