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Special Issue "Agroecology and Water Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Luis A. Sañudo-Fontaneda

Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, Ryton Gardens, Wolston Lane, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3LG, UK
E-Mail
Phone: +44-75-5742-5303
Interests: agroecology; civil engineering; environmental engineering; historical, traditional and citizen-generated knowledge; hydrology and hydraulics; project management; renewable energy; sustainable construction; sustainable drainage systems; water management; water quality and runoff pollutant

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change and biodiversity loss are threatening the stability of food and water systems globally. More sustainable and resilient systems are needed, and Sustainable Agroecology and Water Management have been highlighted as some of the main responses to the challenges, which can confer resilience, robustness, and stability to our food and water systems across the world. Adaptation processes to climate change will be required to protect communities against natural disasters and unpredictable changes, whilst developing knowledge to enhance our social, ecological, and environmental systems. Combining food and energy production with water and waste management into circular systems will be some of the main ways forward. Participation of farmers and citizens in this process is one of the most important factors, together with the identification of regulatory frameworks that may translate all this knowledge generated into policies that provide stability and food sovereignty.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to a better knowledge in the field of Sustainable Agroecology and Water Systems by harnessing the latest research fields that are tackling relevant knowledge gaps with a transdisiplinary cross-cutting approach, combining specialist technical skills and peoples’ know-how, to produce a more collaborative knowledge.

Therefore, cross-disciplinary research will be welcomed, including laboratory investigations, papers on new methodologies, case studies, fieldwork, participatory methods and historical and citizen-generated knowledge. This Special Issue intends to bring a wider collection of research approaches to a vital area of huge impact on society. Hence, natural and social scientists, engineers, policy-makers and practitioners are encouraged to send their contributions.

