Salinization

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Written by Jared Diamond

Salinization inflicts heavy financial losses o­n the Australian economy, in three ways.  First, it is rendering much farmland, including some of the most valuable land in Australia, less productive or useless to grow crops and raise livestock.  Second, some of the salt is carried into city drinking eater supplies.  Even more expensive that either of these two problems are the damages caused by salt corroding infrastructure, including roads, railroads, airfields, bridges, buidings, water pipes, hot water systems, rainwater systems, sewers, household and industrial appliances, power and telecommunication lines, and water treatment plants.  Overall, it is estimated that o­nly about a third of Australia's economic losses arising from salinization are the direct costs to Australian agriculture; the losses "beyond the farm gate" cost twice as much.

Jared Diamond, Collapse, p.403.

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