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Special Issue "Sustainable Water and Land Management to Build Resilience against Climatic Shocks and Other Stressors"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Spatial Science Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Interests: computational modeling of hydrology; water quality and spatial sciences problems; development and worldwide application of the SWAT model
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Yihun Dile
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Spatial Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Ecosystem Sciences and Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Interests: hydrology; agriculture; water management; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Shashidhar Thatikonda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Sangareddy, India
Interests: bioremediation; contaminant transport modeling; environmental hydraulics; hydrology; hydro-climatology; remote sensing and GIS applications; waste water treatment; solid and hazardous waste management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Tasuku Kato
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ecoregion Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8538, Japan
Interests: agriculture; water quality; irrigation and drainage; watershed management; simulation model
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability is an international multidisciplinary peer-reviewed open access journal on the topic of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human lifestyle. The journal provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development. Watershed modeling has been used as a key tool in assessing the sustainability of water and land resources management. Findings from the modeling studies have played a significant role in the decision-making process for a sustainable planet.

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is one of the best biophysical modeling tools. It has the capability to simulate hydrology, soil erosion, pollutant transport, and crop growth. SWAT can predict the impact of land use/land cover, land management, and climate changes on different biophysical processes. SWAT enables various scenario analyses, which are useful to explore sustainable water and land management options.

Sustainability is planning to publish a Special Issue based on selected papers presented in the 2019 and 2020 SWAT international conferences. Participants who present compelling conference papers in these conferences are encouraged to submit well-prepared manuscripts to this Special Issue. Other manuscripts which have high quality and that align well with the scope of this issue can be submitted. The scope of the Special Issue may include:

  • Sustainable intensification of water and land management for better livelihoods;
  • Estimating ecosystem services using models;
  • Sustainable management practices to cope the challenges of land use/land cover change and climate change;
  • Building resilience against climatic shocks and other stressors; and
  • Improving modeling approaches for sustainable water and land management.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer review process while thriving for fast dissemination of research findings, developments, and applications.

Prof. Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan
Dr. Yihun Taddele Dile
Prof. Dr. Shashidhar Thatikonda
Prof. Dr. Tasuku Kato
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 papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access 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 1900 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

  • sustainability
  • ecosystem services
  • resilience
  • hydrology
  • water management
  • best management practices
  • land use/land cover change
  • climate change

