Special Issue "Water Resources and Green Growth"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Huimin Wang
Website
Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Business School, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
Interests: management science and system engineering; supply chain and optimal control; economic system analysis; quantitative economics theory and method; water resources system operations and management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Keith W. Hipel, O.C., FRSC, FCAE, FIEEE, FAWRA, FINCOSE, FEIC, FASCE
Website
Guest Editor
Past President, Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J6, CanadaDepartment of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2, Canada
Interests: modeling & simulation; societal & environmental systems; compliance to environmental laws and regulations; conflict resolution; environmental impact assessment; multiple criteria decision making; random processes in the environment; resource allocation; environmental systems management; time series modelling; water
Prof. Dr. Liping Fang, FCAE, FIEEE, FEIC, FCSME
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria StreetToronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Interests: industrial engineering; systems engineering; engineering management; multiple participant-multiple objective decision making; risk analysis; decision analysis; reliability engineering; and decision support systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A significant proportion of the world population faces fresh water shortages to various degrees. It has become a pressing issue around the globe to utilize water resources in a sustainable manner to achieve green growth of the economy and society. As one of the most fundamental and indispensable resources on this planet, water plays an important role in the provision of various products and services to human society. In fact, human needs can be satisfied without sacrificing the long-term availability of water resources, as long as water is utilized efficiently and managed responsibly. This Special Issue aims to address these challenges from a host of angles surrounding water resources and the environment. We welcome theoretical and applied contributions to the general theme of water resources and green growth. Specific topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources
  • Conflict Resolution and Decision-Making
  • Coupled Socio-Economic and Biophysical Modeling
  • Low-Carbon Economy Development
  • Resources and Environmental Green Development
  • Risk Management of Water-Related Disasters
  • Smart Water Services
  • Trade and Environmental Issues
  • Water Rights Management

Prof. Dr. Huimin Wang
Prof. Dr. Keith W. Hipel
Prof. Dr. Liping Fang
Prof. Dr. Kevin W. Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Approach to Measuring Urban Waterlogging Depth from Images Based on Mask Region-Based Convolutional Neural Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2149; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052149 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Quickly obtaining accurate waterlogging depth data is vital in urban flood events, especially for emergency response and risk mitigation. In this study, a novel approach to measure urban waterlogging depth was developed using images from social networks and traffic surveillance video systems. The [...] Read more.
Quickly obtaining accurate waterlogging depth data is vital in urban flood events, especially for emergency response and risk mitigation. In this study, a novel approach to measure urban waterlogging depth was developed using images from social networks and traffic surveillance video systems. The Mask region-based convolutional neural network (Mask R-CNN) model was used to detect tires in waterlogging, which were considered to be reference objects. Then, waterlogging depth was calculated using the height differences method and Pythagorean theorem. The results show that tires detected from images can been used as an effective reference object to calculate waterlogging depth. The Pythagorean theorem method performs better on images from social networks, and the height differences method performs well both on the images from social networks and on traffic surveillance video systems. Overall, the low-cost method proposed in this study can be used to obtain timely waterlogging warning information, and enhance the possibility of using existing social networks and traffic surveillance video systems to perform opportunistic waterlogging sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Objective Optimal Allocation of Urban Water Resources While Considering Conflict Resolution Based on the PSO Algorithm: A Case Study of Kunming, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041337 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
With the rapid increase of water demand in urban life, ecology and production sectors, the problem of water resources allocation has become increasingly prominent. It has hindered the sustainable development of urban areas. Based on the supply of various water sources and the [...] Read more.
With the rapid increase of water demand in urban life, ecology and production sectors, the problem of water resources allocation has become increasingly prominent. It has hindered the sustainable development of urban areas. Based on the supply of various water sources and the water demand of different water users, a multi-objective optimal allocation model for urban water resources was proposed. The model was solved using the algorithm of particle swarm optimization (PSO). The algorithm has a fast convergence and is both simple and efficient. In this paper, the conflict over Kunming’s water resources allocation was taken as an example. The PSO algorithm was used to obtain optimized water resources allocation plans in the year 2020 and 2030, under the circumstances of a dry year (inflow guarantee rate p = 0.825) and an unusually dry year (inflow guarantee rate p = 0.885), respectively. The results showed that those allocation plans can lower the future potential water shortage rates of Kunming. At the same time, the interests of different sectors can all be satisfied. Therefore, conflicts over urban water use can be effectively alleviated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Strategic Insights into the Cauvery River Dispute in India
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041286 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
For hundreds of years, conflicts in water sharing have existed all around the globe. Cauvery River, in the southern part of India, has been in the midst of such conflict for the last 130 years. Historically, the conflict has been about the right [...] Read more.
