Water2014, 6(4), 945-960; doi:10.3390/w6040945 - published online 14 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In large cities, rainwater tanks are used to save mains water, but in peri-urban and rural areas, rainwater tanks are used as a sole water supply for many households, as these regions often do not have any other means of water supply. This paper investigates the performance of a rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) in peri-urban regions of Greater Sydney, Australia. Considering the daily rainfall data over the entire period of record at ten different locations, it has been found that a 5 kL tank can meet 96% to 99% of the demand for toilet and laundry use depending on the location in Greater Sydney regions. However, in the driest year, a 5 kL tank can meet 69% to 99% of toilet and laundry demand depending on the location. Based on the results of life cycle cost analysis, it has been found that a 5 kL tank has the highest benefit–cost ratio (ranging from 0.86 to 0.97) among the eight possible tank sizes examined in this study. Interestingly, for a 5 kL tank, with a combined use (i.e., toilet, laundry and irrigation), the current water price in Sydney needs to be increased by 3% to 16% to achieve a benefit–cost ratio exceeding one. A set of regression equations are developed which can be used to estimate reliability using the average annual rainfall data at any arbitrary location in the peri-urban regions of Greater Sydney. The method presented in this paper can also be applied to other Australian states and other countries to estimate water savings and reliability of a RWHS using daily rainfall data.
Water2014, 6(4), 929-944; doi:10.3390/w6040929 - published online 14 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The failure in the past to acknowledge the limits of water supply and to decouple economic development from water demand has resulted in a water dependent growth model currently threatened by increasing scarcity and droughts. Consequently, there is now an urgent need to use sparse water resources in a more sustainable and efficient way. This demands a comprehensive understanding of water productivity and the linkages among economic sectors to illustrate the tradeoffs in water reallocations from productive sectors to priority uses (household and urban uses). This paper develops a methodology based on the Hypothetical Extraction Method to estimate inter-temporal direct and indirect water productivity. The method is applied to the Spanish region of Castile and León. Results confirm the existence of a relevant water productivity gap between the agriculture (the largest water consumer) and that of the other sectors, which are nonetheless largely dependent on the agricultural output (and thus, on agricultural water demand). Results also show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, say about 1%, results in an increase of indirect water productivity in the manufacturing blocks (0.49% and 0.38%), energy and water (0.39%) and service blocks (0.41%), providing evidence of the existence of a Verdoorn’s Law for water.
Water2014, 6(4), 912-928; doi:10.3390/w6040912 - published online 11 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study presents the application of a set pair analysis-based similarity forecast (SPA-SF) model and wavelet denoising to forecast annual runoff. The SPA-SF model was built from identical, discrepant and contrary viewpoints. The similarity between estimated and historical data can be obtained. The weighted average of the annual runoff values characterized by the highest connection coefficients was regarded as the predicted value of the estimated annual runoff. In addition, runoff time series were decomposed using wavelet transforms to acquire approximate and detailed runoff signals at various resolution levels. At each resolution level, threshold quantifications were performed by setting the values of a detailed signal below a fixed threshold to zero. The denoised runoff time series data were obtained from the approximation at the final resolution level and processed detailed signals using threshold quantification at all resolution levels of runoff by wavelet reconstruction. Instead of using the original annual runoff, the denoised annual runoff was applied to compute the similarity between estimated and historical data for model calibration. The original data were used for model calibration and validation; the denoised runoff data were used as input data to calibrate the model (obtaining different connection coefficients) that is then applied for validation purposes by using as benchmark the same original data. To verify the accuracy of the proposed method, the annual runoff data of six stations in Eastern Taiwan were analyzed. Based on a root mean square error (RMSE) criterion, the analytical results demonstrated that, for all six stations, the proposed method using denoised annual runoff outperformed the traditional SPA-SF model, using original annual runoff, because noise was effectively removed from the detailed data, using a constant threshold, thus enhancing the accuracy of the annual runoff forecasting for the SPA-SF model.
