Major rivers becoming less acidic, according to USGS study

By on July 10, 2014

While ocean acidification is on the rise, a recent U.S. Geological Survey study showed that several major U.S. rivers are becoming less acidic, according to a release from the agency.

Of the 23 rivers examined, 14 have shown increased alkalinity — that is, the ability to neutralize acids — over the past 65 years. The rivers include the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers in the Northeast, the Illinois and Ohio Rivers in the Midwest, and the Missouri River.

The study attributes the rivers’ reduced acidity to fewer acidic inputs from industrial and agricultural sources. Expanding water regulations have slowed acidic inputs since the early 20th century, when river acidification was at its peak in the country.



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