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Water, Volume 12, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 301 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The present study evaluated the efficiency of a high rate algal pond (HRAP) at pilot scale to [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Variability of Cosmogenic 35S in Rain—Resulting Implications for the Use of Radiosulfur as Natural Groundwater Residence Time Tracer
Water 2020, 12(10), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102953 - 21 Oct 2020
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Abstract
Information about groundwater residence times is essential for sustainable groundwater management. Naturally occurring radionuclides are suitable tools for related investigations. While the applicability of several long-lived radionuclides has been demonstrated for the investigation of long residence times (i.e., years, decades, centuries and more), [...] Read more.
Information about groundwater residence times is essential for sustainable groundwater management. Naturally occurring radionuclides are suitable tools for related investigations. While the applicability of several long-lived radionuclides has been demonstrated for the investigation of long residence times (i.e., years, decades, centuries and more), studies that focus on sub-yearly residence times are only scarcely discussed in the literature. This shortage is mainly due to the rather small number of radionuclides that are generally suitable for the purpose and show at the same time adequately short half-lives. A promising innovative approach in this regard applies cosmogenic radiosulfur (35S). 35S is continuously produced in the stratosphere from where it is conveyed to the troposphere or lower atmosphere and finally transferred with the rain to the groundwater. As soon as the meteoric water enters the subsurface, its 35S activity decreases with an 87.4 day half-life, making 35S a suitable time tracer for investigating sub-yearly groundwater ages. However, since precipitation shows a varying 35S activity during the year, setting up a reliable 35S input function is required for sound data evaluation. That calls for (i) an investigation of the long-term variation of the 35S activity in the rain, (ii) the identification of the associated drivers and (iii) an approach for setting up a 35S input function based on easily attainable proxies. The paper discusses 35S activities in the rain recorded over a 12-month period, identifies natural and anthropogenic influences, and suggests an approach for setting up a 35S input function applying 7Be as a proxy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modified Hiltner Dew Balance to Re-Estimate Dewfall Accumulation as a Reliable Water Source in the Negev Desert
Water 2020, 12(10), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102952 - 21 Oct 2020
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Abstract
Dew formation is an essential component of the water balance in dry ecosystems, but measuring dew is challenging due, in part, to its dependency on the surface on which it forms. We detail the use of a modified Hiltner dew balance to illustrate [...] Read more.
Dew formation is an essential component of the water balance in dry ecosystems, but measuring dew is challenging due, in part, to its dependency on the surface on which it forms. We detail the use of a modified Hiltner dew balance to illustrate how more accurate measurements of dewfall may be obtained. Using a modified Hiltner dew balance, we measured dewfall in the Negev Desert continuously for 3 years (2013–2015). Data analyses examined the relationship between dew formation, rain events and other environmental parameters in order to re-evaluate the importance of dew in the water budget. In line with previous research, our findings demonstrate that dewfall is a substantial and stable input of water in the Negev desert, providing inputs in the dry summer and the wet winter. Our results show that while dewfall was larger and more prevalent in proximity to rain events, a notable portion of dewfall took place on days distant from any rain event. The Hiltner dew balance modifications proved to be reliable and increased the efficacy of measuring the quantity and timing of dew formation. This study demonstrates the importance of integrating dewfall data into decision-making models for dryland ecosystems and agriculture, as well as into climate models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Isotopic Data to Water Resource Management)
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Open AccessArticle
River Water Salinity Prediction Using Hybrid Machine Learning Models
Water 2020, 12(10), 2951; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102951 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Electrical conductivity (EC), one of the most widely used indices for water quality assessment, has been applied to predict the salinity of the Babol-Rood River, the greatest source of irrigation water in northern Iran. This study uses two individual—M5 Prime (M5P) and random [...] Read more.
Electrical conductivity (EC), one of the most widely used indices for water quality assessment, has been applied to predict the salinity of the Babol-Rood River, the greatest source of irrigation water in northern Iran. This study uses two individual—M5 Prime (M5P) and random forest (RF)—and eight novel hybrid algorithms—bagging-M5P, bagging-RF, random subspace (RS)-M5P, RS-RF, random committee (RC)-M5P, RC-RF, additive regression (AR)-M5P, and AR-RF—to predict EC. Thirty-six years of observations collected by the Mazandaran Regional Water Authority were randomly divided into two sets: 70% from the period 1980 to 2008 was used as model-training data and 30% from 2009 to 2016 was used as testing data to validate the models. Several water quality variables—pH, HCO3, Cl, SO42−, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, river discharge (Q), and total dissolved solids (TDS)—were modeling inputs. Using EC and the correlation coefficients (CC) of the water quality variables, a set of nine input combinations were established. TDS, the most effective input variable, had the highest EC-CC (r = 0.91), and it was also determined to be the most important input variable among the input combinations. All models were trained and each model’s prediction power was evaluated with the testing data. Several quantitative criteria and visual comparisons were used to evaluate modeling capabilities. Results indicate that, in most cases, hybrid algorithms enhance individual algorithms’ predictive powers. The AR algorithm enhanced both M5P and RF predictions better than bagging, RS, and RC. M5P performed better than RF. Further, AR-M5P outperformed all other algorithms (R2 = 0.995, RMSE = 8.90 μs/cm, MAE = 6.20 μs/cm, NSE = 0.994 and PBIAS = −0.042). The hybridization of machine learning methods has significantly improved model performance to capture maximum salinity values, which is essential in water resource management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
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Open AccessArticle
Stochastic Modelling of Small-Scale Perturbation
Water 2020, 12(10), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102950 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 148
Abstract
In this paper we propose a stochastic model reduction procedure for deterministic equations from geophysical fluid dynamics. Once large-scale and small-scale components of the dynamics have been identified, our method consists in modelling stochastically the small scales and, as a result, we obtain [...] Read more.
In this paper we propose a stochastic model reduction procedure for deterministic equations from geophysical fluid dynamics. Once large-scale and small-scale components of the dynamics have been identified, our method consists in modelling stochastically the small scales and, as a result, we obtain that a transport-type Stratonovich noise is sufficient to model the influence of the small scale structures on the large scales ones. This work aims to contribute to motivate the use of stochastic models in fluid mechanics and identifies examples of noise of interest for the reduction of complexity of the interaction between scales. The ideas are presented in full generality and applied to specific examples in the last section. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stochastic Modeling in Fluid Dynamics)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Fuzzy Inference System for Seagrass Distribution Modeling in the Mediterranean Sea: A First Approach
Water 2020, 12(10), 2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102949 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 164
Abstract
A Mamdani-type fuzzy-logic model was developed to link Mediterranean seagrass presence to the prevailing environmental conditions. UNEP-WCMC (seagrass presence), CMEMS, and EMODnet (oceanographic/environmental) datasets, along with human-impact parameters were utilized for this expert system. The model structure and input parameters were tested according [...] Read more.
