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Special Issue "Worldwide History of Water Supply, Sanitation, Wastewater and Stormwater Technologies"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Andreas N. Angelakis

1 National Foundation for Agricultural Research (N.AG.RE.F.), Institute of Iraklio, 71110 Iraklio, Greece
2 Hellenic Union of Municipal Enterprises for Water Supply and Sewerage (EDEYA), 41222 Larissa, Greece
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Fax: +30 2810245873
Interests: Water resources; Environmental engineering; Wastewater treatment; Aquatic wastewater management systems; Water and wastewater management for small and decentralized systems; Water and wastewater quality; Treated wastewater renovation and reuse; and Water and wastewater technologies in ancient civilizations
Guest Editor
Professor Xiaoyun Zheng

President of International Water History Association (IWHA) and Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Kunming, China
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“One who doesn’t know the history is unable to plan the future”.

The aims of the IWA Specialist Group on Water and Wastewater in Ancient Civilizations (WWAC) are:

(a) To reveal the cultural heritage in various regions of the world and to make visible the archaeological remnants of technologies which have contributed to the development of the existing technologies in water and wastewater management.

(b) To describe and evaluate the old technologies, which on a long term may contribute to water and wastewater management systems and to the development of integrated methodologies.

(c) To develop small systems based on old technologies using new equipment, which may be of great significance for water, wastewater and environmental management in the future.

Themes to be covered:

  • Ancient water supply and wastewater sanitation technologies
  • Ancient water supply, storm water, and wastewater management technologies: Legacies and lessons
  • Methods, practices, and techniques of water and wastewater resources management in ancient civilizations
  • Traditional water, rainwater,  and wastewater systems.
  • Aquedacts, cisterns, qanats (kareez), foundaints, and wells, and other technologies in ancient civilizations
  • Urban water use in the past
  • History of irrigation
  • Evolution of water and wastewater technologies through the millennia
  • Old influence in modern water and wastewater technologies. And
  • Socio-economic role of water in ancient civilizations
  • Technologies of water and social transformation

Dr. Andreas N. Angelakis
Prof. Xiaoyun Zheng
Guest Editors

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water 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 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • aqueducts
  • chinese dynasties
  • indus civilizations
  • bronze age
  • hellenistic and roman civilizations
  • persians
  • egyptians and mesopotamians civilizations
  • evolution of drains, sewers, toilets and bath rooms
  • pre-columbian civilizations
  • sanitation in urban areas
  • water borne diseases
  • water cistern, fountains and wells
  • water distribution systems
  • water harvesting

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Evolution of Water Supply, Sanitation, Wastewater, and Stormwater Technologies Globally
Water 2015, 7(2), 455-463; doi:10.3390/w7020455
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 12 January 2015 / Accepted: 22 January 2015 / Published: 3 February 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper provides an outline of history of hydro-technologies in the west and the east. It is an overview of the special issue on “the evolution of hydro-technologies globally”, in which the key topics regarding the history of water and sanitation worldwide, and
[...] Read more.
This paper provides an outline of history of hydro-technologies in the west and the east. It is an overview of the special issue on “the evolution of hydro-technologies globally”, in which the key topics regarding the history of water and sanitation worldwide, and its importance to future cities are presented and discussed. It covers a wide range of relevant historical issues, and is presented in three categories: productivity assessment, institutional framework and mechanisms, and governance aspects. This paper concludes by discussing the challenges on future research in this field of study. Full article

