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Special Issue "Sustainable Water Management and Decision Making under limited Data Availability"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Markus Disse

TUM Technische Universität München Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 München, Germany
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Phone: +49 89 289 23916

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable Water Management and Decision Making (SWMaDM) under limited Data Availability is a thought-provoking and exiting field of research in water resources planning and management. In the last century, water demand and use have increased disproportionally to the rate of population growth combined with a complex puzzle of human stresses leading to the deterioration of water quality. This new status has led to increasing competition for scarce water resources of good quality among various water users. The problem of physical water scarcity is also often enhanced by a scarcity of organizational capacity and accountability, including limited data availability and quality, limited modeling capacity, poor understanding of management alternatives, ill-defined or overlapping competences for the SWMaDM.

This special edition of the Journal ‘Water’ is designed to draw attention to and present papers on SWMaDM, when data availability and quality is a concern no matter how sophisticated a modeling system is developed. This is of high importance for many areas in the Mediterranean, the new EU Member States, Central Asia and Third World Countries, among others. The information and analyses aims at contributing to the development and implementation of effective SWMaDM in a fast changing world where climate change also poses huge challenges.

Prof. Dr. Markus Disse
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (24 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Optimizing Water Allocation under Uncertain System Conditions for Water and Agriculture Future Scenarios in Alfeios River Basin (Greece)—Part B: Fuzzy-Boundary Intervals Combined with Multi-Stage Stochastic Programming Model
Water 2015, 7(11), 6427-6466; doi:10.3390/w7116427
Received: 16 August 2015 / Revised: 13 October 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Optimal water allocation within a river basin still remains a great modeling challenge for engineers due to various hydrosystem complexities, parameter uncertainties and their interactions. Conventional deterministic optimization approaches have given their place to stochastic, fuzzy and interval-parameter programming approaches and their hybrid
[...] Read more.
Optimal water allocation within a river basin still remains a great modeling challenge for engineers due to various hydrosystem complexities, parameter uncertainties and their interactions. Conventional deterministic optimization approaches have given their place to stochastic, fuzzy and interval-parameter programming approaches and their hybrid combinations for overcoming these difficulties. In many countries, including Mediterranean countries, water resources management is characterized by uncertain, imprecise and limited data because of the absence of permanent measuring systems, inefficient river monitoring and fragmentation of authority responsibilities. A fuzzy-boundary-interval linear programming methodology developed by Li et al. (2010) is selected and applied in the Alfeios river basin (Greece) for optimal water allocation under uncertain system conditions. This methodology combines an ordinary multi-stage stochastic programming with uncertainties expressed as fuzzy-boundary intervals. Upper- and lower-bound solution intervals for optimized water allocation targets and probabilistic water allocations and shortages are estimated under a baseline scenario and four water and agricultural policy future scenarios for an optimistic and a pessimistic attitude of the decision makers. In this work, the uncertainty of the random water inflows is incorporated through the simultaneous generation of stochastic equal-probability hydrologic scenarios at various inflow positions instead of using a scenario-tree approach in the original methodology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimizing Water Allocation under Uncertain System Conditions in Alfeios River Basin (Greece), Part A: Two-Stage Stochastic Programming Model with Deterministic Boundary Intervals
Water 2015, 7(10), 5305-5344; doi:10.3390/w7105305
Received: 10 May 2015 / Revised: 20 September 2015 / Accepted: 28 September 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The enactment of the Water Framework Directive, constituting the basis of the European water policy, introduced various challenges and complexities for water resources management. River basins are exposed to a plethora of environmental stresses, resulting in degradation of their quantitative and qualitative status.
[...] Read more.
The enactment of the Water Framework Directive, constituting the basis of the European water policy, introduced various challenges and complexities for water resources management. River basins are exposed to a plethora of environmental stresses, resulting in degradation of their quantitative and qualitative status. This led to the reduction of clean available water, increasing competition among water users and imposing the need for optimal water allocation for each river unit. In most countries (including those in the Mediterranean), water resources management is characterized by lack of effective operational strategies combined with the absence of permanent measuring systems and low financial means, hampering the implementation of efficient river monitoring. Therefore, water resources management is indicated by high uncertainty and by imprecise and limited data, which may be easily approximated through estimates of intervals. In the present work, optimal water allocation under uncertain system conditions is undertaken for the Alfeios River Basin (Greece) based on an inexact two-stage stochastic programming methodology developed by Huang and Loucks (2000). It combines ordinary two-stage stochastic programming with uncertainties expressed as deterministic boundary intervals. Stable intervals for optimized water allocation targets and probabilistic water allocation and shortages are estimated under a baseline scenario and four water and agricultural policy future scenarios. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Groundwater Management Sustainability under Limited Data Availability in Semiarid Zones
Water 2015, 7(8), 4305-4322; doi:10.3390/w7084305
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (900 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, many researchers have devoted their efforts to finding an objective measurement of sustainability by developing evaluation tools based on sustainability indices. These indexes not only reveal the current state of water resources in a given area but also contribute to
[...] Read more.