A Mamdani-type fuzzy-logic model was developed to link Mediterranean seagrass presence to the prevailing environmental conditions. UNEP-WCMC (seagrass presence), CMEMS, and EMODnet (oceanographic/environmental) datasets, along with human-impact parameters were utilized for this expert system. The model structure and input parameters were tested according to their capacity to accurately predict the presence of seagrass families at specific locations. The optimum Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) comprised four input variables: water depth, sea surface temperature, nitrates, and bottom chlorophyll-a concentration, exhibiting reasonable precision (76%). Results illustrated that Posidoniaceae prefers cooler water (16–18 °C) with low chlorophyll-a levels (<0.2 mg/m3); Zosteraceae favors similarly cooler (16–18 °C) and mesotrophic waters (Chl-a > 0.2 mg/m3), but also slightly warmer (18–19.5 °C) with lower Chl-a levels (<0.2 mg/m3); Cymodoceaceae lives in warm, oligotrophic (19.5–21.0 °C, Chl-a < 0.3 mg/m3) to moderately warm mesotrophic sites (18–21.3 °C, 0.3–0.4 mg/m3 Chl-a). Finally, Hydrocharitaceae thrives in the warm Mediterranean waters (21–23 °C) of low chlorophyll-a content (<0.25 mg/m3). Climate change scenarios show that Posidoniaceae and Zosteraceae tolerate bathymetric changes, and Posidoniaceae and Zosteraceae are mostly affected by sea temperature rise, while Hydrocharitaceae exhibits tolerance at higher sea temperatures. This FIS could aid the protection of vulnerable seagrass ecosystems by national and regional policy-makers and public authorities. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Inexpensive Organic Materials and Their Applications towards Heavy Metal Attenuation in Waters from Southern Peru
Water 2020, 12(10), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102948 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
There is interest in using locally available, low cost organic materials to attenuate heavy metals such as Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn found in surface waters in Peru and other developing regions. Here we mesh Spanish language publications, archived theses, [...] Read more.
There is interest in using locally available, low cost organic materials to attenuate heavy metals such as Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn found in surface waters in Peru and other developing regions. Here we mesh Spanish language publications, archived theses, and prior globally available literature to provide a tabulated synthesis of organic materials that hold promise for this application in the developing world. In total, nearly 200 materials were grouped into source categories such as algae and seashells, bacteria and fungi, terrestrial plant-derived materials, and other agricultural and processing materials. This curation was complemented by an assessment of removal potential that can serve as a resource for future studies. We also identified a subset of Peruvian materials that hold particular promise for further investigation, including seashell-based mixed media, fungal blends, lignocellulose-based substrates including sawdust, corn and rice husks, and food residuals including peels from potatoes and avocadoes. Many studies reported percent removal and/or lacked consistent protocols for solid to liquid ratios and defined aqueous concentrations, which limits direct application. However, they hold value as an initial screening methodology informed by local knowledge and insights that could enable adoption for agriculture and other non-potable water reuse applications. While underlying removal mechanisms were presumed to rely on sorptive processes, this should be confirmed in promising materials with subsequent experimentation to quantify active sites and capacities by generating sorption isotherms with a focus on environmental conditions and specific contaminated water properties (pH, temperature, ionic strength, etc.). These organics also hold promise for the pairing of sorption to indirect microbial respiratory processes such as biogenic sulfide complexation. Conversely, there is a need to quantify unwanted contaminant release that could include soluble organic matter and nutrients. In addition to local availability and treatment efficacy, social, technical, economic, and environmental applicability of those materials for large-scale application must be considered to further refine material selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on the Influence of an Artificial Reef on Cross-Shore Morphodynamic Processes of a Wave-Dominated Beach
Water 2020, 12(10), 2947; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102947 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 162
Abstract
Artificial reefs are being implemented around the world for their multi-functions including coastal protection and environmental improvement. To better understand the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic roles of an artificial reef (AR) in beach protection, a series of experiments were conducted in a 50 m-long [...] Read more.
Artificial reefs are being implemented around the world for their multi-functions including coastal protection and environmental improvement. To better understand the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic roles of an artificial reef (AR) in beach protection, a series of experiments were conducted in a 50 m-long wave flume configured with a 1:10 sloping beach and a model AR (1.8 m long × 0.3 m high) with 0.2 m submergence depth. Five regular and five irregular wave conditions were generated on two types of beach profiles (with/without model AR) to study the cross-shore hydrodynamic and morphological evolution process. The influences of AR on the processes are concluded as follows: (1) AR significantly decreases the incident wave energy, and its dissipation effect differs for higher and lower harmonics under irregular wave climates; (2) AR changes the cross-shore patterns of hydrodynamic factors (significant wave height, wave skewness and asymmetry, and undertow), leading to the movement of shoaling and breaking zones; (3) the beach evolution is characterized by a sandbar and a scarp which respectively sit at a higher and lower location on the profile with AR than natural beach without AR; (4) the cross-shore morphological features indicate that AR can lead to beach state transformation toward reflective state; (5) the scarp retreat process can be described by a model where the scarp location depends linearly on the natural exponential of time with the fitting parameters determined by wave run-up reduced by AR. This study demonstrates cross-shore effects of AR as a beach protection structure that changes wave dynamics in surf and swash zone, reduces offshore sediment transport, and induces different morphological features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oceans and Coastal Zones)
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Open AccessArticle
Will Maize-Based Cropping Systems Reduce Water Consumption without Compromise of Food Security in the North China Plain?
Water 2020, 12(10), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102946 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 170
Abstract
The winter wheat–summer maize double cropping system caused overexploitation of groundwater in the North China Plain; it is unsustainable and threatens food security and the overall wellbeing of humankind in the region. Finding water-saving cropping systems without compromising food security is a more [...] Read more.