Water2014, 6(4), 868-911; doi:10.3390/w6040868 - published online 9 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The spatial structure and evolution of river networks offer tremendous opportunities to study the processes underlying metacommunity patterns in the wild. Here we explore several fundamental aspects of aquatic plant biogeography. How stable is plant composition over time? How similar is it along rivers? How fast is the species turnover? How does that and spatial structure affect our species richness estimates across scales? How do climate change, river management practices and connectivity affect species composition and community structure? We answer these questions by testing twelve hypotheses and combining two spatial surveys across entire networks, a long term temporal survey (21 consecutive years), a trait database, and a selection of environmental variables. From our river reach scale survey in lowland rivers, hydrophytes and marginal plants (helophytes) showed contrasting patterns in species abundance, richness and autocorrelation both in time and space. Since patterns in marginal plants reflect at least partly a sampling artefact (edge effect), the rest of the study focused on hydrophytes. Seasonal variability over two years and positive temporal autocorrelation at short time lags confirmed the relatively high regeneration abilities of aquatic plants in lowland rivers. Yet, from 1978 to 1998, plant composition changed quite dramatically and diversity decreased substantially. The annual species turnover was relatively high (20%–40%) and cumulated species richness was on average 23% and 34% higher over three and five years respectively, than annual survey. The long term changes were correlated to changes in climate (decreasing winter ice scouring, increasing summer low flows) and management (riparian shading). Over 21 years, there was a general erosion of species attributes over time attributed to a decrease in winter ice scouring, increase in shading and summer low flows, as well as a remaining effect of time which may be due to an erosion of the regional species pool. Temporal and spatial autocorrelation analyses indicated that long term hydrophyte biomonitoring, for the Water Framework Directive in lowland rivers, may be carried out at 4–6 years intervals for every 10 km of rivers. From multi-scale and abundance-range size analyses evidence of spatial isolation and longitudinal connectivity was detected, with no evidence of stronger longitudinal connectivity (fish and water current propagules dispersal) than spatial isolation (bird, wind and human dispersal) contrary to previous studies. The evidence for longitudinal connectivity was rather weak, perhaps resulting from the effect of small weirs. Further studies will need to integrate other aquatic habitats along rivers (regional species pool) and larger scales to increase the number of species and integrate phylogeny to build a more eco-evolutionary approach. More mechanistic approaches will be necessary to make predictions against our changing climate and management practices.
Water2014, 6(4), 858-867; doi:10.3390/w6040858 - published online 9 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The energy available via microbial sulfate reduction was estimated for a Quaternary aquifer in northern Japan that is a candidate site for low temperature aquifer thermal energy storage. In evaluating whether microbial sulfate reduction proceeded or ceased, it was assumed that electron donor/acceptor concentrations were unchanged by temperature increase. The estimated energy availability via microbial sulfate reduction at 9 °C with no thermal disturbance was 37, 51, and 53 kJ·(mol SO42−)−1. The low estimate of 37 kJ·(mol SO42−)−1 wasattributed to low concentration of SO42−. Excluding the sampling site with low concentration of electron acceptors, energy availability was estimated 52 and 54 kJ·(mol SO42−)−1 at 20 °C; 54 and 57 kJ·(mol SO42−)−1 at 40 °C; and 57 and 59 kJ·(mol SO42−)−1 at 60 °C. These results indicate that possible energy availability via microbial sulfate reduction at approximately 40–60 °C exceeded the range of available energy (compiled from previous studies) at which sulfate reduction would cease. Thus, microbial sulfate reduction at this site may proceed at approximately 40–60 °C.
Water2014, 6(4), 839-857; doi:10.3390/w6040839 - published online 2 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Pluvial flooding already challenges the capacity of drainage and sewerage system in urban areas in Scandinavia. For system owners this requires a stricter prioritization when improving the systems. Experts seem to agree that a regime shift from improving old combined sewers by piped solutions to more sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), must take place. In this paper results from an investigation amongst the largest cities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden concerning drivers and preferred methods for improving the old system are presented. The results indicate that Norway ranks flood prevention lower than the other Scandinavian countries. During the last decades, Norwegian authorities have had a strong focus on pollution from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The attention to drainage and sewerage system regarding flooding, water leaks, infiltration or pollution has been neglected. Renewal or rate of investment in relation to existing drainage and sewerage system is easy to register, and provides a measure of the activity. In order to optimize flood prevention, and may be promoting the use of SuDS, the cities should be required to measure the efficiency, either by monitoring or modeling the impact of stormwater to the system. Lack of such requirements from Norwegian authorities seem to be a plausible explanation to why Norwegian cities are less focused on flood prevention compared to Swedish and Danish cities.