Don’t Let Drinking Water Get Dangerously Salty

Target: Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water, EPA

Goal: Create nationwide monitoring program to track threats to drinking water from salt intrusion.

The salt line—the place where sea water and freshwater meet—is creeping further inward with every passing year. As a consequence, trees are dying (giving rise to ghost forests), ecosystems are being upended, and U.S. coastal drinking water supplies are becoming severely compromised. This latter problem threatens the public health of millions of Americans.

Scientists have identified the Gulf states, the east coast, the California coast, and various barrier islands as particularly at risk. On one island alone, over three-quarters of water wells had to be shuttered because of salt intrusion. Pipelines that deliver freshwater to these areas, an expansion of drinking water resources, and processes that would remove salt from water are some of the proposed solutions. But no real progress can be made until researchers can pinpoint specific risks. A national database that tracks saltwater intrusion across the country would be a tremendous asset.

Sign the petition below to encourage investment in this important tool.


Dear Assistant Administrator Fox,

Out of the climate crisis’ many detrimental effects, the threat to drinking water remains among the most pronounced for public health. Saltwater intrusion is a very real risk to increasing numbers of coastal communities, and the danger moves further inland as time passes. Many proposals have attempted to mitigate these risks, but no truly meaningful plan of action can be implemented without the necessary data.

Please advocate for a national salt intrusion database that can help provide the essential information.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Daniel Jurin

One Comment

  1. Among the numerous negative consequences of the climate catastrophe, the threat to drinking water is one of the most serious for public health. Saltwater intrusion is a very serious threat to an increasing number of coastal communities, and the danger is spreading inland with time.

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