The winter wheat–summer maize double cropping system caused overexploitation of groundwater in the North China Plain; it is unsustainable and threatens food security and the overall wellbeing of humankind in the region. Finding water-saving cropping systems without compromising food security is a more likely solution. In this study, six alternative cropping systems’ water conservation and food supply capacity were compared simultaneously. A combined water footprint method was applied to analyze the cropping systems’ water consumption. The winter wheat–summer maize system had the largest water consumption (16,585 m3/ha on average), followed by the potato/spring maize, spinach–spring maize, rye–spring maize, vetch–spring maize, pea/spring maize, soybean||spring maize and mono-spring maize cropping systems. For the groundwater, the spinach–spring maize, pea/spring maize, soybean||spring maize systems showed a higher degree of synchronization between crop growth period and rainfall, which could reduce use of groundwater by 36.8%, 54.4% and 57.6%, respectively. For food supply capacity, the values for spinach–spring maize, pea/spring maize, soybean||spring maize systems were 73.0%, 60.8% and 48.4% of winter wheat–summer maize, respectively, but they showed a better feeding efficiency than the winter wheat–summer maize system. On the whole, spinach–spring maize may be a good option to prevent further decline in groundwater level and to ensure food security in a sustainable way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Economic Value of Virtual Water)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Warmer and Drier Environmental Conditions on Species-Specific Stem Circumference Dynamics and Water Status of Conifers in Submontane Zone of Central Slovakia
Water 2020, 12(10), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102945 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 161
Abstract
The frequency and intensity of droughts and heatwaves in Europe with notable impact on forest growth are expected to increase due to climate change. Coniferous stands planted outside the natural habitats of species belong to the most threatened forests. In this study, we [...] Read more.
The frequency and intensity of droughts and heatwaves in Europe with notable impact on forest growth are expected to increase due to climate change. Coniferous stands planted outside the natural habitats of species belong to the most threatened forests. In this study, we assess stem circumference response of coniferous species (Larix decidua and Abies alba) to environmental conditions during the years 2015–2019. The study was performed in Arboretum in Zvolen (ca. 300 m a.s.l., Central Slovakia) characterised by a warmer and drier climate when compared to their natural habitats (located above 900 m a.s.l.), where they originated from. Seasonal radial variation, tree water deficit (ΔW), and maximum daily shrinkage (MDS) were derived from the records obtained from band dendrometers installed on five mature trees per species. Monitored species exhibited remarkably different growth patterns under highly above normal temperatures and uneven precipitation distribution. The magnitudes of reversible circumference changes (ΔW, MDS) were species-specific and strongly correlated with environmental factors. The wavelet analysis identified species-specific vulnerability to drought indicated by pronounced diurnal stem variation periodicity in rainless periods. L. decidua exhibited more strained stem water status and higher sensitivity to environmental conditions than A. alba. Tree water deficit and maximum daily shrinkage were found appropriate characteristics to compare water status of different tree species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isotherms, Kinetics, and Thermodynamics of NH4+ Adsorption in Raw Liquid Manure by Using Natural Chabazite Zeolite-Rich Tuff
Water 2020, 12(10), 2944; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102944 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 156
Abstract
The search for safer and sustainable management of animal manure is a global and topical challenge, in particular for the reduction of nitrogen (N) content. The use of natural adsorbents as zeolite-rich tuffs is recognized as a valid method to recover N, in [...] Read more.
The search for safer and sustainable management of animal manure is a global and topical challenge, in particular for the reduction of nitrogen (N) content. The use of natural adsorbents as zeolite-rich tuffs is recognized as a valid method to recover N, in the form of ammonium (NH4+), from animal manure. While the scientific literature is rich in studies performed on synthetic solutions and using clinoptilolite zeolites as adsorbent, it lacks information concerning adsorption in real liquid manure and using other types of zeolite-rich tuffs (e.g., chabazite). This work aims at exploring the NH4+ adsorption process from raw liquid swine manure, using a chabazite-rich zeolite tuff as adsorbent. The effects of temperature, contact time, and grain size have been assessed. Isotherms, kinetic models, and thermodynamic parameters have been investigated. Harkins-Jura isotherm correlates well with the observed data, in accordance with the formation of an adsorption multilayer. Kinetic data have been explained by intraparticle diffusion and pseudo-second-order models. In conclusion, the natural chabazite tuff has proven to be a valid material for NH4+ adsorption from raw liquid swine manure. In particular, to reach the highest adsorption capacities and adsorption rates, it is recommended to use it at a fine particle size and with dosages < 6 %. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparisons of Performance Using Data Assimilation and Data Fusion Approaches in Acquiring Precipitable Water Vapor: A Case Study of a Western United States of America Area
Water 2020, 12(10), 2943; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102943 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 161
Abstract
There are two main types of methods available to obtain precipitable water vapor (PWV) with high accuracy. One is to assimilate observations into a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model, for example, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, to improve the [...] Read more.
There are two main types of methods available to obtain precipitable water vapor (PWV) with high accuracy. One is to assimilate observations into a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model, for example, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, to improve the accuracy of meteorological parameters, and then obtain the PWV with improved accuracy. The other is the direct fusion of multi-source PWV products. Regarding the two approaches, we conduct a comparison experiment on the West Coast of the United States of America with the data from May 2018, in which the WRF data assimilation (DA) system is used to assimilate the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) PWV, while the method by Zhang et al. to fuse the GNSS PWV, ERA5 PWV and MODIS (moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer) PWV. As a result, four groups of PWV products are generated: the assimilated GNSS PWV, the unassimilated GNSS PWV, PWV from the fusion of the GNSS PWV and ECWMF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) ERA5 (ECWMF Reanalysis 5) PWV, and PWV from the fusion of the GNSS PWV, ERA5 PWV and MODIS PWV. Experiments show that the data assimilation based on the WRF model (WRFDA) and adopted fusion method can generate PWV products with similar accuracy (1.47 mm vs. 1.52 mm). Assimilating the GNSS PWV into the WRF model slightly improves the accuracy of the inverted PWV by 0.18 mm. The fusion of the MODIS PWV, GNSS PWV and ERA5 PWV results in a higher accuracy than the fusion of GNSS PWV and ERA5 PWV by a margin of 0.35 mm. In addition, the inland canyon topography appears to have an influence on the inversion accuracy of both the methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Different Species Requirements within a Heterogeneous Spring Complex Affects Patch Occupancy of Threatened Snails in Australian Desert Springs
Water 2020, 12(10), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102942 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 157
Abstract
(1) The distribution of organisms that inhabit patchy systems is dictated by their ability to move between patches, and the suitability of environmental conditions at patches to which they disperse. Understanding whether the species involved are identical to one another in their environmental [...] Read more.
