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Methods and Practices for the Sustainable Management of Lake and River Hydrological Systems

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 6449

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Soil and Water Resources Institute (SWRI), Hellenic Agricultural Organisation, 57400 Sindos, Greece
Interests: hydrology of groundwater and surface water; agricultural hydraulics; water resources and environmental management; water quality; computational hydraulics

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Guest Editor
Department of Zoology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: freshwater ecology; freshwater fish; conservation and management of freshwater ecosystems; water quality; ecotoxicology; ecosystems structure and functioning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrological systems and freshwater habitats have been under pressure for decades by anthropogenic influences and the subsequent effects of urbanization, intensive agriculture and energy production. Furthermore, climate change exerts additional pressure on freshwater resources and their ecosystems, endangering their sustainability. Lakes and rivers are particularly vulnerable and the sustainable management of their hydrological regimes and ecosystems is crucial.

To address this, new methods and practices need to be considered to sustain lake and river ecosystems, which take into account economic activities in their sub-catchment areas. In this direction, interdisciplinary approaches covering both hydrological and biological aspects of water bodies are necessary to achieve environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development.

We particularly invite innovation methods and practices in case studies of lakes and rivers associated with modelling, monitoring and field investigations. In this Special Issue, original research articles and critical reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Hydrological analysis and modelling;
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • Ecological lake levels and river flow assessments;
  • Habitat analysis methods and species–environment models;
  • Ecological requirements analysis of biological species to support sustainability;
  • Monitoring of hydrological and biological parameters;
  • Combination of hydrological, ecological, economic and social factors for freshwater resources management.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Charalampos Doulgeris
Dr. Dimitra Bobori
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

  • hydrology
  • water resources management
  • sustainability
  • ecological lake level
  • environmentally minimum river flow
  • habitat analysis
  • ecological requirements