In recent years, many researchers have devoted their efforts to finding an objective measurement of sustainability by developing evaluation tools based on sustainability indices. These indexes not only reveal the current state of water resources in a given area but also contribute to the development and implementation of effective sustainable water management and decision-making. The great disadvantage of these indices is that for proper application, a number of variables are necessary and they are usually not available in data-scarce aquifers. This study was designed to evaluate sustainability in groundwater resource management in an aquifer in a semiarid zone, using readily available parameters and under a pressure-state-response framework. This methodology has been applied to an aquifer in Southeast Spain with satisfactory results, since the indicators that were evaluated reflect the two main problems that hinder sustainable resource management: the contamination of groundwater by intensive local farming; and the need for external inputs from other basins to alleviate water stress. Therefore, the methodology used can be replicated in other areas with similar characteristics to those of the case study. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Correlations between Water Footprint and Agricultural Inputs: A Case Study of Maize Production in Northeast China
Water 2015, 7(8), 4026-4040; doi:10.3390/w7084026
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To effectively manage water resources in agricultural production, it is necessary to understand the spatiotemporal variation of the water footprint (WF) and the influences of agricultural inputs. Employing spatial autocorrelation analysis and a geographically weighted regression (GWR) model, we explored the spatial variations
[...] Read more.
To effectively manage water resources in agricultural production, it is necessary to understand the spatiotemporal variation of the water footprint (WF) and the influences of agricultural inputs. Employing spatial autocorrelation analysis and a geographically weighted regression (GWR) model, we explored the spatial variations of the WF and their relationships with agricultural inputs from 1998 to 2012 in Northeast China. The results indicated that: (1) the spatial distribution of WFs for the 36 major maize production prefectures was heterogeneous in Northeast China; (2) a cluster of high WFs was found in southeast Liaoning Province, while a cluster of low WFs was found in central Jilin Province, and (3) spatial and temporal differentiation in the correlations between the WF of maize production and agricultural inputs existed according to the GWR model. These correlations increased over time. Our results suggested that localized strategies for reducing the WF should be formulated based on specific relationships between the WF and agricultural inputs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Groundwater Modeling as an Alternative Approach to Limited Data in the Northeastern Part of Mt. Hermon (Syria), to Develop a Preliminary Water Budget
Water 2015, 7(7), 3978-3996; doi:10.3390/w7073978
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6823 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In developing countries such as Syria, the lack of hydrological data affects groundwater resource assessment. Groundwater models provide the means to fill the gaps in the available data in order to improve the understanding of groundwater systems. The study area can be considered
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In developing countries such as Syria, the lack of hydrological data affects groundwater resource assessment. Groundwater models provide the means to fill the gaps in the available data in order to improve the understanding of groundwater systems. The study area can be considered as the main recharge area of the eastern side of Barada and Awaj basin in the eastern part of Mt. Hermon. The withdrawal for agricultural and domestic purposes removes a considerable amount of water. The steady-state three-dimensional (3D) groundwater model (FEFLOW which is an advanced finite element groundwater flow and transport modeling tool), was used to quantify groundwater budget components by using all available data of hydrological year 2009–2010. The results obtained may be considered as an essential tool for groundwater management options in the study area. The calibrated model demonstrates a good agreement between the observed and simulated hydraulic head. The result of the sensitivity analysis shows that the model is highly sensitive to hydraulic conductivity changes and sensitive to a lesser extent to water recharge amount. Regarding the upper aquifer horizon, the water budget under steady-state condition indicates that the lateral groundwater inflow from the Jurassic aquifer into this horizon is the most important recharge component. The major discharge component from this aquifer horizon occurs at its eastern boundary toward the outside of the model domain. The model was able to produce a satisfying estimation of the preliminary water budget of the upper aquifer horizon which indicates a positive imbalance of 4.6 Mm3·y−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing Dredge-and-Dump Activities for River Navigability Using a Hydro-Morphodynamic Model
Water 2015, 7(7), 3943-3962; doi:10.3390/w7073943
Received: 9 May 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Worldwide, significant dredging activities of riverbed sediment are employed to ensure that freight transportation on rivers can continue year-round. Imbalances of sediment budget may produce relevant impacts regarding river morphology and related environmental services. This study shows that hydro-morphodynamic modeling tools can be
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Worldwide, significant dredging activities of riverbed sediment are employed to ensure that freight transportation on rivers can continue year-round. Imbalances of sediment budget may produce relevant impacts regarding river morphology and related environmental services. This study shows that hydro-morphodynamic modeling tools can be used to optimize dredge-and-dump activities and, at the same time, mitigate problems deriving from these activities in rivers. As a case study, we focused on dredging activities on the Lower Parana River, Argentina. Navigation on this river is of crucial importance to the economies of the bordering countries, hence, each year significant dredging activities are employed. To estimate dredging loads under different strategies, a 25 km river reach of the Parana River was modeled using the Delft3D-modelling suite by Deltares. The Netherlands, to simulate flow-sediment interactions in a quasi-steady and uncoupled approach. Impacts of dredging activities were explicitly included. Different dredge-and-dump strategies included variations in dredging over-depth (clearance) and variations in dumping locations. Our results indicate that dredge-and-dump strategies can be targeted to stimulate natural processes that improve the depth and stability of the navigation channel and to counteract unwanted bed level responses in the long-medium term. A ~40% reduction in dredging effort could be achieved by moving the dredged material to distant locations in the secondary channel rather than dumping to the side of the waterway in the main channel. Full article
