Faced with an unprecedented wave of drought, the inhabitants of the capital of Uruguay are forced to drink salt water. This water comes from a mixture between their usual drinking water and that of the estuary near the Atlantic Ocean, which gives it this unpleasant taste. What are the health risks ? The answers of Dr Barucq, general practitioner in Biarritz.
Uruguay is experiencing an unprecedented drought. To avoid leaving the inhabitants of the capital, Montevideo, without running water, the government had the idea of cutting off the little remaining water reserve with that from the estuary, the Rio de la Plata, close to The Atlantic Ocean. Problem: tap water now has a salty taste, not very pleasant to drink.
The Ministry of Health assures that “it is not dangerous for health”
Uruguayans, in addition to finding the water undrinkable, are worried about their health. To reassure the population, the Minister of Health affirms that tap water, despite its salty taste, is “not dangerous for health”.
However, pregnant women and people with high blood pressure or suffering from kidney disease are advised to drink only bottled water.
Drinking salt water, is it really safe?
To see more clearly, TipsForWomens questioned Dr Guillaume Barucq on the question. Is it dangerous to drink salt water? It all depends on the quantities. “Dr. Alain Bompard is a precursor of the question. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1952 on a small inflatable boat, as a shipwrecked volunteer. And he drank seawater, in small quantities for hydration, in addition to fresh water, like rainwater. And to his surprise, he was not thirsty and even could see that in the context of a survival operation, it could even be relevant“explains the doctor first.
“Besides, bottled mineral water is also salty, there is an average of 3 grams per liter. That said, it is much less than seawater, which is rather around 35 grams of salt per liter. , but a small contribution of salt water, even at the concentration of that of sea water, remains possible, within the framework of the survival“adds the doctor.
Water not recommended for sick people
“For the Uruguayans, everything therefore depends on the salt concentration of this mixed drinking water. If this water is complementary to intakes which are mainly fresh water, it can constitute an extra water, in this period of drought. Because let’s not forget that hydration must provide water, but also minerals. On the contrary, “pure”, demineralized water, drunk in large quantities, can lead to hyponatremia with consequences serious“he further clarifies.
A balance of concentrations must therefore be respected in the body, to avoid cardiac or renal disorders. “For this reason, I still advise against giving this type of water to drink to people affected by heart or kidney failure. But when you are in good health and this is not the only contribution, no problem” he concludes.