(1) The distribution of organisms that inhabit patchy systems is dictated by their ability to move between patches, and the suitability of environmental conditions at patches to which they disperse. Understanding whether the species involved are identical to one another in their environmental requirements and their responses to variance in their environment is essential to understanding ecological processes in these systems, and to the management of species whose patchy and limited distributions present conservation risks. (2) Artesian springs in Australia’s arid interior are “islands” of hospitable wetland in uninhabitable “oceans” of dry land and are home to diverse and threatened assemblages of endemic species with severely restricted distributions. Many have strict environmental requirements, but the role of environmental heterogeneity amongst springs has rarely been considered alongside conventional patch characteristics (isolation and patch geometry). (3) We quantified environmental heterogeneity across springs, and the relationship between spring size, isolation (distances to neighbours) and environmental quality (depth, water chemistry), and patterns of occupancy and population persistence of six endemic spring snail species, all from different families, and with all restricted to a single <8000 ha system of springs in Australia. To do so, a survey was conducted for comparison against survey results of almost a decade before, and environmental variables of the springs were measured. Many of the snail species occupied few sites, and environmental variables strongly covaried, so an ordination-based approach was adopted to assess the relationship between environmental measures and the distribution of each species, and also whether springs that held a higher diversity of snails had specific characteristics. (4) Each snail species occupied a subset of springs (between 5% and 36% of the 85 sampled) and was associated with a particular set of conditions. Of the six species considered in further detail, most were restricted to the few springs that were large and deep. Species in family Tateidae were distinct in having colonised highly isolated springs (with >300 m to nearest neighbour). Springs with highest diversity were significantly larger, deeper and had more numerous neighbours within 300 m than those devoid of endemic snails, or those with low diversity. (5) Although spring size and isolation affect patterns of occupancy, the six snail species had significantly different environmental requirements from one another and these correlated with the distribution pattern of each. Approaches that ignore the role of environmental quality—and particularly depth in springs—are overlooking important processes outside of patch geometry that influence diversity. These organisms are highly susceptible to extinction, as most occupy less than 3 ha of habitat spread across few springs, and habitat degradation continues to compromise what little wetland area is needed for their persistence. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analyzing the Dependence of Major Tanks in the Headwaters of the Aruvi Aru Catchment on Precipitation. Applying Drought Indices to Meteorological and Hydrological Data
Water 2020, 12(10), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102941 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 145
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the dependence of reservoirs (locally called tanks or wewas) in the headwaters of the Aruvi Aru catchment on precipitation and thus to evaluate their efficiency. The Aruvi Aru is located in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, and [...] Read more.
This study aims to analyze the dependence of reservoirs (locally called tanks or wewas) in the headwaters of the Aruvi Aru catchment on precipitation and thus to evaluate their efficiency. The Aruvi Aru is located in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, and numerous human made reservoirs characterize the study area. The methodology is based on the application and correlation of climatic and hydrological drought indices. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is applied to precipitation data at different time scales and the Standardized Water-Level Index (SWLI) is applied to water-level data of five major tanks in the catchment. The results show that near normal present-day average precipitation is appropriate to fill the investigated tanks. The precipitation of the previous 6–12 months has the highest impact on water-level changes. A moderate to strong positive correlation between SWLI and SPI point to other factors besides precipitation affecting the water level of the tanks. These are: (i) catchment size together with the buffering capacity of the upstream catchment and (ii) management practices. As the overall conclusion of our study shows, the tanks functioned efficiently within their system boundaries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Producing Safe Drinking Water Using an Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) in an Urban Environment
Water 2020, 12(10), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102940 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 180
Abstract
Alternative new technologies are urgently needed to overcome the rapidly increasing global water scarcity. Atmospheric dew water is a potential source of potable water, as the earth’s atmosphere contains billions of tons of fresh water (98% in a vapor state). The atmospheric water [...] Read more.
Alternative new technologies are urgently needed to overcome the rapidly increasing global water scarcity. Atmospheric dew water is a potential source of potable water, as the earth’s atmosphere contains billions of tons of fresh water (98% in a vapor state). The atmospheric water generator (AWG) converts water vapor into liquid water and is a promising solution for water scarcity. We provide the first comprehensive analysis of the chemical profiles of water produced for several months by an AWG in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Metals, inorganic ions, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semi-VOCs were analyzed in the dew water. The main elements found were ammonium, calcium, sulfate, and nitrate. Location of the sampling site in an urban residential area, between major traffic routes, likely affected the chemical composition of the produced dew water. Nevertheless, the produced water nearly always (day and night in different seasons) met the WHO and Israeli drinking water standards. Thus, even in a highly developed urban environment, the AWG offers an excellent alternative source of safe drinking water throughout the year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
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Open AccessArticle
Size Distribution and Phosphate Removal Capacity of Nano Zero-Valent Iron (nZVI): Influence of pH and Ionic Strength
Water 2020, 12(10), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102939 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 153
Abstract
Nano zero-valent iron (nZVI) has been considered as a promising material for groundwater remediation in the past few decades. The size distribution of nZVI is one of the main factors that influences its transport capability and remediation capacity. However, studies on the size [...] Read more.
Nano zero-valent iron (nZVI) has been considered as a promising material for groundwater remediation in the past few decades. The size distribution of nZVI is one of the main factors that influences its transport capability and remediation capacity. However, studies on the size distribution of nZVI under different environmental conditions are still limited. In this study, the influence of the pH (pH = 5, 7, 9) and ionic strength (IS = 0, 15, 30, 45 mM) on the size distribution of nZVI are investigated. The dynamic light scattering (DLS) method is used to study the variation of the size distribution of nZVI aggregate with time, and batch tests are performed to evaluate the efficiency of phosphate removal. Meanwhile, the phosphate removal capacity of nZVI with different size distribution was examined. Experimental results show that under low IS and high pH conditions, nZVI aggregate exhibited a stable, narrow and one-peak size distribution. By contrast, under high IS and low pH conditions, nZVI exhibited a wide and complicated size distribution with multiple peak values. This different pattern in size distribution was further explained by the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory. The phosphate removal rate of nZVI under acidic and neutral conditions is higher than 98% but is only 68% under alkaline conditions. The phosphate removal capacity is insensitive to the variation of IS since the removal rate is higher than 97% for different IS conditions. Favorable environmental conditions for colloidal stability and removal capacity of nZVI can be different, which needs comprehensive consideration in the application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Simulation of Shallow Geothermal Field in Operating of a Ground Source Heat Pump System—A Case Study in Nan Cha Village, Ping Gu District, Beijing
Water 2020, 12(10), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102938 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 158
Abstract
The inefficient use of single energy and cold accumulation in the shallow geothermal field seriously affect the efficient operation of the ground source heat pump system (GSHPS). The operation of solar-assisted GSHPS can effectively solve the above problems. In this paper, a shallow [...] Read more.
