The Stream, May 12, 2020: Another Bombardment Disrupts Tripoli, Libya, Water Supply

The Global Rundown

Water supply in Tripoli, Libya, is disrupted by another bombardment of the capital city. A Circuit Court judge rules that lawyers from the Michigan Department of Attorney General can continue representing the state in civil lawsuits linked to the Flint water crisis. The loss of water in global peatlands could fuel wildfires and warming temperatures, scientists warn. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission pushes for “land burial” of nuclear waste to be allowed despite concerns about groundwater contamination and other environmental impacts. A dry April in Colorado leads to diminished mountain streamflow and snow.

“My father said we should be ready to leave at any moment… the fighting last night was heavier than at any time before. We would leave to survive, but where can we go?… we will be on the street. It’s hopeless.” –A resident of Tripoli’s Abu Salim district, which is near the frontline of a recent bombardment of the city. The Great Man-Made River Project, the area’s main water utility, also reported that one of its power stations had been ambushed by an armed group, disrupting Tripoli’s supply. Reuters

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By The Numbers

76 percent of the norm Current mountain streamflow and snow in Colorado following one of the state’s driest Aprils on record. The low snowpack and minimal precipitation are affecting mountain streamflow and other waterways across the state. The Denver Post

Science, Studies, and Reports

A new study by a group of 59 international scientists recently concluded that water loss in northern peatlands across the globe could spur wildfires and global warming. Peatlands store massive amounts of carbon, which is released if the peatlands become dehydrated. Scientists warn that the carbon release could accelerate climate change, a phenomenon that could intensified if wildfires strike the northern boreal forests. McMaster University 

On the Radar

Last week, Genesee Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah struck down a motion to disqualify the Michigan Attorney General Office from representing the state in two civil lawsuits related to the Flint Water crisis. Farah ruled that lawyers from the attorney general’s office could continue with the cases, noting that some concerns about conflicts of interest had been remedied. MLive

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a federal agency which regulates the country’s commercial nuclear sector, is seeking a rule change that would allow ‘land burial’ of nuclear waste. Critics have decried the potential change, warning that the disposal method could cause damage to humans and the environment if radioactive waste leached into soil and groundwater. The Guardian 

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