Research

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Open AccessCommunication A Comparative Study on Flood Management in China and Japan
Water 2014, 6(9), 2821-2829; doi:10.3390/w6092821
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 14 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 September 2014 / Published: 23 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Attempts at flood management during the 20th century resulted in more flood disasters. To gain a better understanding of what went wrong, it is necessary to examine historical evidence, seek ancient wisdom and compare practices of flood management in different countries. This study
[...] Read more.
Attempts at flood management during the 20th century resulted in more flood disasters. To gain a better understanding of what went wrong, it is necessary to examine historical evidence, seek ancient wisdom and compare practices of flood management in different countries. This study examines flood management concepts and practices in China and Japan during different periods of time in history and the differences in the two countries’ current management of flood retarding basins. It reveals that during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC–24 AD), China proposed to redirect a river course to gain sufficient flood retarding capacity, and this same concept was realized, either coincidentally or intentionally, during the Edo period of Japan (1603–1868). In modern times, however, the management of flood retarding basins differs fundamentally between China and Japan. In addition, this study investigates the differences in emergency evacuation practices between China and Japan. This is the first study to highlight the link between a Chinese concept and a Japanese practice that are separated by more than 1000 years. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Collection and Distribution Systems in the Palermo Plain during the Middle Ages
Water 2013, 5(4), 1662-1676; doi:10.3390/w5041662
Received: 21 August 2013 / Revised: 23 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 14 October 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has been said that Palermo is short of available water. However, nothing could be more wrong. Well-documented Arab sources and narrative chronicles reported an abundance of groundwater resources in Palermo Plain since the Middle Ages. The scarcity of sources and surface water
[...] Read more.
It has been said that Palermo is short of available water. However, nothing could be more wrong. Well-documented Arab sources and narrative chronicles reported an abundance of groundwater resources in Palermo Plain since the Middle Ages. The scarcity of sources and surface water in the Palermo Plain, compared to the groundwater abundance, led the inhabitants to use groundwater both for irrigation and domestic usage through a complex and sustainable hydraulic system. Vertical and horizontal (qanāts) wells, conveyed water towards gardens and public fountains making the Arabic Bal’harm (Palermo) a flourishing town. When visitors walk through the streets of Palermo’s historical center, among Arab ruins and Baroque architecture, they hardly imagine that there is a wide and varied cultural heritage of underground cavities hidden in the basements where water flows in intricate networks fed from a numerous springs. Only in recent years was a part of this system brought to light. Moreover, the city still has a wide and fascinating water distribution system consisting of irrigation basin (gebbie), ingenious hydraulic machines named senie, and distribution chessboard of irrigation (saje) and drinking water (catusi) canals. The medieval water collection and distribution systems and their various components in the Palermo Plain are reviewed together with the influence of the Arab water management on environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evolution of Water Management in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces since the Ming and Qing Dynasties of China
Water 2013, 5(2), 643-658; doi:10.3390/w5020643
Received: 26 March 2013 / Revised: 22 May 2013 / Accepted: 26 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (645 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article examines some of the forms of water management in Shanxi [山西] and Shaanxi [陕西] provinces during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Facing serious water shortages and shrinking state power for water management, the local society in Shanxi and Shaanxi took over
[...] Read more.
This article examines some of the forms of water management in Shanxi [山西] and Shaanxi [陕西] provinces during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Facing serious water shortages and shrinking state power for water management, the local society in Shanxi and Shaanxi took over water management and gradually formed a local self-government system for the water resources. Depending on water management organizations in which the local gentry were the core power, the water rules were based on natural topographic conditions, historical water practices in the locality, traditional moral-ethical ideas, and even water policies and water laws. This water management system played a positive role in mobilizing the participation of members, preventing opportunistic behavior such as free riding and rent seeking, while decreasing the probability of water conflicts and the costs of litigation. However, this water management system was also subject to endemic corruption because of the lack of effective monitoring from the local government. As similar problems appear to exist in China today, this article analyzes the features of this water management system, and examines the problems that faced those systems so as to provide a warning from history for modern society. Full article