The inefficient use of single energy and cold accumulation in the shallow geothermal field seriously affect the efficient operation of the ground source heat pump system (GSHPS). The operation of solar-assisted GSHPS can effectively solve the above problems. In this paper, a shallow geothermal utilization project in Nan cha Village, Ping Gu District of Beijing, is chosen as the study area. A three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow and heat transfer considering ambient temperature and backfill materials is established, and the level of model integration and validation are novel features of this paper. The thermal response test data in summer and winter conditions are used to validate the model. The results show that increasing hydraulic gradient has a positive impact on the heat exchange. The mixture of sand and barite powder is recognized as a more efficient and economical backfill material. The changes of thermal influence radius, heat balance, and shallow geothermal field are simulated and analyzed by three schemes. It is demonstrated that the thermal influence radius is 5 m, 3.9 m and 3.9 m for Scheme 1, Scheme 2 and Scheme 3, respectively. The ground temperature is always lower than the initial formation temperature in Scheme 1 and Scheme 2; however, under Scheme 3 it is higher than the initial values. The closer the hole wall is, the larger the difference between the initial formation temperature and the ground temperature, and vice versa. The thermal equilibrium of Scheme 1, Scheme 2 and Scheme 3 is −728 × 106 KJ, −269 × 106 KJ and +514 × 106 KJ. Through comprehensive analysis of the above three factors, Scheme 3 is regarded as the most reasonable scheme for a solar system to assist GSHPS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sediment Morphology and the Flow Velocity Field in a Gully Pot: An Experimental Study
Water 2020, 12(10), 2937; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102937 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 172
Abstract
Urban runoff (re)mobilises solids present on the street surface and transport them to urban drainage systems. The solids reduce the hydraulic capacity of the drainage system due to sedimentation and on the quality of receiving water bodies due to discharges via outfalls and [...] Read more.
Urban runoff (re)mobilises solids present on the street surface and transport them to urban drainage systems. The solids reduce the hydraulic capacity of the drainage system due to sedimentation and on the quality of receiving water bodies due to discharges via outfalls and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) of solids and associated pollutants. To reduce these impacts, gully pots, the entry points of the drainage system, are typically equipped with a sand trap, which acts as a small settling tank to remove suspended solids. This study presents data obtained using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) measurements in a scale 1:1 gully to quantify the relation between parameters such as the gully pot geometry, discharge, sand trap depth, and sediment bed level on the flow field and subsequently the settling and erosion processes. The results show that the dynamics of the morphology of the sediment bed influences the flow pattern and the removal efficiency in a significant manner, prohibiting the conceptualization of a gully pot as a completely mixed reactor. Resuspension is initiated by the combination of both high turbulent fluctuations and high mean flow, which is present when a substantial bed level is present. In case of low bed levels, the overlaying water protects the sediment bed from erosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Modelling in Hydraulics Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential for Water Banking in Australia’s Murray–Darling Basin to Increase Drought Resilience
Water 2020, 12(10), 2936; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102936 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Banking water in aquifers during wet years for long-term storage then recovering it in drought is an application of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) that minimises evaporation losses. This requires a suitable aquifer for long-term storage of banked water and occasional periods when entitlements [...] Read more.
Banking water in aquifers during wet years for long-term storage then recovering it in drought is an application of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) that minimises evaporation losses. This requires a suitable aquifer for long-term storage of banked water and occasional periods when entitlements to surface water are available and affordable. This has been widely practised in Arizona and California but thus far not in Australia, in spite of severe impacts on agriculture, society, and the environment during recent droughts in the Murray–Darling Basin. This preliminary study based on a simple area exclusion analysis using six variables, some on a 90 m grid, over the 1 million km2 basin produced a first estimate of the order of 2–4 × 109 m3 of additional aquifer storage potential in surficial aquifers close to rivers. For 6 of the 23 catchments evaluated, banking capacity exceeded an average water depth of 0.3 m for the irrigated area. At one prospective site in the Macquarie River catchment in New South Wales, water banking operations at various scales were simulated using 55 years of historical monthly hydrologic data, with recharge and recovery triggered by dam storage levels. This showed that the estimated 300 × 106 m3 additional local aquifer capacity could be fully utilised with a recharge and recovery capacity of 6 × 106 m3/month, and recharge occurred in 67% of months and recovery in 7% of months. A novel simulation of water banking with recharge and recovery triggered by water trading prices using 11 years of data gave a benefit cost ratio of ≈ 2. Data showed that water availability for recharge was a tighter constraint on water banking than aquifer storage capacity at this location. The analysis reveals that water banking merits further consideration in the Murray–Darling Basin. Firstly, management across hydrologically connected systems requires accounting for surface water and groundwater entitlements and allocations at the appropriate scale, as well as developing equitable economic and regulatory arrangements. Of course, site-specific assessment of water availability and hydrogeological suitability would be needed prior to construction of demonstration projects to support full-scale implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Natural Organic Matter on the Ozonation Mechanism of Trimethoprim in Water
Water 2020, 12(10), 2935; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102935 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 169
Abstract
Trimethoprim (TMP) is often used for the treatment of various bacterial infections. It can be detected in water, and it is difficult to be biodegraded. In this study, the degradation mechanism of TMP through ozonation and the effect of humic acids (HA) were [...] Read more.