Open AccessArticle Flood Risk Management in Remote and Impoverished Areas—A Case Study of Onaville, Haiti
Water 2015, 7(7), 3832-3860; doi:10.3390/w7073832
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 16 June 2015 / Accepted: 19 June 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (14628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, geographic information system (GIS)-based hydrologic and hydraulic modeling was used to perform a flood risk assessment for Onaville, which is a fairly new, rapidly growing informal settlement that is exposed to dangerous flash-flood events. Since records of historic floods did
[...] Read more.
In this study, geographic information system (GIS)-based hydrologic and hydraulic modeling was used to perform a flood risk assessment for Onaville, which is a fairly new, rapidly growing informal settlement that is exposed to dangerous flash-flood events. Since records of historic floods did not exist for the study area, design storms with a variety of significant average return intervals (ARIs) were derived from intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves and transformed into design floods via rainfall-runoff modeling in hydrologic engineering center’s hydrologic modeling system (HEC-HMS). The hydraulic modeling software hydrologic engineering center’s river analysis system (HEC-RAS) was used to perform one-dimensional, unsteady-flow simulations of the design floods in the Ravine Lan Couline, which is the major drainage channel of the area. Topographic data comprised a 12 m spatial resolution TanDEM-X digital elevation model (DEM) and a 30 cm spatial resolution DEM created with mapping drones. The flow simulations revealed that large areas of the settlement are currently exposed to flood hazard. The results of the hydrologic and hydraulic modeling were incorporated into a flood hazard map which formed the basis for flood risk management. We present a grassroots approach for preventive flood risk management on a community level, which comprises the elaboration of a neighborhood contingency plan and a flood risk awareness campaign together with representatives of the local community of Onaville. Full article
Open AccessArticle Science-Based IWRM Implementation in a Data-Scarce Central Asian Region: Experiences from a Research and Development Project in the Kharaa River Basin, Mongolia
Water 2015, 7(7), 3486-3514; doi:10.3390/w7073486
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 27 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 1 July 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mongolia is not only a water-scarce but also a data-scarce country with regard to environmental information. At the same time, regional effects of global climate change, major land use changes, a booming mining sector, and growing cities with insufficient and decaying water and
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Mongolia is not only a water-scarce but also a data-scarce country with regard to environmental information. At the same time, regional effects of global climate change, major land use changes, a booming mining sector, and growing cities with insufficient and decaying water and wastewater infrastructures result in an increasingly unsustainable exploitation and contamination of ground and surface water resources putting at risk both aquatic ecosystems and human health. For the mesoscale (≈15,000 km2) model region of the Kharaa River Basin (KRB), we investigated (1) the current state of aquatic ecosystems, water availability and quality; (2) past and expected future trends in these fields and their drivers; (3) water governance structures and their recent reforms; and (4) technical and non-technical interventions as potential components of an integrated water resources management (IWRM). By now, the KRB is recognized as one of the most intensively studied river basins of the country, and considered a model region for science-based water resources management by the Mongolian government which recently adopted the IWRM concept in its National Water Program. Based on the scientific results and practical experiences from a six-year project in the KRB, the potentials and limitations of IWRM implementation under the conditions of data-scarcity are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Water Parallel Pricing System against Drought in China: A Study Based on a CGE Model with Multi-Provincial Irrigation Water
Water 2015, 7(7), 3431-3465; doi:10.3390/w7073431
Received: 12 January 2015 / Revised: 25 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reform of water management in China is still in progress, and the pricing of water resources is undertaken in parallel, with a divide between irrigation water and pipe water associated with different users: The supply of irrigation water is regulated by local
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The reform of water management in China is still in progress, and the pricing of water resources is undertaken in parallel, with a divide between irrigation water and pipe water associated with different users: The supply of irrigation water is regulated by local government and that of pipe water is operated by the production sector of pipe water. Based on a literature review and an interview survey of farmers, this study incorporated the water parallel pricing system of China within a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, where the drought of 2000 is simulated. The 16 provincial irrigation water supplies and their subsidies were also estimated and introduced into this CGE model. The results demonstrated that the effects on the macro-economy were insignificant. However, the effects on agricultural production, particularly on farming production mainly cultivated in northern areas, were significant. Most farming production sectors employed more capital and labor to prevent losses in output from drought. Agricultural labor was shifted from non-farming agricultural production sectors into farming. Both urban and rural households suffered severe losses in welfare and food consumption, even though they benefited from the additional income. Moreover, rural households suffering the worst losses were located in both northern and southern areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Uncertainty Estimation and Evaluation of Shallow Aquifers’ Exploitability: The Case Study of the Adige Valley Aquifer (Italy)
Water 2015, 7(7), 3367-3395; doi:10.3390/w7073367
Received: 8 April 2015 / Revised: 30 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Evaluating the sustainability of water uses in shallow aquifers is fundamental for both environmental and socio-economic reasons. Groundwater models are the main tools to sustain informed management plans, yet simulation results are affected by both epistemic and parametric uncertainties. In this study, we
[...] Read more.