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 2198 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Environmentally Minimum Water Level in a Mediterranean Lake Using Morphological, Hydrological and Biological Factors
by Charalampos Doulgeris, Chrysoula Ntislidou, Olga Petriki, Dimitrios Zervas, Rafaela Nikolaidou and Dimitra C. Bobori
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020933 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 847
Abstract
Water resources management requires comprehensive and integrated approaches that jointly consider hydrological, ecological and social factors. The assessment of lakes’ environmentally minimum water level is a critical tool for the sustainable management and protection of their ecosystems. This work combines the morphological, hydrological [...] Read more.
Water resources management requires comprehensive and integrated approaches that jointly consider hydrological, ecological and social factors. The assessment of lakes’ environmentally minimum water level is a critical tool for the sustainable management and protection of their ecosystems. This work combines the morphological, hydrological and biological factors of a Mediterranean lake (Lake Volvi, northern Greece) to assess its environmentally minimum water level. Initially, the morphological characteristics of the lake’s bottom were analyzed, with consideration given to the protection of the lake’s ecosystem and to the need to meet the water requirements for economic activities. Then, a hydromorphological analysis was conducted, relying on the surface water inflows to the lake from its hydrological catchment and the lake’s water level -volume relationship. In addition, the water level requirements of the biological communities of macrophytes, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish, as revealed after samplings were taken from the lake’s littoral zone, are considered. Based on the above methodologies, the environmentally minimum water level of Lake Volvi is proposed to be lowered by as much as 35.8 m from February to May and 35.3 m from June to January in order to maintain the ecological integrity of the lake and the sustainable use of its water resources. The present study establishes a foundation for informed water resource management; however, ongoing research can improve methodologies and address emerging questions, fostering advancements in sustainable water management practices. Full article
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18 pages, 9416 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Terminal Lakes in the Hexi Interior, China
by Qin Ma, Xiaojun Yao, Cong Zhang, Chen Yang, Kang Yang, Zhijuan Tian and Jiawei Li
Sustainability 2024, 16(1), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16010211 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 702
Abstract
The evolution of a terminal lake at the end of a river not only reflects the climate change characteristics within the basin but also the impact of regional human activities, especially in arid areas. In the Hexi Interior of China, three terminal lakes [...] Read more.
The evolution of a terminal lake at the end of a river not only reflects the climate change characteristics within the basin but also the impact of regional human activities, especially in arid areas. In the Hexi Interior of China, three terminal lakes (e.g., Halaqi Lake, East Juyanhai Lake, and Qingtu Lake) situated in the Shule River, Heihe River and Shiyang River, respectively, have been increasingly studied to support regional ecological protection and sustainable oasis development. In this study, Landsat TM/ETM+/OLI and Sentinel-2 MSI imagery were used to examine Halaqi Lake spanning from 2017 to 2022, East Juyanhai Lake from 1990 to 2022, and Qingtu Lake from 2009 to 2022. The focus of this investigation was to characterize changes in lake area and the impact of climate change and human activities. The results revealed a dramatic change in Halaqi Lake, which suddenly emerged in 2017, initially covering an area of 13.49 km2, gradually vanishing nearly in 2021, and reappearing in 2022 with a reduced area of 9.53 km2. The area of East Juyanhai Lake was 54.39 km2 in 1990 but reduced to 40.84 km2 by 2022. Throughout this period, it encountered episodes of drying up in 1992, 1995, 2001, and 2002. Qingtu Lake emerged in 2009, with an area of 0.09 km2, and subsequently expanded to 2.60 km2 by 2022. Climate change and human activities collectively influence the area fluctuations of these three terminal lakes. Among these factors, temperature changes have a greater impact on the lake area in East Juyanhai. Global warming has worsened glacier melting in the Qilian Mountains, resulting in increased inflow in certain years and substantial lake area expansion. Human activities are the primary drivers of changes in Halaqi Lake and Qingtu Lake. Industrial water consumption is the key factor influencing area changes in Halaqi Lake, whereas water usage in forestry, animal husbandry, and fisheries plays a dominant role in the area changes of Qingtu Lake. Furthermore, the introduction of ecological water conveyance projects has had an indispensable effect on rejuvenating and preserving the watershed areas of these three terminal lakes. It is important to emphasize that human-driven water resource management is the primary cause of sudden changes in the lake areas. Full article
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29 pages, 11064 KiB  
Article
Fully Distributed Water Balance Modelling in Large Agricultural Areas—The Pinios River Basin (Greece) Case Study
by Vassilios Pisinaras, Frank Herrmann, Andreas Panagopoulos, Evangelos Tziritis, Ian McNamara and Frank Wendland
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4343; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054343 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Robust assessments of variations in freshwater availability are essential for current and future water resource management in the Pinios River Basin (PRB), which is one of the most productive basins of Greece in terms of agriculture. To support sustainable water resources management in [...] Read more.
Robust assessments of variations in freshwater availability are essential for current and future water resource management in the Pinios River Basin (PRB), which is one of the most productive basins of Greece in terms of agriculture. To support sustainable water resources management in the PRB, we set up and calibrated the mGROWA hydrological model at a high spatial (100 m) and temporal (daily) resolution for the period 1971–2000, with particular attention given to deriving crop-specific irrigation requirements. We developed and implemented a comprehensive methodological framework to overcome data scarcity constraints in the PRB, thus enabling the derivation of high-resolution spatially continuous estimates of many input variables required for the mGROWA model. We generated estimates of spatiotemporal variations in the water balance components actual evapotranspiration, irrigation requirements, total runoff, and groundwater recharge for the PRB. In addition, through the calculation of indices, such as the potential irrigation to groundwater recharge ratio (PIQR), we demonstrate a way to identify potential unsustainable water use in irrigated agriculture. The established mGROWA model can be used both as a hydrological reference model providing continuous decision support for water resources management, focusing on irrigation water use, and a basis for climate impact studies for the PRB. Full article
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22 pages, 6012 KiB  
Article
Energy Budget, Water Quality Parameters and Primary Production Modeling in Lake Volvi in Northern Greece
by Vassilis Z. Antonopoulos and Soultana K. Gianniou
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2505; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032505 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
A lake’s water quality and its ecosystem structure are mainly determined by heat storage change through its energy budget, dissolved oxygen, nutrients and primary productivity. A one-dimensional water quality model for lakes was used to estimate temperature, dissolved oxygen, phytoplankton (as chlorophyll-α), and [...] Read more.
A lake’s water quality and its ecosystem structure are mainly determined by heat storage change through its energy budget, dissolved oxygen, nutrients and primary productivity. A one-dimensional water quality model for lakes was used to estimate temperature, dissolved oxygen, phytoplankton (as chlorophyll-α), and inorganic and organic phosphorus. Evaporation, energy budget and surface water temperature were also computed. The results of the mathematical model simulation are presented and evaluated. Data from Lake Volvi in Central Macedonia (in northern Greece) for three successive years (2013 to 2015) were used to calibrate and recalibrate the model. The model results of water temperature, dissolved oxygen and primary productivity (Chlα) were compared with measurements for the years 2013 to 2015. The comparison showed that the predicted values of these parameters were all in good agreement with the measurements. The simulation results of water quality parameters generally exhibited the same seasonal dynamic and inter-annual variations as the measured data. The simulation results of the model application provided important information on changes in the physical, chemical and biological variables of the lake. The water temperature and heat fluxes at the water–atmosphere interface are crucial variables related to climate changes. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 3806 KiB  
Review
Hydrological Regime Alteration Assessment in the Context of WFD 2000/60: A European and Global Review
by Angeliki Mentzafou, Petros Katsafados, Anastasios Papadopoulos and Elias Dimitriou
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 15704; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152215704 - 7 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
Although the impact of hydrology on the ecological status of surface water bodies has been highly recognised, the hydrological regime alteration assessment has proven to be a challenging task. In this context, an extensive structured review analysis was used as a research method [...] Read more.
Although the impact of hydrology on the ecological status of surface water bodies has been highly recognised, the hydrological regime alteration assessment has proven to be a challenging task. In this context, an extensive structured review analysis was used as a research method to investigate the strength and limitations of the hydrological regime alteration assessment methods as adopted by each member of the European Environment Agency and the cooperating countries, according to the Water Framework Directive 2000/60, as well as to propose future directions. The review was also widened to include the methods currently used worldwide in the hydrological alteration studies and the supporting software tools developed. The implementation of a common methodology on a European scale is not applicable, since a single approach would not be able to cope with the regional needs and conditions. The main limitation in almost all the methods developed by European countries and worldwide is the need for a flow time series of high temporal resolution, so as to also capture the systems’ extreme high and low flows. Automatic monitoring systems for rivers can provide a solution. Additionally, hydrological modelling may provide the necessary data for the definition of the reference conditions. Nevertheless, the main limitations of the methodologies reviewed and the challenge for future development are the incorporation of the groundwater contribution to the hydrological regime and the development of quantitative relationships between flow alteration and ecological response. Full article
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