Trimethoprim (TMP) is often used for the treatment of various bacterial infections. It can be detected in water, and it is difficult to be biodegraded. In this study, the degradation mechanism of TMP through ozonation and the effect of humic acids (HA) were investigated. Excessive ozone (pH 6, 0 °C) could reduce the content of TMP to less than 1% in 30 s. However, when ozone (O3) was not excessive (pH 6, 20 °C), the removal efficiency of TMP increased with the increase of O3 concentration. Four possible degradation pathways of TMP in the process of ozonation were speculated: hydroxylation, demethylation, carbonylation, and cleavage. The presence of HA in water inhibit the generation of ozonation products of TMP. The excitation-emission matrices (EEM) analysis showed that with the extension of ozonation time, the fluorescence value in the solution decreased and the fluorescence peak blue shifted. These results indicated that the structure of HA changed in the reaction and was competitively degraded with TMP. According to the free radical quenching test, the products of pyrolysis, direct hydroxylation and demethylation were mainly produced by indirect oxidation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Aquatic Insects and Benthic Diatoms: A History of Biotic Relationships in Freshwater Ecosystems
Water 2020, 12(10), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102934 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 199
Abstract
The most important environmental characteristic in streams is flow. Due to the force of water current, most ecological processes and taxonomic richness in streams mainly occur in the riverbed. Benthic algae (mainly diatoms) and benthic macroinvertebrates (mainly aquatic insects) are among the most [...] Read more.
The most important environmental characteristic in streams is flow. Due to the force of water current, most ecological processes and taxonomic richness in streams mainly occur in the riverbed. Benthic algae (mainly diatoms) and benthic macroinvertebrates (mainly aquatic insects) are among the most important groups in running water biodiversity, but relatively few studies have investigated their complex relationships. Here, we review the multifaceted interactions between these two important groups of lotic organisms. As the consumption of benthic algae, especially diatoms, was one of the earliest and most common trophic habits among aquatic insects, they then had to adapt to the particular habitat occupied by the algae. The environmental needs of diatoms have morphologically and behaviorally shaped their scrapers, leading to impressive evolutionary convergences between even very distant groups. Other less evident interactions are represented by the importance of insects, both in preimaginal and adult stages, in diatom dispersion. In addition, the top-down control of diatoms by their grazers contributes to their spatial organization and functional composition within the periphyton. Indeed, relationships between aquatic insects and diatoms are an important topic of study, scarcely investigated, the onset of which, hundreds of millions of years ago, has profoundly influenced the evolution of stream biological communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Macroinvertebrates: Main Gaps and Future Trends)
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Open AccessArticle
Biochar from Agricultural by-Products for the Removal of Lead and Cadmium from Drinking Water
Water 2020, 12(10), 2933; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102933 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
This study reports the adsorption capacity of lead Pb2+ and cadmium Cd2+ of biochar obtained from: peanut shell (BCM), “chonta” pulp (BCH) and corn cob (BZM) calcined at 500, 600 and 700 °C, respectively. The optimal adsorbent dose, pH, maximum adsorption [...] Read more.
This study reports the adsorption capacity of lead Pb2+ and cadmium Cd2+ of biochar obtained from: peanut shell (BCM), “chonta” pulp (BCH) and corn cob (BZM) calcined at 500, 600 and 700 °C, respectively. The optimal adsorbent dose, pH, maximum adsorption capacity and adsorption kinetics were evaluated. The biochar with the highest Pb2+ and Cd2+ removal capacity is obtained from the peanut shell (BCM) calcined at 565 °C in 45 min. The optimal experimental conditions were: 14 g L−1 (dose of sorbent) and pH between 5 and 7. The sorption experimental data were best fitted to the Freundlich isotherm model. High removal rates were obtained: 95.96% for Pb2+ and 99.05. for Cd2+. The BCH and BZM revealed lower efficiency of Pb2+ and Cd2+ removal than BCM biochar. The results suggest that biochar may be useful for the removal of heavy metals (Pb2+ and Cd2+) from drinking water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofiltration and Physicochemical Filtration for Water Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Redox Dependent Arsenic Occurrence and Partitioning in an Industrial Coastal Aquifer: Evidence from High Spatial Resolution Characterization of Groundwater and Sediments
Water 2020, 12(10), 2932; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102932 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Superlative levels of arsenic (As) in groundwater and sediment often result from industrial pollution, as is the case for a coastal aquifer in Southern Italy, with a fertilizer plant atop. Understanding conditions under which As is mobilized from the sediments, the source of [...] Read more.
Superlative levels of arsenic (As) in groundwater and sediment often result from industrial pollution, as is the case for a coastal aquifer in Southern Italy, with a fertilizer plant atop. Understanding conditions under which As is mobilized from the sediments, the source of that As, is necessary for developing effective remediation plans. Here, we examine hydrogeological and geochemical factors that affect groundwater As concentrations in a contaminated coastal aquifer. Groundwater has been subject to pump-and-treat at a massive scale for more than 15 years and is still ongoing. Nevertheless, As concentrations (0.01 to 100 mg/L) that are four orders of magnitude more than Italian drinking water standard of 10 μg/L are still present in groundwater collected from about 50 monitoring wells over three years (2011, 2016, and 2018). As was quantified in three different locations by sequential extractions of 29 sediment cores in 2018 (depth 2.5 m to −16.5 m b.g.l.), combined with groundwater As composition, the aqueous and solid partitioning of As were evaluated by partition coefficient (Kd) in order to infer the evolution of the contaminant plumes. Most sediment As is found in easily extractable and/or adsorbed on amorphous iron oxides/hydroxides fractions based on sequential extractions. The study shows that As contamination persists, even after many years of active remediation due to the partitioning to sediment solids. This implies that the choice of remediation techniques requires an improved understanding of the biogeochemical As-cycling and high spatial resolution characterization of both aqueous and solid phases for sites of interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater and Contaminant Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Ground Temperature Changes by the Operation of the Geothermal Heat Pump System and Climate Change in Korea
Water 2020, 12(10), 2931; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102931 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 201
Abstract
To evaluate long-term temperature changes caused by the operation of a geothermal heat pump (GHP) system, temperatures near borehole heat exchangers (BHEs) of the GHP system in Korea were measured. The temperature measurements showed increasing rates of 0.135 °C/year at a depth of [...] Read more.