Evaluating the sustainability of water uses in shallow aquifers is fundamental for both environmental and socio-economic reasons. Groundwater models are the main tools to sustain informed management plans, yet simulation results are affected by both epistemic and parametric uncertainties. In this study, we aim at investigating the effect of model uncertainties on three assessment criteria: depth to water (DTW), recharge/discharge analysis and a newly defined sustainability index S. We consider, as a case study, the shallow aquifer of the Adige Valley, which is highly influenced by surface water dynamics, water withdrawals from pumping wells and a dense network of ditches. Both direct measurements and soft data are used to reduce uncertainty associated to the limited knowledge about the spatial distribution of the hydraulic parameters. Simulation results showed that the aquifer is chiefly influenced by the interaction with the Adige River and that the influence of anthropogenic activities on vulnerability of groundwater resources varies within the study area. This calls for differentiated approaches to water resources management. Uncertainty related to the three assessment criteria is chiefly controlled by uncertainty of the hydrogeological model, although it depends also on the strategy adopted for the management of water resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Land Use and Climate Change on Groundwater and Ecosystems at the Middle Reaches of the Tarim River Using the MIKE SHE Integrated Hydrological Model
Water 2015, 7(6), 3040-3056; doi:10.3390/w7063040
Received: 28 April 2015 / Revised: 10 June 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4574 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Tarim basin is a unique ecosystem. The water from the Tarim River supports both wildlife and humans. To analyze the effects of both land use and climate changes on groundwater, a research site was established at Yingibazar, which is a river oasis
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The Tarim basin is a unique ecosystem. The water from the Tarim River supports both wildlife and humans. To analyze the effects of both land use and climate changes on groundwater, a research site was established at Yingibazar, which is a river oasis along the middle section of the Tarim River. A hydrological survey was performed to assess the general water cycle in this area with special emphasis on groundwater replenishment as well as the impact of agricultural irrigation on the riparian natural vegetation with respect to salt transport and depth of groundwater. Although high-resolution input data is scarce for this region, simulation of water cycle processes was performed using the hydrological model MIKE SHE (DHI). The results of the calibrated model show that natural flooding is the major contributor to groundwater recharge. There is also a close interaction between irrigated agricultural areas and the adjacent natural vegetation for groundwater levels and salinity up to 300 m away from the fields. Furthermore, the source of water used for irrigation (i.e., river and/or groundwater) has a high impact on groundwater levels and salt transportation efficiency. The ongoing expansion of agricultural areas is rapidly destroying natural vegetation, floodplains, and their natural flow paths. Our results show that more unstable annual Tarim floods will occur in the future under the background of climate change. Therefore, integrated hydrological simulations were also performed for 2050 and 2100 using MIKE SHE. The results confirm that after the glaciers melt in the Tian Shan Mountains, serious aquifer depletion and environmental degradation will occur in the area, causing great difficulties for the local people. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Use Efficiency in Saline Soils under Cotton Cultivation in the Tarim River Basin
Water 2015, 7(6), 3103-3122; doi:10.3390/w7063103
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Tarim River Basin, the largest area of Chinese cotton production, is receiving increased attention because of serious environmental problems. At two experimental stations (Korla and Aksu), we studied the influence of salinity on cotton yield. Soil chemical and physical properties, soil water
[...] Read more.
