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Sustainable Water Resources Management under Environmental Changes: Progresses, Challenges and Opportunities

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 5865

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Resources and Geosciences, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Interests: hydrological modeling in a changing environment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Departamento de Geología, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Atacama, Avenida Copayapu 485, Copiapó, Región de Atacama, Chile
2. Centro de Excelencia de Geotermia de los Andes (CEGA), Universidad de Chile, Plaza Ercilla 803, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Interests: geochemistry; hydrogeology; volcanology; geothermal; lithium deposits in the salt flats; hydrological systems in the arid and semi-arid areas; environmental contamination; geology and sustainable development

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Environment, VNUHCM University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
Interests: catchment hydrology; hydrological modeling; water resources management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are confronted with the challenges of effectively managing resources to better achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the twenty-first century, especially for sustainable water use, energy use and agricultural practices. As everyone knows, water (W), energy (E) and food (F) are necessary for any meaningful development, and their interactions (known as the WEF nexus) have become central to discussions regarding the development and subsequent monitoring of the SDGs. As one of three key elements, water scarcity has become a critical problem for socio-economic development for multiple countries in the world, especially for these developing countries without techniques, funds and adaptive measures for sustainable use of water resources. Currently, sustainable water management has become increasingly challenging due to the complexities and vulnerabilities arising from the functioning of hydrological cycles, socio-economic factors, and diverse stakeholder perspectives, needs, values, and concerns associated with the use of water for various purposes. Certainly, the management of water resources for sustainable use and economic development is a technically and politically difficult challenge for societies due to the rapid urbanization processes, and the effects of environmental changes, including global warming and climate change, as well as population growth and geopolitical instabilities. The complex interactions and dynamic feedbacks between socio-economic and environmental systems make it difficult to understand the potential consequences of decisions under ongoing environmental changes.

Hence, this Special Issue (SI) is dedicated to “Sustainable Water Resources Management under Environmental Changes: Progresses, Challenges and Opportunities” and seeks to capture cutting-edge research and practices from researchers, practitioners, water managers, and decision-makers. We would like to provide a comprehensive collection of such water-related research contributions with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination and application of research results. In this SI, we would like to call for original papers that address the recent advances, future challenges and potential direction on the subject of sustainable water resources management from technological, economic, managerial and societal perspectives. We are also looking for papers that analyze current and/or future water resources sustainability levels at the global, country, and intra- and inter-country levels. We welcome submitted manuscripts that focus on, but are not limited to, any of the following topics:

  • Water security and extreme events
  • Urban water resources management
  • Groundwater management
  • Agricultural water management
  • Integrated water resources management
  • Sustainabliable water use
  • Water resources carrying capacity
  • Water supply and demand
  • Water resources optimal allocation
  • Water planning and management
  • Water consumption and conservation
  • Water footprint assessment
  • Water–Energy–Food Nexus

The full research articles, reviews and shorter commentaries/communications from practitioners are welcome. Submissions of state-of-the-art reviews, novel methodological contributions and case studies, and global-scale analyses of sustainable water resources management are strongly encouraged.

Dr. Xiaomeng Song
Dr. Xiaojun Wang
Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Alam
Dr. Dao Nguyen Khoi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water security
  • water resources management
  • water use
  • water consumption
  • water supply and demand
  • water footprint
  • Water-Energy-Food nexus
  • sustainable management

