Expert Opinion - Salinisation in South Bangladesh

Dr Pauline Scheelbeek explains the impact of climate-induced extreme salt levels in the drinking water in coastal Bangladesh on World Water Day.
Image of a flooded coastland with a river winding in the background, fields covered in water, and the words 'Killer on the Coast', Sundarbans, Bangladesh

How does climate change cause high levels of salt in the drinking water on the coast in South Bangladesh, and what are the impacts of this on local communities? In this expert opinion piece, Dr Scheelbeek discusses how, with a research team from the University of Dhaka, they discovered the effects of extreme salt levels in the drinking water in coastal Bangladesh through a report from a local gynaecologist of an unusually high number of pregnant women with pre-eclampsia. 

Dr Scheelbeek says that, "Initially, I was skeptical: how much salt could someone really consume through water, and even if they did, would it not be a fraction of what they consume through food? I could not have been more wrong." Dr Scheelbeek was recently approached by the BBC to create a short film on the story of salinisation in South Bangladesh as part of the 'Our Planet Earth' series co-produced with Wellcome Trust.

Read the full expert opinion

Watch BBC Earth's 'Killer on the Coast, Sundarbans, Bangladesh'

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