The Tarim River Basin, the largest area of Chinese cotton production, is receiving increased attention because of serious environmental problems. At two experimental stations (Korla and Aksu), we studied the influence of salinity on cotton yield. Soil chemical and physical properties, soil water content, soil total suction and matric suction, cotton yield and water use efficiency under plastic mulched drip irrigation in different saline soils was measured during cotton growth season. The salinity (mS·cm−1) were 17–25 (low) at Aksu and Korla, 29–50 (middle) at Aksu and 52–62 (high) at Aksu for ECe (Electrical conductivity measured in saturation-paste extract of soil) over the 100 cm soil profile. The soil water characteristic curves in different saline soils showed that the soil water content (15%–23%) at top 40 cm soil, lower total suction power (below 3500 kPa) and lower matric suction (below 30 kPa) in low saline soil at Korla had the highest water use efficiency (10 kg·ha−1·mm−1) and highest irrigation water use efficiency (12 kg·ha−1·mm−1) and highest yield (6.64 t·ha−1). Higher water content below 30 cm in high saline soil increased the salinity risk and led to lower yield (2.39 t·ha−1). Compared to low saline soils at Aksu, the low saline soil at Korla saved 110 mm irrigation and 103 mm total water to reach 1 t·ha−1 yield and increased water use efficiency by 5 kg·ha−1·mm−1 and 7 kg·ha−1·mm−1 for water use efficiency (WUE) and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Multi-Criteria Model Selection Protocol for Practical Applications to Nutrient Transport at the Catchment Scale
Water 2015, 7(6), 2851-2880; doi:10.3390/w7062851
Received: 26 April 2015 / Revised: 30 May 2015 / Accepted: 4 June 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Process-based models are widely used to investigate nutrient dynamics for water management purposes. Simulating nutrient transport and transformation processes from agricultural land into water bodies at the catchment scale are particularly relevant and challenging tasks for water authorities. However, few practical methods guide
[...] Read more.
Process-based models are widely used to investigate nutrient dynamics for water management purposes. Simulating nutrient transport and transformation processes from agricultural land into water bodies at the catchment scale are particularly relevant and challenging tasks for water authorities. However, few practical methods guide inexperienced modelers in the selection process of an appropriate model. In particular, data availability is a key aspect in a model selection protocol, since a large number of models contain the functionalities to predict nutrient fate and transport, yet a smaller number is applicable to specific datasets. In our work, we aim at providing a model selection protocol fit for practical application with particular emphasis on data availability, cost-benefit analysis and user’s objectives. We select for illustrative purposes five process-based models with different complexity as “candidates” models: SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), SWIM (Soil and Water Integrated Model), GWLF (Generalized Watershed Loading Function), AnnAGNPS (Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution model) and HSPF (Hydrological simulation program-FORTRAN). The models are described in terms of hydrological and chemical output and input requirements. The model selection protocol considers data availability, model characteristics and user’s objectives and it is applied to hypothetical scenarios. This selection method is particularly formulated to choose process-based models for nutrient modeling, but it can be generalized for other applications which are characterized by a similar degree of complexity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Mix Inexact-Quadratic Fuzzy Water Resources Management Model of Floodplain (IQT-WMMF) for Regional Sustainable Development of Dahuangbaowa, China
Water 2015, 7(6), 2771-2795; doi:10.3390/w7062771
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a mix inexact-quadratic fuzzy water resources management model of floodplain (IQT-WMMF) has developed, through incorporating techniques of credibility-constrained programming (CP), two-stage programming (TP), interval-parameter programming (IPP) and quadratic programming (QP) within a general framework for limited data availability. The IQT-WMMF
[...] Read more.
In this study, a mix inexact-quadratic fuzzy water resources management model of floodplain (IQT-WMMF) has developed, through incorporating techniques of credibility-constrained programming (CP), two-stage programming (TP), interval-parameter programming (IPP) and quadratic programming (QP) within a general framework for limited data availability. The IQT-WMMF can provide an effective linkage between system benefit and the associated economic penalty attributed to the violation of the pre-regulated water target under limited data availabilities expressed probabilistic distributions and interval values; meanwhile, imprecise and no-linear economic data would be resolved. The developed method is applied to a real case of planning water resources in the Dahuangbaowa floodplain, China, with the aim to develop a sustainable water resources management in the study region. A number of scenarios with wet land expansion strategies under various credibility levels are analyzed, implying that different policies can lead to varied water-allocation patterns, system benefits, and system-failure risks. The results discover that water deficits and flood damages have brought negative effects on economic development synchronously, which need to effective plans to reduce losses of shortages and floods for achieving higher system benefits. Tradeoffs between economic benefit and system-failure risk can support generating an increased robustness in risk control for water resources allocation under uncertainties, which is beneficial to adjust the current water-allocation sustainably. Full article
Open AccessArticle Large-Scale Hydrological Modeling and Decision-Making for Agricultural Water Consumption and Allocation in the Main Stem Tarim River, China
Water 2015, 7(6), 2821-2839; doi:10.3390/w7062821
Received: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 3 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1832 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A large-scale hydrological model (MIKE HYDRO) was established for the purpose of sustainable agricultural water management in the main stem Tarim River, located in northwest China. In this arid region, agricultural water consumption and allocation management are crucial to address the conflicts among
[...] Read more.