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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25 pages, 7882 KiB  
Article
Multi-Level Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation for Water Resources Carrying Capacity in Xuzhou City, China
by Ying Zhang, Xiaomeng Song, Xiaojun Wang, Zhifeng Jin and Feng Chen
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411369 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
Water resources, as an essential natural resource, plays an irreplaceable role in the ecological environment, social economy, and human survival. Water resource carrying capacity (WRCC), as an important indicator of sustainable development, has been widely used to assess the capacity of water resources [...] Read more.
Water resources, as an essential natural resource, plays an irreplaceable role in the ecological environment, social economy, and human survival. Water resource carrying capacity (WRCC), as an important indicator of sustainable development, has been widely used to assess the capacity of water resources to support economic and social development. Using Xuzhou City as a case study, the sustainable capacity of water resources in the current (from 2012 to 2020) and future (projected scenarios in 2025 and 2030) stages were investigated by constructing a multi-level fuzzy-based evaluation model. The results indicated that the average WRCC score is 0.4388 in Xuzhou City, ranging from 0.2908 to 0.6330, with a significant decline in the score value of 0.4644 in 2019 but an apparent improvement in WRCC from 2012 to 2020. However, the continued pressure on water resources sustainable development is unchanged in Xuzhou, according to the projected assessment of WRCC in 2025 and 2030. Overall, the WRCC in Xuzhou City will be overloaded under future development scenarios, i.e., sustainable development mode (Scenario A), water conservation mode (Scenario B), rapid socioeconomic development mode (Scenario C), and adjustment of industrial structure mode (Scenario D). Thus, several measures, such as industrial restructuring and water conservation and utilization, should be conducted to enhance the carrying capacity of regional water resources and ensure the quality and sustainability of regional social and economic development. The results can provide a reference for the rational utilization of water resources in Xuzhou and are of some significance in promoting the city’s coordinated socioeconomic growth. Full article
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16 pages, 3316 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Decoupling State and Driving Effects of Economic Development and Production Water Use in Jiangsu Province, China
by Tianzi Zhang, Xiaojun Wang, Guangping Qi, Shamsuddin Shahid, Yanxia Kang, Hao Wu and Xiangning Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10258; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310258 - 28 Jun 2023
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Identifying the evolutionary patterns and drivers of regional water use is a prerequisite for achieving the strictest water resource management system. This study used the Tapio-LMDI model to analyze the decoupling state and driving factors between economic development and production water use in [...] Read more.
Identifying the evolutionary patterns and drivers of regional water use is a prerequisite for achieving the strictest water resource management system. This study used the Tapio-LMDI model to analyze the decoupling state and driving factors between economic development and production water use in Jiangsu Province from 2004 to 2020. The results show that: (1) From the evolution of the water use structure, the total water use in Jiangsu Province shows a decreasing trend from 2004 to 2020. Among them, the production water use decreased by 9.59%. From the characteristics of economic development (constant prices), the growth of Jiangsu’s gross regional product (GDP) from 2004 to 2020 reached 363%. (2) In terms of the decoupling status, economic development and production water use in Jiangsu Province underwent a “weak decoupling—strongly decoupling” transition and achieved “strongly decoupling” in 2020, with a decoupling elasticity coefficient of −2.30. (3) From the perspective of the decoupling drivers, the reduction in production effects has contributed to the decoupling between economic growth and water use in Jiangsu Province. By sector, the decline in the water use intensity effect and the industrial structure effect in the primary and secondary sectors were the main reason for the decline in its water use, while the increase in the industrial structure effect and economic scale effect of the tertiary sector has effectively contributed to the increase in water use in the tertiary sector. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve the water use efficiency of the primary and secondary sectors, accelerate the transformation and upgrading of the tertiary sector, and realize a “strongly decoupling” pattern between economic development and production water use in Jiangsu Province. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 2329 KiB  
Review
A Literature Review on System Dynamics Modeling for Sustainable Management of Water Supply and Demand
by Khawar Naeem, Adel Zghibi, Adel Elomri, Annamaria Mazzoni and Chefi Triki
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6826; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086826 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3062
Abstract
Water supply and demand management (WSDM) is essential for developing sustainable cities and societies. WSDM is only effective when tackled from the perspective of a holistic system understanding that considers social, environmental, hydrological, and economic (SEHEc) sub-systems. System dynamics modeling (SDM) is recommended [...] Read more.
Water supply and demand management (WSDM) is essential for developing sustainable cities and societies. WSDM is only effective when tackled from the perspective of a holistic system understanding that considers social, environmental, hydrological, and economic (SEHEc) sub-systems. System dynamics modeling (SDM) is recommended by water resource researchers as it models the biophysical and socio-economic systems simultaneously. This study presents a comprehensive literature review of SDM applications in sustainable WSDM. The reviewed articles were methodologically analyzed considering SEHEc sub-systems and the type of modeling approach used. This study revealed that problem conceptualization using the causal loop diagram (CLD) was performed in only 58% of the studies. Moreover, 70% of the reviewed articles used the stock flow diagram (SFD) to perform a quantitative system analysis. Furthermore, stakeholder engagement plays a significant role in understanding the core issues and divergent views and needs of users, but it was incorporated by only 36% of the studies. Although climate change significantly affects water management strategies, only 51% of the reviewed articles considered it. Although the scenario analysis is supported by simulation models, they further require the optimization models to yield optimal key parameter values. One noticeable finding is that only 12% of the articles used quantitative models to complement SDM for the decision-making process. The models included agent-based modeling (ABM), Bayesian networking (BN), analytical hierarchy approach (AHP), and simulation optimization multi-objective optimization (MOO). The solution approaches included the genetic algorithm (GA), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II). The key findings for the sustainable development of water resources included the per capita water reduction, water conservation through public awareness campaigns, the use of treated wastewater, the adoption of efficient irrigation practices including drip irrigation, the cultivation of low-water-consuming crops in water-stressed regions, and regulations to control the overexploitation of groundwater. In conclusion, it is established that SDM is an effective tool for devising strategies that enable sustainable water supply and demand management. Full article
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