For hundreds of years, conflicts in water sharing have existed all around the globe. Cauvery River, in the southern part of India, has been in the midst of such conflict for the last 130 years. Historically, the conflict has been about the right to use water and the states/provinces in conflict have used the water from the river for agricultural purposes. Due to industrialization in the late 1980s and increasing population, water availability in the region has become stressed. Climate change has exacerbated the region’s water availability issues. Faltering rainfall has caused unrest in the region, and the traditional methods of water sharing are dwindling under political pressure. Without a climate change strategy, the governments of these states will never be able to solve this complex issue at hand. The Graph Model for Conflict Resolution (GMCR) is applied to understand the nuances of this conflict. It models the preferences of the decision-makers (the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) and the common option (goal) they can reach to potentially solve the conflict. Fuzzy preferences along with option prioritization is also applied to this conflict in order to account for the uncertainties in the decision-makers’ preferences. The purpose of this paper is to nudge decision-makers in a productive direction to overcome the long-impending political standoff, while introducing a new methodology of looking into this old conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Technological Change under Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and Regional Differences: A Case Study of Irrigation Water Use Efficiency Changes in Chinese Provinces
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7103; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247103 - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
Technological changes in water use efficiency directly influence regional sustainable development. However, few studies have attempted to predict changes in water use efficiency because of the complex influencing factors and regional diversity. The Chinese Government has established a target of 0.6 for the [...] Read more.
Technological changes in water use efficiency directly influence regional sustainable development. However, few studies have attempted to predict changes in water use efficiency because of the complex influencing factors and regional diversity. The Chinese Government has established a target of 0.6 for the effective utilization coefficient of irrigation water, but it is not clear how the coefficient will change in different provinces in the future. The purpose of this study is to predict irrigation water use efficiency changes using a conditional convergence model and combined with the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) scenario settings and hydro-economic (HE) classification to group 31 Chinese provinces by their different economic and water resources conditions. The results show that the coefficient exponentially converges to 0.6 in half the provinces under SSP1 (sustainability), SSP2 (middle of the road), and SSP5 (conventional development) by 2030, whereas SSP3 (fragmentation) and SSP4 (inequality) are generally inefficient development pathways. HE-3 provinces (strong economic capacity, substantial hydrological challenges) achieve the greatest efficiency improvements (with all coefficients above 0.6), and SSP1 is a suitable pathway for these provinces. HE-2 provinces (strong economic capacities, low hydrological challenges) have relatively low efficiency because they lack incentives to save water, and SSP1 is also suitable for these provinces. For most HE-1 provinces (low economic capacity, low hydrological challenges), the coefficients are less than 0.6, and efforts are required to enhance their economic capacity under SSP1 or SSP5. HE-4 provinces (low economic capacity, substantial hydrological challenges) would improve efficiency in a cost-efficient manner under SSP2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Soil Properties and Illumination Intensities on Matric Suction of Vegetated Soil
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226475 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Matric suction induced by evapotranspiration is an important parameter for determining the hydraulic mechanisms of vegetation on slope stability. Despite evapotranspiration closely associated with atmospheric parameters and soil conditions, the influence of soil properties and illumination intensities on matric suction of vegetated soil [...] Read more.
Matric suction induced by evapotranspiration is an important parameter for determining the hydraulic mechanisms of vegetation on slope stability. Despite evapotranspiration closely associated with atmospheric parameters and soil conditions, the influence of soil properties and illumination intensities on matric suction of vegetated soil has so far received the least research attention. In this paper, three kinds of soil, namely, fine sandy loam, sandy silt, and silty clay, were selected as experimental soils, and Indigofera amblyantha was chosen as the test plant. The test conditions were controlled, such as the use of homogeneous soil and uniform plant growth conditions. Each specimen was exposed to identical atmospheric conditions controlled in a laboratory for monitoring matric suction responses over 10 days. The results showed that illumination intensities play an important role in evapotranspiration, and the thermal energy from lighting had a direct impact on plant transpiration, whereas the lighting only affected plant photosynthesis. Plant roots in vegetated soil can effectively improve the air intake value of soil, and matric suction induced by plant transpiration in vegetated soil was 1.5–2.0 times that of un-evapotranspirated soil. There is a correlation between matric suction and the silt and clay contents, and the matric suction of silty clay was sensitive to changes in the soil moisture content. Compared to fine sandy loam, the water retention of sandy silt and silty clay was high, and a high level of matric suction was maintained in the corresponding time. The results for predicting soil water evapotranspiration based on matric suction have theoretical and practical significance for preventing soil erosion and shallow landslides. In addition, these results have great guiding significance for agricultural production, such as irrigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Cumulative Environmental Effects of Hydropower Stations Based on the Water Footprint Method—Yalong River Basin, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5958; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215958 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The construction of hydropower stations is not without controversy as they have a certain degree of impact on the ecological environment. Moreover, the water footprint and its cumulative effects on the environment (The relationship between the degree of hydropower development and utilization in [...] Read more.