A large-scale hydrological model (MIKE HYDRO) was established for the purpose of sustainable agricultural water management in the main stem Tarim River, located in northwest China. In this arid region, agricultural water consumption and allocation management are crucial to address the conflicts among irrigation water users from upstream to downstream. The results of model calibration indicated a close correlation between simulated and observed values. Scenarios with the change on irrigation strategies and land use distributions were investigated. Irrigation scenarios revealed that the available irrigation water has significant and varying effects on the yields of different crops. Irrigation water saving could reach up to 40% in the water-saving irrigation scenario. Land use scenarios illustrated that an increase of farmland area in the lower reach gravely aggravated the water deficit, while a decrease of farmland in the upper reaches resulted in considerable benefits for all sub-catchments. A substitution of crops was also investigated, which demonstrated the potential for saving considerable amounts of irrigation water in upper and middle reaches. Overall, the results of this study provide a scientific basis for decision-making on agricultural water consumption and allocation in the study area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Effects of Mulch and Irrigation Amount on Soil Water Distribution and Root Zone Water Balance Using HYDRUS-2D
Water 2015, 7(6), 2622-2640; doi:10.3390/w7062622
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 10 April 2015 / Accepted: 30 April 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water scarcity is the most critical constraint for sustainable cotton production in Xinjiang Province, northwest China. Drip irrigation under mulch is a major water-saving irrigation method that has been widely practiced for cotton production in Xinjiang. The performance of such an irrigation system
[...] Read more.
Water scarcity is the most critical constraint for sustainable cotton production in Xinjiang Province, northwest China. Drip irrigation under mulch is a major water-saving irrigation method that has been widely practiced for cotton production in Xinjiang. The performance of such an irrigation system should be evaluated for proper design and management. Therefore, a field experiment and a simulation study were conducted to (1) determine a modeling approach that can be applied to manage drip irrigation under mulch for cotton production in this region; and (2) examine the effects of irrigation amount and mulch on soil water distribution and root zone water balance components. In the experiment, four irrigation treatments were used: T1, 166.5 m3; T2, 140.4 m3; T3, 115.4 m3; and T4: 102.3 m3. The HYDRUS-2D model was calibrated, validated, and applied with the data obtained in this experiment. Soil water balance in the 0–70 cm soil profile was simulated. Results indicate that the observed soil water content and the simulated results obtained with HYDRUS-2D are in good agreement. The radius of the wetting pattern, root water uptake, and evaporation decreased as the amount of irrigation was reduced from T1 to T4, while a lot of stored soil water in the root zone was utilized and a huge amount of water was recharged from the layer below 70 cm to compensate for the decrease in irrigation amount. Mulch significantly reduced evaporation by 11.7 mm and increased root water uptake by 11.2 mm. Our simulation study suggests that this model can be applied to provide assistance in designing drip irrigation systems and developing irrigation strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards a Comprehensive Valuation of Water Management Projects When Data Availability Is Incomplete—The Use of Benefit Transfer Techniques
Water 2015, 7(5), 2472-2493; doi:10.3390/w7052472
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
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Abstract
In this paper we deal with the problem of missing data in environmental cost-benefit analysis. If government pursues the goal of maximizing social welfare, this implies that public funds should be allocated to those uses where they generate the highest net social benefit.
