The Stream, October 31: Waterways in Mali’s Capital Poisoned by Waste

The Global Rundown

Bamako, Mali, becomes an ‘open-air toilet’ as the city’s population booms. A study finds that sidewalks constructed from travertine, an absorbent kitchen building material, could decrease urban flooding. In Lithuania, drought drives the first economic drop in eight years. Intense winds and heavy rains batter Italy, leaving 10 people dead. The U.S. EPA looks to change water quality standards in Maine rivers where American Indian tribes hold fishing rights.

“This dirty water flooding our city – it’s poison. It brings us mosquitoes and mice, and health problems like malaria.” –Moeka Konate, a sanitation worker in Bamako, Mali, in reference to the city’s waste-filled waterways and streets. Authorities in Bamako struggle to provide waste treatment and removal services, which some say has created an “open-air toilet” in parts of the capital city. Reuters

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What’s Up With Water – October 29, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a weekly snapshot. Coverage this week includes: the European Parliament’s ban on single-use plastics and the boil-water notice in Austin, Texas.

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By The Numbers

10 Death toll in Italy following several days of fierce winds and heavy rains. Up to 75 percent of lagoon city Venice is still inundated by waist-deep water. On Monday afternoon, water levels in the city reached 156 centimeters (5.1 feet), the fourth-highest level ever recorded. BBC

8 years Length of time since the Lithuanian economy experienced a quarterly drop. Hot, dry weather this summer hurt the country’s crop output, reversing Lithuania’s 8-year growth trend. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

Researchers at China’s Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University found that sidewalks constructed with travertine, an absorbent form of limestone used in kitchen tiles, could cut urban flooding by up to 50 percent. Travertine helps water soak into the ground, and also helps diminish pollutants. Reuters

On The Radar

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking to re-evaluate water quality standards in a pair of Maine rivers. As the end of the Obama administration, the EPA established stricter water quality criteria for the two rivers, but court documents suggest they may reconsider the standards. American Indian tribes, who maintain fishing rights to the rivers, fear the re-evaluation will weaken protections. U.S. News & World Report

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