The construction of hydropower stations is not without controversy as they have a certain degree of impact on the ecological environment. Moreover, the water footprint and its cumulative effects on the environment (The relationship between the degree of hydropower development and utilization in the basin and the environment) of the development and utilization of cascade hydropower stations are incompletely understood. In this paper, we calculate the evaporated water footprint (EWF, water evaporated from reservoirs) and the product water footprint of hydropower stations (PWF, water consumption per unit of electricity production), and the blue water scarcity (BWS, the ratio of the total blue water footprint to blue water availability) based on data from 19 selected hydropower stations in the Yalong River Basin, China. Results show that: (a) the EWFs in established, ongoing, proposed, and planning phases of 19 hydropower stations are 243, 123, 59, and 42 Mm3, respectively; (b) the PWF of 19 hydropower stations varies between 0.01 and 4.49 m3GJ−1, and the average PWF is 1.20 m3GJ−1. These values are quite small when compared with hydropower stations in other basins in the world, and the difference in PWF among different hydropower stations is mainly derived from energy efficiency factor; (c) all the BWS in the Yalong River Basin are below 100% (low blue water scarcity), in which the total blue water footprint is less than 20% of the natural flow, and environmental flow requirements are met. From the perspective of the water footprint method, the cumulative environmental effects of hydropower development and utilization in the Yalong River Basin will not affect the local environmental flow requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Industrial Water Supply and Demand: System Dynamic Model and Simulation Based on Cobb–Douglas Function
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5893; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215893 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In order to meet the needs of water-saving society development, the system dynamics method and the Cobb–Douglas (C–D) production function were combined to build a supply and demand model for urban industrial water use. In this model, the industrial water demand function is [...] Read more.
In order to meet the needs of water-saving society development, the system dynamics method and the Cobb–Douglas (C–D) production function were combined to build a supply and demand model for urban industrial water use. In this model, the industrial water demand function is expressed as the sum of the general industrial water demand and the power industry water demand, the urban water supply function is expressed as the Cobb–Douglas production function, investment and labor input are used as the control variables, and the difference between supply and demand in various situations is simulated by adjusting their values. In addition, the system simulation is conducted for Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, with 16 sets of different, carefully designed investment and labor input combinations for exploring a most suitable combination of industrial water supply and demand in Suzhou. We divide the results of prediction into four categories: supply less than demand, supply equals demand, supply exceeds demand, and supply much larger than demand. The balance between supply and demand is a most suitable setting for Suzhou City to develop, and the next is the type in which the supply exceeds demand. The other two types cannot meet the development requirements. We concluded that it is easier to adjust the investment than to adjust the labor input when adjusting the control variables to change the industrial water supply. While drawing the ideal combination of investment and labor input, a reasonable range of investment and labor input is also provided: the scope of investment adjustment is 0.6 I 0 1.1 I 0 , and the adjustment range of labor input is 0.5 P 0 1.2 P 0 . Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Response of Water Resources to Future Climate Change in a High-Latitude River Basin
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5619; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205619 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Global water resources are affected by climate change as never before. However, it is still unclear how water resources in high latitudes respond to climate change. In this study, the water resource data for 2021–2050 in the Naoli River Basin, a high-latitude basin [...] Read more.
Global water resources are affected by climate change as never before. However, it is still unclear how water resources in high latitudes respond to climate change. In this study, the water resource data for 2021–2050 in the Naoli River Basin, a high-latitude basin in China, are calculated by using the SWAT-Modflow Model and future climate scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The results show a decreasing trend. When compared to the present, future streamflow is predicted to decrease by 2.73 × 108 m3 in 2021–2035 and by 1.51 × 108 m3 in 2036–2050 in the RCP4.5 scenario, and by 8.16 × 108 m3 in 2021–2035 and by 0.56 × 108 m3 in 2036–2050 in the RCP8.5 scenario, respectively. Similarly, groundwater recharge is expected to decrease by −1.79 × 108 m3 in 2021–2035 and −0.75 × 108 m3 in 2036–2050 in the RCP 4.5 scenario, and by −0.62 × 108 m3 in 2021–2035 and −0.12 × 108m3 in 2036–2050 in the RCP 8.5 scenario, respectively. The worst impact of climate change on water resources in the basin could be frequent occurrences of extremely wet and dry conditions. In the RCP 4.5 scenario, the largest annual streamflow is predicted to be almost 14 times that of the smallest one, while it is 18 times for the groundwater recharge. Meanwhile, in the RCP 8.5 scenario, inter-annual fluctuations are expected to be more severe. The difference is 17 times between the largest annual streamflow and the lowest annual one. Moreover, the value is 19 times between the largest and lowest groundwater recharge. This indicates a significant increase in conflict between water use and supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustaining Yield of Winter Wheat under Alternate Irrigation Using Saline Water at Different Growth Stages: A Case Study in the North China Plain
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174564 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Brackish water used for irrigation can restrict crop growth and lead to environmental problems. The alternate irrigation with saline water at different growth stages is still not well understood. Therefore, field trials were conducted during 2015–2018 in the NCP to investigate whether alternate [...] Read more.