To evaluate long-term temperature changes caused by the operation of a geothermal heat pump (GHP) system, temperatures near borehole heat exchangers (BHEs) of the GHP system in Korea were measured. The temperature measurements showed increasing rates of 0.135 °C/year at a depth of 10 m and 0.118 °C/year at a depth of 50 m for approximately 10 years. Simulations for the analysis of climate change effects on measured temperature fluctuations showed that a rate of temperature increase was 0.010 °C/year at a depth of 50 m owing to changes in surface air temperatures (SATs). From two-dimensional heat transfer simulations, the discharged heat measuring 16.7 W/m in the cooling season and extracted heat measuring 12.4 W/m in the heating season could cause an annual mean temperature increase of 0.109 °C over approximately 10 years. Additionally, results of simulations for future prediction of ground temperatures assuming that the GHP system retains its level of operation showed that in 2050, temperature at a depth of 50 m will increase by approximately 3.00 °C from that in 2005. Thus, balancing the heat discharged into and extracted from the ground by considering climate change to minimize long-term changes in the ground temperature is necessary. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simulation of Water-Use Efficiency of Crops under Different Irrigation Strategies
Water 2020, 12(10), 2930; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102930 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 251
Abstract
Irrigation management is a key factor in attaining optimal yields, as different irrigation strategies lead to different yields even when using the same amount of water or under the same weather conditions. Our research aimed to simulate the water-use efficiency (WUE) of crops [...] Read more.
Irrigation management is a key factor in attaining optimal yields, as different irrigation strategies lead to different yields even when using the same amount of water or under the same weather conditions. Our research aimed to simulate the water-use efficiency (WUE) of crops considering different irrigation strategies in the Central Valley of Chile. By means of AquaCrop-OS, we simulated expected yields for combinations of crops (maize, sugar beet, wheat), soil (clay loam, loam, silty clay loam, and silty loam), and bulk density. Thus, we tested four watering strategies: rainfed, soil moisture-based irrigation, irrigation with a fixed interval every 1, 3, 5, and 7 days, and an algorithm for optimal irrigation scheduling under water supply constraints (GET-OPTIS). The results showed that an efficient irrigation strategy must account for soil and crop characteristics. Among the tested strategies, GET-OPTIS led to the best performance for crop yield, water use, water-use efficiency, and profit, followed by the soil moisture-based strategy. Thus, soil type has an important influence on the yield and performance of different irrigation strategies, as it provides a significant storage and buffer for plants, making it possible to produce “more crop per drop”. This work can serve as a methodological guide for simulating the water-use efficiency of crops and can be used alongside evidence from the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Scarcity)
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Open AccessArticle
A Theoretical Study about Ergodicity Issues in Predicting Contaminant Plume Evolution in Aquifers
Water 2020, 12(10), 2929; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102929 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 167
Abstract
A large-time Eulerian–Lagrangian stochastic approach is employed to: (1) estimate centroid position uncertainty of contaminant plumes that originate from instantaneous point sources in statistically stationary and isotropic porous formations; (2) assess the time needed for achieving ergodic conditions, which would allow for the [...] Read more.
A large-time Eulerian–Lagrangian stochastic approach is employed to: (1) estimate centroid position uncertainty of contaminant plumes that originate from instantaneous point sources in statistically stationary and isotropic porous formations; (2) assess the time needed for achieving ergodic conditions, which would allow for the evaluation of local concentration values based on the only ensemble mean distribution; (3) derive the concentration coefficient of variation (CV) as a function of asymptotic macro-dispersion coefficients and centroid trajectory variances. The results indicate that the decay time of plume position uncertainty is so large that there is practically no chance for effective ergodicity. The concentration coefficient of variation is zero at the centroid but rapidly increases when moving away from it. The dissipative effect of local dispersion in the presence of relatively high Péclet numbers is considerably exalted by marked flow field heterogeneity, which confirms the previously postulated synergic, non-additive effect of advection and local dispersion in passive solute dilution. A further result from this study is the derivation of the power law that relates dimensionless concentration micro-scale to dimensionless local dispersive area. The exponent of this power law is the same that appears in the relationship between dimensionless Kolmogorov turbulent micro-scale and flow Reynolds number. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
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Open AccessArticle
An Interactive Data Visualization Framework for Exploring Geospatial Environmental Datasets and Model Predictions
Water 2020, 12(10), 2928; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102928 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
With the rise of large-scale environmental models comes new challenges for how we best utilize this information in research, management and decision making. Interactive data visualizations can make large and complex datasets easier to access and explore, which can lead to knowledge discovery, [...] Read more.
With the rise of large-scale environmental models comes new challenges for how we best utilize this information in research, management and decision making. Interactive data visualizations can make large and complex datasets easier to access and explore, which can lead to knowledge discovery, hypothesis formation and improved understanding. Here, we present a web-based interactive data visualization framework, the Interactive Catchment Explorer (ICE), for exploring environmental datasets and model outputs. Using a client-based architecture, the ICE framework provides a highly interactive user experience for discovering spatial patterns, evaluating relationships between variables and identifying specific locations using multivariate criteria. Through a series of case studies, we demonstrate the application of the ICE framework to datasets and models associated with three separate research projects covering different regions in North America. From these case studies, we provide specific examples of the broader impacts that tools like these can have, including fostering discussion and collaboration among stakeholders and playing a central role in the iterative process of data collection, analysis and decision making. Overall, the ICE framework demonstrates the potential benefits and impacts of using web-based interactive data visualization tools to place environmental datasets and model outputs directly into the hands of stakeholders, managers, decision makers and other researchers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Evaluation of the Combined Machine Learning Models for the Prediction of Dam Inflow
Water 2020, 12(10), 2927; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102927 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 196
Abstract
Predicting dam inflow is necessary for effective water management. This study created machine learning algorithms to predict the amount of inflow into the Soyang River Dam in South Korea, using weather and dam inflow data for 40 years. A total of six algorithms [...] Read more.
