The Stream, November 24: Landfill Waste Threatens Groundwater In Senegal

The Global Rundown

Leachate from waste dumped outside of Senegal’s capital, Dakar, may be polluting the city’s groundwater. A late-season hurricane is expected to make landfall in Central America today, triggering floods and landslides. The expansion of an iron ore mine in Western Australia may cause groundwater levels to decline and affect streams in a nearby national park. West Virginia has said it will sue Maryland if the state does not allow it to take more water from the Potomac River. Michigan will postpone a decision over water withdrawals for a Nestle bottled water plant.

“If they close it I’m afraid I’ll no longer be able to earn a living. I’ve lived and worked here for over 10 years — I don’t know what job I could do if I didn’t have this.” — Didou Farai, who salvages material from the Mbeubeuss landfill in Senegal. The dump receives 475,000 metric tons of waste each year, and environmental activists worry it is polluting the groundwater near the capital, Dakar. (Reuters)

In context: View the 12 Things You Should Know About Groundwater.

By The Numbers

11,000 people Number ordered to evacuate in Costa Rica and Nicaragua ahead of Hurricane Otto, which is expected to make landfall today. Heavy rain from the storm already caused landslides in Panama and could trigger flooding along the Caribbean coast. Associated Press

15 million liters Amount of water, per day, that a West Virginia county is currently authorized to withdraw from the Potomac River, a water source it shares with Maryland. Development linked to a new Procter & Gamble shampoo plant, however, will require more water, according to West Virginia officials who have threatened to sue Maryland if it doesn’t agree to the increase. The Wall Street Journal

Science, Studies, And Reports

The amount of water flowing through Western Australia’s Hamersley Gorge could decline by 12 percent if a nearby iron ore mine withdraws a “worst-case” 12 gigaliters of water each year over a period of three decades, according to a report from state officials. The Environmental Protection Authority has approved plans to expand the Solomon mine, though on the condition that it monitors groundwater levels. Guardian

On The Radar

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has extended a public review period for plans to expand water withdrawal permits for a Nestle water bottling plant; the period will now close March 3, 2017. The plans have become a flashpoint in the state, especially after it became known that state regulators previously overruled a computer model that recommended against increased pumping. MLive