Salinization of Drinking Water in the Context of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: A Public Health Priority for Coastal Bangladesh

By Mohammad Radwanur Rahman Talukder, Shannon Rutherford and Cordia Chu.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 14, 2015 $US5.00

Bangladesh is recognized as one of the most vulnerable countries due to climate-induced sea level rise and further exacerbation of the current conditions is anticipated in light of the projected climate scenarios. Saltwater intrusion to fresh water resources is one of the most important impacts of sea level rise in low-lying costal areas. Despite the widespread and growing problem of water salinity and population affected in low-lying coastal areas including in Bangladesh, evidence on human health impacts of water salinity is scarce. One important health risk potentially related to water salinity is high blood pressure. The epidemiological research examining the health impacts of drinking water sodium (water salinity) on blood pressure and as a consequence to other health conditions such as heart diseases, stroke, and kidney damage is yet to be explored. Given the extent of the problems of water salinity globally and in Bangladesh, further research is urgently required to assess the risk of water salinity on blood pressure and other health conditions within different populations and age groups, in order to promote appropriate prevention strategies. This paper describes the impacts of sea level rise and saltwater intrusion and identifies potential research gaps in order to make relevant policy recommendations in the context of coastal Bangladesh and similar settings in low-income countries.

Keywords: Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, Water Salinity, Bangladesh

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.21-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 14, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 685.104KB)).

Dr. Mohammad Radwanur Rahman Talukder

PhD Candidate, Centre for Environment and Population Health, , School of Environment, Griffith University, Australia, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Shannon Rutherford

Senior lecturer and Deputy Director, Centre for Environment and Population Health, School of Environment,Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

Prof. Cordia Chu

Professor and Director, Centre for Environment and Population Health, School of Environment,Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


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