Predicting dam inflow is necessary for effective water management. This study created machine learning algorithms to predict the amount of inflow into the Soyang River Dam in South Korea, using weather and dam inflow data for 40 years. A total of six algorithms were used, as follows: decision tree (DT), multilayer perceptron (MLP), random forest (RF), gradient boosting (GB), recurrent neural network–long short-term memory (RNN–LSTM), and convolutional neural network–LSTM (CNN–LSTM). Among these models, the multilayer perceptron model showed the best results in predicting dam inflow, with the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) value of 0.812, root mean squared errors (RMSE) of 77.218 m3/s, mean absolute error (MAE) of 29.034 m3/s, correlation coefficient (R) of 0.924, and determination coefficient (R2) of 0.817. However, when the amount of dam inflow is below 100 m3/s, the ensemble models (random forest and gradient boosting models) performed better than MLP for the prediction of dam inflow. Therefore, two combined machine learning (CombML) models (RF_MLP and GB_MLP) were developed for the prediction of the dam inflow using the ensemble methods (RF and GB) at precipitation below 16 mm, and the MLP at precipitation above 16 mm. The precipitation of 16 mm is the average daily precipitation at the inflow of 100 m3/s or more. The results show the accuracy verification results of NSE 0.857, RMSE 68.417 m3/s, MAE 18.063 m3/s, R 0.927, and R2 0.859 in RF_MLP, and NSE 0.829, RMSE 73.918 m3/s, MAE 18.093 m3/s, R 0.912, and R2 0.831 in GB_MLP, which infers that the combination of the models predicts the dam inflow the most accurately. CombML algorithms showed that it is possible to predict inflow through inflow learning, considering flow characteristics such as flow regimes, by combining several machine learning algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Benefits and Economical Sustainability of Urban Wastewater Reuse for Irrigation—A Cost-Benefit Analysis of an Existing Reuse Project in Puglia, Italy
Water 2020, 12(10), 2926; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102926 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Besides benefits associated to increased water availability for irrigation, reuse projects of urban water can also provide positive environmental impacts, as they contribute to improve water quality of the receiving bodies by diverting wastewater from their outlet. This represents a typical win-win situation [...] Read more.
Besides benefits associated to increased water availability for irrigation, reuse projects of urban water can also provide positive environmental impacts, as they contribute to improve water quality of the receiving bodies by diverting wastewater from their outlet. This represents a typical win-win situation where significant synergies can be achieved between urban and agricultural sector, and the environment. These favorable conditions, however, do not necessarily imply that water reuse is either feasible from an economic perspective nor that the underlying supply chain is going to be triggered, if certain conditions are not met. Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is considered a sound, theoretically well-grounded tool to analyze the financial and economical sustainability of an investment. The paper presents the CBA of an existing reuse scheme in Puglia, in southern Italy, reclaiming wastewater for irrigation from a coastal area with growing recreational, beach-related activities. Supported by operational data, official statistics and sector documents, the CBA reveals that in almost all scenarios the existence of environmental benefits must be invoked in order to consider the project economically sustainable. Coherent screening of the different impacts, isolating the ones that are applicable to the specific case-study, shows that these benefits are mainly non-use benefits related to the aesthetic enjoyment of clean water in the reclaimed stretch of coastline where wastewater discharge may no longer take place or take place in a way that significantly reduce seawater pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Regulation and the Role of Natural Risk Knowledge to Promote Sustainable Low Enthalpy Geothermal Energy Utilization
Water 2020, 12(10), 2925; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102925 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 410
Abstract
The use of geothermal energy resources to support anthropogenic activities have a long-lasting tradition, renewed in recent decades with the increasing use of low enthalpy geothermal energy (LEG) with combined systems of heat pumps and geothermal exchange, exploiting the enormous thermal capacity and [...] Read more.
The use of geothermal energy resources to support anthropogenic activities have a long-lasting tradition, renewed in recent decades with the increasing use of low enthalpy geothermal energy (LEG) with combined systems of heat pumps and geothermal exchange, exploiting the enormous thermal capacity and very low temperature variability of subsoil, including rocks and water. The further potential global increase of LEG use could be enormous, although LEG is already the main geothermal energy sources in Europe, contributing significantly to reach 2030 UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) on renewable energy resources, as a further leg to support all necessary efforts for these scopes. This research pursues LEG spreading improving knowledge on limitations of guidelines, technical regulations and/or laws, briefly rules, especially in terms of potential risks or limitations due to environmental constrains or natural phenomena. A global documentary research, including scientific articles, books, technical reports from qualified institutions, technical standards, guidelines, regulations, and laws, was realized with three different groups of keywords. A total of 161 documents were selected after some steps, including quality check. Identical English and Italian keyword sets were used to span from an international global scale to the complex local scale which characterizes the Italian experience. A complex sheet was filled in for each document, supporting data discussion, planned with a geographical criterion, from global to local. The system of rules resulted worldwide inhomogeneous and complex, with high differences from countries, nations or regions, also at local scale. The low quality or the absence of simple and careful “rules” emerged an important obstacle to LEG diffusion that can guarantee sustainability and the absence of natural risks. Main virtuous systems of rules were recognized as very useful to promote LEG spreading but these are still uncommon. The discussion of optimal experiences and the overview of potential natural risks due to LEG complete the paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Riverine Nitrogen and Phosphorus at Different Catchment Scales in Huixian Karst Wetland, Southwest China
Water 2020, 12(10), 2924; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102924 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 215
Abstract
Spatio-temporal dynamics of riverine nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in karst regions are closely linked to hydrological conditions, human activities and karst features in upstream catchments. From October 2017 to September 2019, we undertook 22 sampling campaigns in 11 nested catchments ranging from [...] Read more.
Spatio-temporal dynamics of riverine nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in karst regions are closely linked to hydrological conditions, human activities and karst features in upstream catchments. From October 2017 to September 2019, we undertook 22 sampling campaigns in 11 nested catchments ranging from 21.00 to 373.37 km2 in Huixian karst wetland to quantify forms, concentrations, and fluxes of riverine total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP), and to identify spatial and temporal variations of nutrients transfer from upstream to downstream, tributaries (Mudong River and Huixian River) to the main stem (Xiangsi River) in the dry and wet seasons. Considering the hydrological conditions, human activities and karst features within upstream catchments, the following three spatial and temporal variations of riverine nutrients were found over the monitoring period: (1) the dynamics of riverine nitrogen and phosphorus varied seasonally with hydrological conditions; (2) the spatial disparities of riverine nitrogen and phosphorus were induced by different human activities within catchment scales; (3) the dynamics of riverine nitrogen and phosphorus varied similarly at spatial scale restricted by karst features. The findings from this study may improve our understanding of the influence of hydrological conditions, human activities and karst features on nitrogen and phosphorus variations in river waters at different spatial and temporal scales in the Huixian karst wetland basin, and will help managers to protect and restore river water environments in karst basin from a catchment-scale perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination)
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