Water2016, 8(6), 217; doi:10.3390/w8060217 (registering DOI) - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The European Commission Water Framework Directive (WFD) was established 16 years ago and forms the current basis for monitoring surface waters and groundwater in Europe. This legislation resulted in a necessary adaptation of the monitoring networks and programs for rivers, lakes, and transitional and coastal waters to the requirements of the WFD at German and European levels. The present study reviews the most important objectives of both the monitoring of surface waters and the principles of the WFD monitoring plan. Furthermore, we look at the changes water monitoring in Germany has undergone over the past sixteen years and we summarize monitoring results from German surfaces waters under the WFD. Comparisons of European approaches for biological assessments, of standards set for physical and chemical factors and of environmental quality standards for pollutants reveal the necessity for further European-wide harmonization. The objective of this harmonization is to improve comparability of the assessment of the ecological status of waters in Europe, and thus also to more coherently activate action programs of measures.
Water2016, 8(6), 218; doi:10.3390/w8060218 (registering DOI) - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A large number of reservoirs have been built in the Yangtze River basin in the last few decades, the operation of which inevitably impacts on natural runoff. It is important to quantify the impacts of a cascade reservoir group operation on the hydrological regime in the downstream Yangtze River. The indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA), range of variability approach (RVA), and Dundee hydrological regime assessment (DHRA) methods, which are based on five essential characteristics, i.e., magnitude, time, frequency, retardation, and rates of change, have been widely used to quantitatively analyze variation in the hydrological regime before and after the dam construction. The observed flow series at Yichang and Datong hydrological stations, located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, respectively, are divided into pre- and post-dam construction periods by the Mann-Kendall (MK) rank correlation method. The results of the MK test reveal that the annual minimum discharge at Yichang Station has significantly changed since 2000. The analysis results of the IHA, RVA, and DHAR methods show that the hydrologic regime changed moderately after 1999 and is close to severe change after 2008 at Yichang station; and changed slightly after 1999 (the post-dam construction period) and moderately after 2008 at Datong station. A new typical year assessment method that can avoid the requirement for a long data series was proposed and compared with the RVA and DHAR methods. The results indicate that the hydrologic regime severely changed at Yichang station and moderately changed at Datong in 2014, which is consistent with the results of the above methods. This study further demonstrates that the changes are mainly reflected in the factors related to low flow such as mean discharge from January to March, minimum discharge, frequency and duration of low pulse, and so on. It is expected that further hydrological alterations will occur as the number of large cascade reservoirs constructed and operated in the Yangtze River basin increases.
Water2016, 8(6), 219; doi:10.3390/w8060219 (registering DOI) - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present paper provides an extensive literature review on water related health issues in Central Asia. Even though the per capita amount of available freshwater is substantial in all Central Asian states the uneven distribution in time and space creates problems for water availability. Due to this, the Central Asian economies are developing under increasing water deficiency. The degradation of water supply systems and sewage treatment plants is often severe leading to potentially high water loss rates and inadequate accessibility to safe water supply. In this context, rural areas are the most affected. Low tariffs in combination with absent metering and low collection rates for water fees mean that operation and maintenance costs for basic services of water supply and sanitation are not covered. Unsafe water supply contains both microbiological and non-microbiological contaminants. Helminthiasis and intestinal protozoa infections are of considerable public health importance in Central Asia. Agricultural and industrial pollution is especially affecting downstream areas of Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. In large areas copper, zinc, and chromium concentrations in water exceed maximum permissible concentration. Thus, there is an urgent need to strengthen the environmental monitoring system. Small-scale water supply and sanitation systems need to be developed in line with more efficient public spending on these.
Water2016, 8(5), 216; doi:10.3390/w8050216 (registering DOI) - published 23 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Stakeholder participation is a foundation of good water governance. Good groundwater governance typically involves the co-production of knowledge about the groundwater system. Models provide a vehicle for producing this knowledge, as well as a “boundary object” around which scientists and stakeholders can convene the co-production process. Through co-production, stakeholders and scientific experts can engage in exchanges that create system knowledge not otherwise achievable. The process involves one-way transfer of information, active two-way conversations, and integration of multiple kinds of knowledge into shared understanding. In the Upper Santa Cruz River basin in Arizona, USA, the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) convened a project aimed at providing scientific underpinnings for groundwater planning and management. This project, entitled Groundwater, Climate, and Stakeholder Engagement, serves as a case study employing the first two stages of knowledge co-production using a hydrological model. Through an iterative process that included two-way communication, stakeholders provided critical input to hydrologic modeling analyses. Acting as a bridging organization, the WRRC facilitated a co-production process, involving location-specific and transferability workshops, which resulted in new knowledge and capacity for applying the model to novel problems.
Water2016, 8(5), 215; doi:10.3390/w8050215 (registering DOI) - published 21 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Statistical modeling of hydrological extremes is significant to the construction of hydraulic engineering. This paper, taking the Yingluoxia watershed as the study area, compares the annual maximum (AM) series and the peaks over a threshold (POT) series in order to study the hydrological extremes, examines the stationarity and independence assumptions for the two series, and discusses the estimations and uncertainties of return levels from the two series using the Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) and Generalized Pareto distribution (GPD) models. For comparison, the return levels from all threshold excesses with considering the extremal index are also estimated. For the POT series, the threshold is selected by examining the mean excess plot and the stability of the parameter estimates and by using common-sense. The serial correlation is reduced by filtering out a set of dependent threshold excesses. Results show that both series are approximately stationary and independent. The GEV model fits the AM series well and the GPD model fits the POT series well. The estimated return levels are fairly comparable for the AM series, the POT series, and all threshold excesses with considering the extremal index, with the difference being less than 10% for return periods longer than 10 years. The uncertainties of the estimated return levels are the highest for the AM series, and next for the POT series and then for all threshold excesses series in turn.
Water2016, 8(5), 212; doi:10.3390/w8050212 - published 20 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper proposes a sediment-transport model based on coupled Saint-Venant and Exner equations. A finite volume method of Godunov type with predictor-corrector steps is used to solve a set of coupled equations. An efficient combination of approximate Riemann solvers is proposed to compute fluxes associated with sediment-laden flow. In addition, a new method is proposed for computing the water depth and velocity values along the shear wave. This method ensures smooth solutions, even for flows with high discontinuities, and on domains with highly distorted grids. The numerical model is tested for channel aggradation on a sloping bottom, dam-break cases at flume-scale and reach-scale with flat bottom configurations and varying downstream water depths. The proposed model is tested for predicting the position of hydraulic jump, wave front propagation, and for predicting magnitude of bed erosion. The comparison between results based on the proposed scheme and analytical, experimental, and published numerical results shows good agreement. Sensitivity analysis shows that the model is computationally efficient and virtually independent of mesh refinement.