Dr. Luis A. Sañudo-Fontaneda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Community self-organisation for resilient Agreoclogical and Water Systems
  • Food Security and Food Sovereignty
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Historical, traditional and citizen-generated knowledge in Agroecological and Water Systems
  • Low Impact Development
  • Participatory methods research
  • Policies to confer resilience
  • Processes of Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Rainwater Harvesting Techniques
  • Renewable Energy in Agroecological and Water Systems
  • Resilient Food and Water Systems
  • Stabilisation Agriculture
  • Stormwater Management Techniques
  • Sustainable Farm Production
  • Urban Agroecology
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET) System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield), Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 147; doi:10.3390/su9010147
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can
[...] Read more.
Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can be multiple environmental and economic benefits. In the context of energy descent, it may be considered desirable to treat wastewater using minimal energy. The constructed wetland design presented here is a low-entropy system in which wastewater is harvested and transformed into lush and productive wetland, eliminating the requirement for non-renewable energy in water purification, and also maximising benefits: biodiversity, flood resilience and yield. In permaculture design, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds in sewage are viewed as valuable nutrients, resources to be harvested by a constructed wetland ecosystem and converted into useful yield. Similarly, rainwater runoff is not viewed as a problem which can cause flooding, but as a potential resource to be harvested to provide a yield. This paper presents a case study, with both water quality and productivity data, from Brookside Farm UK, where the use of Permaculture Design Principles has created a combined wastewater management and purification system, accepting all site water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Decision-Making and Sustainable Drainage: Design and Scale
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 782; doi:10.3390/su8080782
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4672 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) improves water quality, reduces runoff water quantity, increases amenity and biodiversity benefits, and can also mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, an optimal solution has to be designed to be fit for purpose. Most research concentrates on individual devices,
[...] Read more.
Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) improves water quality, reduces runoff water quantity, increases amenity and biodiversity benefits, and can also mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, an optimal solution has to be designed to be fit for purpose. Most research concentrates on individual devices, but the focus of this paper is on a full management train, showing the scale-related decision-making process in its design with reference to the city of Coventry, a local government authority in central England. It illustrates this with a large scale site-specific model which identifies the SuDS devices suitable for the area and also at the smaller scale, in order to achieve greenfield runoff rates. A method to create a series of maps using geographical information is shown, to indicate feasible locations for SuDS devices across the local government authority area. Applying the larger scale maps, a management train was designed for a smaller-scale regeneration site using MicroDrainage® software to control runoff at greenfield rates. The generated maps were constructed to provide initial guidance to local government on suitable SuDS at individual sites in a planning area. At all scales, the decision about which device to select was complex and influenced by a range of factors, with slightly different problems encountered. There was overall agreement between large and small scale models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Laboratory Assessment of the Infiltration Capacity Reduction in Clogged Porous Mixture Surfaces
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 751; doi:10.3390/su8080751
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Permeable pavements have been used widely across the world to manage urban stormwater. The hydrological behaviour of permeable surfaces is a complex process affected by many factors, such as rainfall intensity, rainfall duration, pavement geometrical conditions, and clogging level of the permeable surface,
[...] Read more.
Permeable pavements have been used widely across the world to manage urban stormwater. The hydrological behaviour of permeable surfaces is a complex process affected by many factors, such as rainfall intensity, rainfall duration, pavement geometrical conditions, and clogging level of the permeable surface, amongst others. This laboratory study was carried out to assess the influence of clogging level and rainfall intensity on the infiltration capacity of porous mixture surfaces used in Permeable Pavement Systems (PPS). Porous Concrete (PC) and Porous Asphalt (PA) mixtures with different air void contents (15%, 20%, and 25%) were subject to different clogging scenarios by using varying sediment loads (0, 500, and 1000 g/m2). Permeability experiments were carried out for each clogging scenario through a new rainfall simulator specially developed, tailored, and calibrated for the laboratory simulation of a wide range of rainfall events. Permeability measurements were taken under all different scenarios as a result of the combination of the different rainfall events (50, 100, and 150 mm/h) simulated over the specimens of porous mixtures and the sediment loads applied to them. The results showed that the PC mixtures tested perform better than the PA ones in terms of infiltration capacity, showing less potential for clogging and being more easily cleaned by the wash-off produced by the simulated rainfall events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Price, Virtues, Principles: How to Discern What Inspires Best Practices in Water Management? A Case Study about Small Farmers in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 385; doi:10.3390/su8040385
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 4 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
PDF Full-text (1283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improving water practices among small farmers in a water scarce area like the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is a complex task. Despite government attempts to enforce regulations and question the possibility of adjusting prices, the misuse of this scarce resource continues. Most farmers
[...] Read more.
Improving water practices among small farmers in a water scarce area like the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is a complex task. Despite government attempts to enforce regulations and question the possibility of adjusting prices, the misuse of this scarce resource continues. Most farmers are, at best, motivated to aim for a minimum level of compliance, with very few striving to engage in best practices. This article seeks to make a proposal about the best drivers for inspiring best practices in an effort to improve the use of water management in the area. It proposes that a virtue ethics approach that explicitly focuses on the cultivation of an attitude of respect for water founded on three key principles (participation, hydrosolidarity and proactive engagement) is the best solution for Yucatan. This hypothesis is the result of developing a singular methodology based on Partial Least Squares (PLS), according to structural equation modeling (SEM), that could be replicated anywhere to ascertain which measures are best suited in a particular context. Using a small sample size, this research ascertains what is required to achieve best practices with regards to the management of water in that particular area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
Open AccessArticle Study of the Raveling Resistance of Porous Asphalt Pavements Used in Sustainable Drainage Systems Affected by Hydrocarbon Spills
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16226-16236; doi:10.3390/su71215812
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Permeable pavements are one of the most commonly-used sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in urban areas for managing stormwater runoff problems. Porous asphalt is widely used in surface layers of permeable pavement systems, where it can suffer from accidental oil spills from vehicles. Oil
[...] Read more.
Permeable pavements are one of the most commonly-used sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in urban areas for managing stormwater runoff problems. Porous asphalt is widely used in surface layers of permeable pavement systems, where it can suffer from accidental oil spills from vehicles. Oil spills affect bituminous mixes through the solvent action of the hydrocarbons on the bitumen, reducing the raveling resistance of asphalt pavements. In order to assess the raveling resistance in porous asphalt pavements, the Cantabro abrasion test was performed on 200 test samples after applying controlled oil spills. Three different types of binders were used: conventional bitumen, polymer-modified bitumen and special fuel-resistant bitumen. After analyzing the results, it was concluded that the most suitable bitumen to protect against oil leakages is the polymer-modified one, which is far better than the other two types of bitumen tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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