Brackish water used for irrigation can restrict crop growth and lead to environmental problems. The alternate irrigation with saline water at different growth stages is still not well understood. Therefore, field trials were conducted during 2015–2018 in the NCP to investigate whether alternate irrigation is practicable for winter wheat production. The treatments comprised rain-fed cultivation (NI), fresh and saline water irrigation (FS), saline and fresh water irrigation (SF), saline water irrigation (SS) and fresh water irrigation (FF). The results showed that the grain yield was increased by 20% under SF and FS treatments compared to NI, while a minor decrease of 2% in grain yield was observed compared with FF treatment. The increased soil salinity and risk of long-term salt accumulation in the soil due to alternate irrigation during peak dry periods was insignificant due to leaching of salts from crop root zone during monsoon season. Although Na+ concentration in the leaves increased with saline irrigation, resulting in significantly lower K+:Na+ ratio in the leaves, the Na+ and K+ concentrations in the roots and grains were not affected. In conclusion, the alternate irrigation for winter wheat is a most promising option to harvest more yield and save fresh water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Simulation of Saline Water Irrigation for Seed Maize in Arid Northwest China Based on SWAP Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164264 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Water resource shortages restrict the economic and societal development of China’s arid northwest. Drawing on groundwater resources for irrigation, field experiments growing seed maize (Zea mays L.) were conducted in 2013 and 2014 in the region’s Shiyang River Basin. The Soil–Water–Atmosphere–Plant (SWAP) [...] Read more.
Water resource shortages restrict the economic and societal development of China’s arid northwest. Drawing on groundwater resources for irrigation, field experiments growing seed maize (Zea mays L.) were conducted in 2013 and 2014 in the region’s Shiyang River Basin. The Soil–Water–Atmosphere–Plant (SWAP) model simulated soil water content, salinity, and water–salt transport, along with seed maize yield, in close agreement with measured values after calibration and validation. The model could accordingly serve to simulate different saline water irrigation scenarios for maize production in the study area. Waters with a salinity exceeding 6.0 mg/cm3 were not suitable for irrigation, whereas those between 3.0 and 5.0 mg/cm3 could be acceptable over a short period of time. Brackish water (0.71–2.0 mg/cm3) could be used with few restrictions. Long-term (five years) simulation of irrigation with saline water (3.0–5.0 mg/cm3) showed soil salinity to increase by over 9.5 mg/cm3 compared to initial levels, while seed maize yield declined by 25.0% compared with irrigation with brackish water (0.71 mg/cm3). An irrigation water salinity of 3.0–5.0 mg/cm3 was, therefore, not suitable for long-term irrigation in the study area. This study addressed significance issues related to saline water irrigation and serves as a guide for future agricultural production practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Bibliometrics Review of Water Footprint Research in China: 2003–2018
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5082; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185082 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
As water security becomes an increasingly important issue, the analysis of the conflict between water supply and demand has gained significance in China. This paper details a bibliometric review of papers published between 2003 and 2018 on the water footprint in China, one [...] Read more.
As water security becomes an increasingly important issue, the analysis of the conflict between water supply and demand has gained significance in China. This paper details a bibliometric review of papers published between 2003 and 2018 on the water footprint in China, one of the global hotspots of water resource research. The tendencies and key points of water footprint research were systematically analyzed based on 1564 articles, comprising 1170 original publications in Chinese from the China National Knowledge Infrastructure database and 394 publications in English from the Web of Science database. The results show that the literature associated with water footprint research has expanded significantly. The number of papers published increased from 104 in 2003–2006 to 735 in 2015–2018. Water footprint research has been applied to agricultural, industrial, and regional water resource management to quantify the impact of human activities on water resources and the environment. Water footprint metrics were extracted for regional comparisons. There are obvious regional characteristics of the water footprint in China, but the uncertainty of results makes further investigation necessary. Further water footprint modeling and field experimental research is needed to explore the water–ecological environment under complex systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
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