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In this paper we deal with the problem of missing data in environmental cost-benefit analysis. If government pursues the goal of maximizing social welfare, this implies that public funds should be allocated to those uses where they generate the highest net social benefit. This criterion makes it necessary to conduct cost-benefit analyses for public projects. While the assessment of project costs is typically rather straightforward, a comprehensive assessment of the project benefits is more complicated because one has to consider that also people living far away from the project site might benefit from that project. Neglecting these so-called passive use benefits would lead to a systematic undervaluation of environmental projects, thereby reducing their chances of being realized. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis would, therefore, require benefit assessment studies in all areas where passive use values might occur. Obviously, this would be impossible. In this paper we show how the assessment of the social benefits from environmental projects can be enhanced even with an imperfect database by using benefit transfer techniques. This is also illustrated empirically using an example from Northwest China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Combining Choice Analysis with Stakeholder Consultation to Assess Management Options for New Zealand’s Hurunui River
Water 2015, 7(4), 1649-1669; doi:10.3390/w7041649
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
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Abstract
Choice experiments can be designed using information gathered in stakeholder consultation processes. Information from these two sources can be used to consider both consultation outcomes and population preferences in environmental decision making. This approach is demonstrated using a case study of New Zealand’s
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Choice experiments can be designed using information gathered in stakeholder consultation processes. Information from these two sources can be used to consider both consultation outcomes and population preferences in environmental decision making. This approach is demonstrated using a case study of New Zealand’s Hurunui River which has been hotly contested between those who seek to divert water and increase agricultural production and those who would like to see the river undeveloped and the natural resources in the river and catchment improved. Data from the choice experiment is used to describe and quantify the preferences of Canterbury Region residents for existing conditions (good quality in the main river and poor quality in the tributaries) and potential future land use scenarios for the catchment. Six scenarios ranging from forestry to intensive irrigation could result in deterioration or improvement. Quantitative information from the choice experiment was provided to policy makers as they considered the outcomes of the consultation process. Community stakeholders agreed on a development strategy for the Hurunui catchment that would improve water quality in the tributaries and maintain quality in the main river. Results from the choice experiment support this approach. Willingness to pay for improvements in the main river was limited but residents would require substantial compensation before they would accept a decline in water quality in the main river or in the tributaries. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of Population Growth and Climate Change on the Freshwater Resources of Lamu Island, Kenya
Water 2015, 7(3), 1264-1290; doi:10.3390/w7031264
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 28 February 2015 / Accepted: 5 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
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Abstract
Demand for freshwater is rising with factors, such as population growth, land use change and climate variations, rendering water availability in the future uncertain. Groundwater resources are being increasingly exploited to meet this growing demand. The aim of this study is to identify
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Demand for freshwater is rising with factors, such as population growth, land use change and climate variations, rendering water availability in the future uncertain. Groundwater resources are being increasingly exploited to meet this growing demand. The aim of this study is to identify the influence of population growth induced by land use change and climate change on the future state of freshwater resources of Lamu Island in Kenya where a major port facility is under construction. The results of this study show that the “no industrial development” population scenario (assuming the port was not constructed) would be expected to reach ~50,000 people by 2050, while the projected population upon completion is expected to reach 1.25 million in the same year when the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor Program (LAPSSET) port reaches its full cargo-handling capacity. The groundwater abstraction in 2009 was 0.06 m3 daily per capita, while the demand is expected to raise to 0.1 m3 by 2050 according to the “LAPSSET development” projection. The modelling results show that the Shela aquifer in Lamu, which is the main source of water on the island, will not experience stress by 2065 for the “no industrial development” population scenario, whereas for the “LAPSSET development projection” population scenario, it will occur sooner (between 2020 and 2028). The modelling results show that the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) climate change scenarios will have a smaller impact on the effective water volume reserves than Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) for the “no industrial development”, while the impact is expected to be similar for the “LAPSSET development”, suggesting that population growth exacerbated by land use change will be a more significant driving force than climate change in affecting freshwater availability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effect of Dust Deposition on Stomatal Conductance and Leaf Temperature of Cotton in Northwest China
Water 2015, 7(1), 116-131; doi:10.3390/w7010116
Received: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
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Abstract
The Xinjiang Region in Northwest China is known as the “dust center” of the Eurasian mainland. Dust on the leaf surface affects overall plant development. While emphasis was on studying the impacts of industrial dust particles on crop development, the effect of natural
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The Xinjiang Region in Northwest China is known as the “dust center” of the Eurasian mainland. Dust on the leaf surface affects overall plant development. While emphasis was on studying the impacts of industrial dust particles on crop development, the effect of natural dust deposition on the physiological parameters of cotton had not been studied before. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of dust deposits on cotton leaves and to estimate their impact on crop development and yield. For this purpose, an experiment was set up having two treatments and a control. In Treatment 1, cotton leaves were cleaned with water at three-day intervals or after a natural dust fall. In Treatment 2, 100 g·m−2 of dust was applied at 10-day intervals. The control received neither additional dust nor cleaning. In all of the treatments, stomatal conductance, leaf temperature, biomass and yield were measured. The results show a 28% reduction in yield and 30% reduction in stomatal conductance of the dust treatment compared to the control treatment. This indicates blocking of the stomata on the top of the leaf surface. In addition, the canopy temperature of the dust-applied leaves was always higher than the control and treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rehabilitation Priority Determination of Water Pipes Based on Hydraulic Importance