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Historical and Technical Notes on Aqueducts from Prehistoric to Medieval Times
Water 2013, 5(4), 1996-2025; doi:10.3390/w5041996
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 28 November 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present the evolution of aqueduct technologies through the millennia, from prehistoric to medieval times. These hydraulic works were used by several civilizations to collect water from springs and to transport it to settlements, sanctuaries and other
[...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to present the evolution of aqueduct technologies through the millennia, from prehistoric to medieval times. These hydraulic works were used by several civilizations to collect water from springs and to transport it to settlements, sanctuaries and other targets. Several civilizations, in China and the Americas, developed water transport systems independently, and brought these to high levels of sophistication. For the Mediterranean civilizations, one of the salient characteristics of cultural development, since the Minoan Era (ca. 3200–1100 BC), is the architectural and hydraulic function of aqueducts used for the water supply in palaces and other settlements. The Minoan hydrologists and engineers were aware of some of the basic principles of water sciences and the construction and operation of aqueducts. These technologies were further developed by subsequent civilizations. Advanced aqueducts were constructed by the Hellenes and, especially, by the Romans, who dramatically increased the application scale of these structures, in order to provide the extended quantities of water necessary for the Roman lifestyle of frequent bathing. The ancient practices and techniques were not improved but survived through Byzantine and early medieval times. Later, the Ottomans adapted older techniques, reintroducing large-scale aqueducts to supply their emerging towns with adequate water for religious and social needs. The scientific approach to engineering matters during the Renaissance further improved aqueduct technology. Some of these improvements were apparently also implemented in Ottoman waterworks. Finally the industrial revolution established mechanized techniques in water acquisition. Water is a common need of mankind, and several ancient civilizations developed simple but practical techniques from which we can still learn. Their experience and knowledge could still play an important role for sustainable water supply, presently and in future, both in developed and developing countries. Full article
Open AccessReview History of Water Cisterns: Legacies and Lessons
Water 2013, 5(4), 1916-1940; doi:10.3390/w5041916
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of water cisterns has been traced back to the Neolithic Age; this paper thus presents a brief historical development of water cisterns worldwide over the last 5500 years. This paper is not an exhaustive presentation of all that is known today
[...] Read more.
The use of water cisterns has been traced back to the Neolithic Age; this paper thus presents a brief historical development of water cisterns worldwide over the last 5500 years. This paper is not an exhaustive presentation of all that is known today about water cisterns, but rather provides some characteristic examples of cistern technology in a chronological manner extending from prehistoric times to the present. The examples of water cistern technologies and management practices given in this paper may have some importance for water resource sustainability for the present and future. Cisterns have been used to store both rainfall runoff water and aqueduct water originating in springs and streams for the purpose of meeting water needs through seasonal variations. Cisterns have ranged in construction from simple clay pots to large underground structures. Full article
Open AccessReview Hydrogeological Characteristics of Hellenic Aqueducts-Like Qanats
Water 2013, 5(3), 1326-1345; doi:10.3390/w5031326
Received: 19 July 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 28 August 2013 / Published: 11 September 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (7400 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In ancient Hellas, water management began in the early Minoan Era (ca. 3200–1100 BC) and was related to the geomorphology, the geology, the topography, and the local climatic, hydrological, and socio-political conditions. Historical and archaeological evidences show that ancient Greeks had developed
[...] Read more.
In ancient Hellas, water management began in the early Minoan Era (ca. 3200–1100 BC) and was related to the geomorphology, the geology, the topography, and the local climatic, hydrological, and socio-political conditions. Historical and archaeological evidences show that ancient Greeks had developed even qanat-related technologies since the Classical times. During democratic periods, the focus of water management was on sustainable small scale, safe, and cost effective management practices, and institutional arrangements, whereas in oligarchic periods, emphasis was on the construction of large-scale hydraulic projects, including aqueducts and/or qanats, mostly related to the public sectors. Aqueducts-like qanats are gently sloping, artificially constructed underground galleries, which bring groundwater from the mountainous area to the lowlands, where water is used, sometimes several kilometers away. It is worth noticing that no large-scale lifting techniques were available, and water was transferred from the source (usually a spring) by aqueducts (qanats) from a higher elevation to a lower level by gravity. Historically, the aqueduct-like qanat technology was developed by Persians in the middle of 1st Millennium BC, and spread towards the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt. The expansion of Islam led to diffusion of qanats in Mediterranean countries (e.g., Spain, Italy, and Cyprus). Much of the population of Iran and other arid countries in North Africa and in Asia depend on water supply by aqueducts-like qanats, even today. This technology is characterized by its durability and sustainability, although an aqueduct-like qanat is expensive, both in construction and maintenance. It is pointed out that, the technique of tunneling was used during the Classical period in ancient Hellas. Since the well known tunnel at the island of Samos, Hellas, was designed and constructed by Eupalinos (ca. 530 BC), several underground tunnels (with and without well-like vertical shafts) in order to convey water from one location to another one located in a lower level were implemented in this country. Several aqueducts (qanat) paradigms (e.g., in Athens, on islands of Crete and Rhodes, and in the area of Serres in north country), which are in use even today, are presented and discussed. Overall, it seems that water-related problems of modern societies are not very different from those during antiquity. Full article
Open AccessReview Minoan and Etruscan Hydro-Technologies
Water 2013, 5(3), 972-987; doi:10.3390/w5030972
Received: 25 April 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 8 July 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to present water and wastewater technologies used during the Minoan (ca. 3200–1100 BC) and Etruscan (ca. 800–100 BC) civilizations. The basic technologies considered are: water harvesting and distribution systems, cisterns, groundwater and wells as well
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to present water and wastewater technologies used during the Minoan (ca. 3200–1100 BC) and Etruscan (ca. 800–100 BC) civilizations. The basic technologies considered are: water harvesting and distribution systems, cisterns, groundwater and wells as well as drainage and sewerage systems. Minoan water collection and distribution systems primarily consisted of cisterns and pipes. The Etruscans’ hydro-technology also consisted of cisterns and pipes but was developed for urban areas and included distinctions between public and private water use. The long-term sustainability of Minoan cisterns is evidenced by the fact that this technique is still practiced today in rural areas of Crete. In addition to cisterns, wells have been used in Crete since Neolithic times, and enjoyed wide-spread use during the Etruscan era. All the Minoan palaces applied strategies to dispose of water and wastewater with open terracotta or stone masonry-conduits, and stone masonry sewers; while, the drainage and sewerage systems developed by the Etruscans were based both on a coordinated and comprehensive planning of the slopes of drainage channels on the sides of streets as well as on a massive use of drainage tunnels. Full article

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