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Special Issue "Water Pollution and Lake Ecosystems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Resources and Sustainable Utilization".

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

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jeffrey Thornton
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
International Environmental Management Services Ltd., Olympia WA, USA
Interests: Eutrophication; lake and reservoir management; land use planning; lake response modelling; citizen science; public perceptions of pollution; nonnative species; salinization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Freshwater is a fundamental requisite for sustaining all life on this planet. Lakes and reservoirs constitute the largest reserve of freshwater available to both humans and wildlife. But these reserves of freshwater are increasingly under threat. Threats range from global changes that affect rainfall regimes to local concerns such as contamination from the discharge of human and other wastes to regional concerns created by the intentional and unintentional introduction of nonnative species into the aquatic environment. Chemical contaminants alone include an increasingly broad range of threats ranging from agro-chemicals to pharmaceuticals to petro-chemicals in addition to nutrients and salts and related substances generated by human and natural processes. 

This Special Issue of Sustainability will focus attention on not only the range of threats facing our shared freshwater resources but also on the means and mechanisms for mitigating and moderating these threats so as to ensure continued access to safe water supplies by humans and the natural systems upon which they depend. This necessarily is a broad scope, including not only chemical contaminants but also organisms whose natural ranges have been extended through human vectors. In North America, for example, these biological threats include species such as zebra mussels which have been introduced from Europe, while in Africa these threats include water hyacinth and other plants introduced from around the world. By sharing our knowledge and experiences in identifying concerns, isolating sources, and managing the lakes and reservoirs that are the repositories of contaminants, we can contribute to creating an effective approach to meeting Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals associated with ensuring safe and sustainable waters that meet the needs of both humans and the natural environment upon which we depend. 

This issue of Sustainability seeks to promote access to and sustainable use of our limited freshwater resources by publishing high-quality research papers on the theme of water pollution and lake and reservoir ecosystems from across a range of disciplines. Submissions are expected to range from case studies on specific waterbodies to overviews from the social sciences, limnological sciences, and biological sciences to the outcomes of engineering research into pollution control technologies and land management strategies designed to extend and exchange knowledge and experiences from around the world, thereby promoting and prompting the effective management and conservation of our shared water resources. 

Please consider a submission to this special issue.

Dr. Jeffrey Thornton
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 2000 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.


  • lakes
  • reservoirs
  • water pollution
  • wastewater treatment
  • water supply
  • watershed management
  • land use planning
  • urbanization
  • industrialization
  • salinization
  • emerging pollutants

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Silicon Nanomembrane Filtration and Imaging for the Evaluation of Microplastic Entrainment along a Municipal Water Delivery Route
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10655; - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1306
To better understand the origin of microplastics in municipal drinking water, we evaluated 50 mL water samples from different stages of the City of Rochester’s drinking water production and transport route, from Hemlock Lake to the University of Rochester. We directly filtered samples [...] Read more.
To better understand the origin of microplastics in municipal drinking water, we evaluated 50 mL water samples from different stages of the City of Rochester’s drinking water production and transport route, from Hemlock Lake to the University of Rochester. We directly filtered samples using silicon nitride nanomembrane filters with precisely patterned slit-shaped pores, capturing many of the smallest particulates (<20 µm) that could be absorbed by the human body. We employed machine learning algorithms to quantify the shapes and quantity of debris at different stages of the water transport process, while automatically segregating out fibrous structures from particulate. Particulate concentrations ranged from 13 to 720 particles/mL at different stages of the water transport process and fibrous pollution ranged from 0.4 to 8.3 fibers/mL. A subset of the debris (0.2–8.6%) stained positively with Nile red dye which identifies them as hydrophobic polymers. Further spectroscopic analysis also indicated the presence of many non-plastic particulates, including rust, silicates, and calcium scale. While water leaving the Hemlock Lake facility is mostly devoid of debris, transport through many miles of piping results in the entrainment of a significant amount of debris, including plastics, although in-route reservoirs and end-stage filtration serve to reduce these concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Lake Ecosystems)
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