Water 2014, 6(12), 3864-3887; doi:10.3390/w6123864
Received: 18 August 2014 / Revised: 22 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
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Abstract
This paper describes a study conducted to develop a method to facilitate more reliable determination of the rehabilitation priority order for water pipes by taking into account the pipes’ hydraulic importance. Existing methods use only the pipeline deterioration rate to determine the rehabilitation
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This paper describes a study conducted to develop a method to facilitate more reliable determination of the rehabilitation priority order for water pipes by taking into account the pipes’ hydraulic importance. Existing methods use only the pipeline deterioration rate to determine the rehabilitation priority order. Accordingly, the deterioration rate under normal conditions and the hydraulic importance under abnormal conditions of water distribution pipelines were classified according to two different attributes. The deterioration rate of a water distribution pipeline was calculated in terms of the deterioration rate due to pipeline information factors and the deterioration rate resulting from the installation environment/external factors. The hydraulic importance of water distribution pipelines was calculated by considering the importance of a single pipe failure caused by water leakage or an accident and that of a multiple pipe failure caused by a disaster, such as an earthquake. These four attribute factors were employed in a multi-criteria decision-making process called a weighted utopian approach, developed in this study, that determines the final rehabilitation priority order for each pipeline. The study results indicate that the rehabilitation priority order can be determined more easily using this approach than with previously-developed methods and that the model developed is easier and more convenient to apply than existing rehabilitation priority order models that require a large amount of data, as well as complex failure probabilities and mathematical models. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hydrologic Simulations Driven by Satellite Rainfall to Study the Hydroelectric Development Impacts on River Flow
Water 2014, 6(12), 3631-3651; doi:10.3390/w6123631
Received: 24 July 2014 / Revised: 24 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assesses the impact of hydroelectric dams on the discharge and total suspended solids (TSS) concentration in the Huong River basin in Vietnam. The analysis is based on hydrologic and sediment transport simulations by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model
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This study assesses the impact of hydroelectric dams on the discharge and total suspended solids (TSS) concentration in the Huong River basin in Vietnam. The analysis is based on hydrologic and sediment transport simulations by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model driven by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42V6 rainfall data, from January 2003 through December 2010. An upstream sub-basin not affected by the hydroelectric dams was used for model calibration. The calibration results indicate good agreement between simulated and observed daily data (0.67 Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, 0.82 Pearson correlation coefficient). The calibrated model for discharge and TSS simulation is then applied on another major sub-basin and then the whole Huong River basin. The simulation results indicate that dam operation in 2010 decreased downstream discharge during the rainy season by about 35% and augmented it during the dry season by about 226%. The downstream TSS concentration has decreased due to the dam operation but the total sediment loading increased during the dry season and decreased during the rainy season. On average, the dam construction and operation affected the pattern of discharge more than that of the sediment loading. Results indicate that SWAT, driven by remotely sensed inputs, can reasonably simulate discharge and water quality in ungauged or poorly gauged river basins and can be very useful for water resources assessment and climate change impact studies in such basins. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of a GIS-Based Decision Support System for Diagnosis of River System Health and Restoration
Water 2014, 6(10), 3136-3151; doi:10.3390/w6103136
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 11 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of a decision support system (DSS) to inform policy making has been progressing rapidly. This paper presents a generic framework and the development steps of a decision tool prototype of geographic information systems (GIS)-based decision support system of river health diagnosis
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The development of a decision support system (DSS) to inform policy making has been progressing rapidly. This paper presents a generic framework and the development steps of a decision tool prototype of geographic information systems (GIS)-based decision support system of river health diagnosis (RHD-DSS). This system integrates data, calculation models, and human knowledge of river health status assessment, causal factors diagnosis, and restoration decision making to assist decision makers during river restoration and management in Zhejiang Province, China. Our RHD-DSS is composed of four main elements: the graphical user interface (GUI), the database, the model base, and the knowledge base. It has five functional components: the input module, the database management, the diagnostic indicators management, the assessment and diagnosis, and the visual result module. The system design is illustrated with particular emphasis on the development of the database, model schemas, diagnosis and analytical processing techniques, and map management design. Finally, the application of the prototype RHD-DSS is presented and implemented for Xinjiangtang River of Haining County in Zhejiang Province, China. This case study is used to demonstrate the advantages gained by the application of this system. We conclude that there is great potential for using the RHD-DSS to systematically manage river basins in order to effectively mitigate environmental issues. The proposed approach will provide river managers and designers with improved insight into river degradation conditions, thereby strengthening the assessment process and the administration of human activities in river management. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Urban Water Tariffs in Spain: What Needs to Be Done?
Water 2015, 7(4), 1456-1479; doi:10.3390/w7041456
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 8 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, in the context of the Integrated Water Resources Management, demand policies are playing a more important role as opposed to traditional supply policies based on the construction of large hydraulic infrastructures. In this new context, water tariffs have become an important tool
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Recently, in the context of the Integrated Water Resources Management, demand policies are playing a more important role as opposed to traditional supply policies based on the construction of large hydraulic infrastructures. In this new context, water tariffs have become an important tool in achieving economic efficiency, environmental sustainability, and social equity. This paper reviews the situation of urban water tariffs in Spain, a country subject to high water stress. It analyzes the capacity of urban water tariffs to recover service costs and to promote efficiency, sustainability, affordability, and equity. Although it has made significant progress in recent years, the Spanish urban water tariff system still faces many challenges. Many of these challenges would be better addressed by a national independent regulatory body. Full article

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