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Utility of Remotely Sensed Evapotranspiration Products to Assess an Improved Model Structure
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2375; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042375 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
There is a certain level of predictive uncertainty when hydrologic models are applied for operational purposes. Whether structural improvements address uncertainty has not well been evaluated due to the lack of observational data. This study investigated the utility of remotely sensed evapotranspiration (RS-ET) [...] Read more.
There is a certain level of predictive uncertainty when hydrologic models are applied for operational purposes. Whether structural improvements address uncertainty has not well been evaluated due to the lack of observational data. This study investigated the utility of remotely sensed evapotranspiration (RS-ET) products to quantitatively represent improvements in model predictions owing to structural improvements. Two versions of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), representative of original and improved versions, were calibrated against streamflow and RS-ET. The latter version contains a new soil moisture module, referred to as RSWAT. We compared outputs from these two versions with the best performance metrics (Kling–Gupta Efficiency [KGE], Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency [NSE] and Percent-bias [P-bias]). Comparisons were conducted at two spatial scales by partitioning the RS-ET into two scales, while streamflow comparisons were only conducted at one scale. At the watershed level, SWAT and RSWAT produced similar metrics for daily streamflow (NSE of 0.29 and 0.37, P-bias of 1.7 and 15.9, and KGE of 0.47 and 0.49, respectively) and ET (KGE of 0.48 and 0.52, respectively). At the subwatershed level, the KGE of RSWAT (0.53) for daily ET was greater than that of SWAT (0.47). These findings demonstrated that RS-ET has the potential to increase prediction accuracy from model structural improvements and highlighted the utility of remotely sensed data in hydrologic modeling. Full article
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Article
Modeling and Prioritizing Interventions Using Pollution Hotspots for Reducing Nutrients, Atrazine and E. coli Concentrations in a Watershed
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010103 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
Excess nutrients and herbicides remain two major causes of waterbody impairment globally. In an attempt to better understand pollutant sources in the Big Sandy Creek Watershed (BSCW) and the prospects for successful remediation, a program was initiated to assist agricultural producers with the [...] Read more.
Excess nutrients and herbicides remain two major causes of waterbody impairment globally. In an attempt to better understand pollutant sources in the Big Sandy Creek Watershed (BSCW) and the prospects for successful remediation, a program was initiated to assist agricultural producers with the implementation of best management practices (BMPs). The objectives were to (1) simulate BMPs within hotspots to determine reductions in pollutant loads and (2) to determine if water-quality standards are met at the watershed outlet. Regression-based load estimator (LOADEST) was used for determining sediment, nutrient and atrazine loads, while artificial neural networks (ANN) were used for determining E. coli concentrations. With respect to reducing sediment, total nitrogen and total phosphorus loads at hotspots with individual BMPs, implementing grassed waterways resulted in average reductions of 97%, 53% and 65% respectively if implemented all over the hotspots. Although reducing atrazine application rate by 50% in all hotspots was the most effective BMP for reducing atrazine concentrations (21%) at the gauging station 06883940, this reduction was still six times higher than the target concentration. Similarly, with grassed waterways established in all hotspots, the 64% reduction in E. coli concentration was not enough to meet the target at the gauging station. With scaled-down acreage based on the proposed implementation plan, filter strip led to more pollutant reductions at the targeted hotspots. Overall, a combination of filter strip, grassed waterway and atrazine rate reduction will most likely yield measureable improvement both in the hotspots (>20% reduction in sediment, total nitrogen and total phosphorus pollution) and at the gauging station. Despite the model’s uncertainties, the results showed a possibility of using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess the effectiveness of various BMPs in agricultural watersheds. Full article
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Article
Farm-Scale Biofuel Crop Adoption and Its Effects on In-Basin Water Balance
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10596; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410596 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
In the face of future climate change, Europe has encouraged the adoption of biofuel crops by its farmers. Such land-use changes can have significant impacts on the water balance and hydrological behavior of a system. While the heavy pesticide use associated with biofuel [...] Read more.
In the face of future climate change, Europe has encouraged the adoption of biofuel crops by its farmers. Such land-use changes can have significant impacts on the water balance and hydrological behavior of a system. While the heavy pesticide use associated with biofuel crops has been extensively studied, the water balance impacts of these crops have been far less studied. We conducted scenario analyses using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to determine the effects of farm-scale biofuel crop adoption (rapeseed) on a basin’s water balance. We found that rapeseed adoption does not support the goal of developing a sustainable agricultural landscape in the Czech Republic. The adoption of rapeseed also had disproportionate effects on a basin’s water balance depending on its location in the basin. Additionally, discharge (especially surface runoff ratios), evapotranspiration, and available soil water content display significant shifts in the rapeseed adoption scenarios. Full article
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Article
Ecological Stoichiometry Homeostasis of Six Microelements in Leymus chinensis Growing in Soda Saline-Alkali Soil
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104226 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Soil salinization poses severe threats to grassland ecosystems in various parts of the world, including the Songnen Plain in northeast China. Severe impairment of plant growth in this soil is generally attributed to high soil pH, total alkalinity, and sodium (Na) contents. This [...] Read more.
Soil salinization poses severe threats to grassland ecosystems in various parts of the world, including the Songnen Plain in northeast China. Severe impairment of plant growth in this soil is generally attributed to high soil pH, total alkalinity, and sodium (Na) contents. This paper focuses on the ecological stoichiometry of microelements, which has received much less attention than relations of macroelements, in the soil and plants (specifically Leymus chinensis) growing in it. The results show that the soil’s manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and molybdenum (Mo) contents are lower than average in Chinese soils, but only Mn and Zn are severely deficient in L. chinensis. With increases in soil pH, total alkalinity, and Na, the Mo contents in both soil and L. chinensis slightly increase, while contents of the other microelements decline. Homeostasis indices obtained for the six microelements—and Fe/Zn, Fe/Ni, Fe/Cu, and Cu/Zn ratios—were all between 0.82 and 3.34 (ranging from just below the “plastic” threshold to “weakly homeostatic”). Despite Zn deficiency in the soil, Zn appears to have the highest homeostasis of the six elements in L. chinensis (homeostasis indices of Zn, Cu, Ni, Mn, Fe and Mo were 3.34, 2.54, 1.86, 1.76, 1.52, and 1.33, respectively). In addition, the Cu/Zn ratio had the highest homeostasis index (1.85), followed by Fe/Zn (1.02), Fe/Cu (0.95) and Fe/Ni (0.82). Appropriate application of Mn and Zn fertilizers is recommended to promote the growth and development of L. chinensis in soda saline-alkali soil. Full article
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Article
Improved Model Parameter Transferability Method for Hydrological Simulation with SWAT in Ungauged Mountainous Catchments
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3551; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093551 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 862
Abstract
The sustainability of water resources in mountainous areas has a significant contribution to the stabilization and persistence of the ecological and agriculture systems in arid and semi-arid areas. However, the insufficient understanding of hydrological processes in ungauged mountainous catchments (UMCs) is not able [...] Read more.
The sustainability of water resources in mountainous areas has a significant contribution to the stabilization and persistence of the ecological and agriculture systems in arid and semi-arid areas. However, the insufficient understanding of hydrological processes in ungauged mountainous catchments (UMCs) is not able to scientifically support the sustainable management of water resources. The conventional parameter transferability method (transplanting the parameters of the donor catchment model with similar distances or attributes to the target catchment model) still has great potential for improving the accuracy of the hydrological simulation in UMC. In this study, 46 river catchments, with discharge survey stations and multi-type catchment characteristics in Xinjiang, are separated into the target catchments and donor catchments to promote an improved model parameter transferability method (IMPTM). This method synthetically processes the SWAT model parameters based on the distance approximation principle (DAP) and the attribute similarity principle (ASP). The performance of this method is tested in a random gauged catchment and compared with other traditional methods (DAP and ASP). The daily runoff simulation results in the target catchment have relatively low accuracy by both the DAP method ( N S = 0.27, R 2 = 0.55) and ASP method ( N S = 0.36, R 2 = 0.65), which implies the conventional approach is not capable of processing the parameters in the target regions. However, the simulation result by IMPTM is a significant improvement ( N S = 0.69, R 2 = 0.85). Moreover, the IMPTM can accurately catch the flow peak, appearance time, and recession curve. The current study provides a compatible method to overcome the difficulties of hydrological simulation in UMCs in the world and can benefit hydrological forecasting and water resource estimation in mountainous areas. Full article
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