Special Issue "Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. José-Luis Molina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hydraulic Engineering Area, University of Salamanca, Avda. Hornos Caleros 50, 05003, Ávila, Spain
Interests: sustainability; water resources management; rivers; civil engineering; environmental science; hydrology; environmental engineering; hydraulics; groundwater; surface hydrology; water resources; climatology; hydrogeology; drought; water science; bayesian analysis; uncertainty; decision support systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The concept of sustainability has been intensively used in the last few decades since Brundtland´s report was published in 1987. This concept, due to its transversal, horizontal, and interdisciplinary nature, can be used in many disciplines, scenarios, spatiotemporal dimensions, and different circumstances. The intensive development of analytical techniques and tools of the last years based on disciplines such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, information theory, internet of things, among others, means that we are in a very good condition to analyze the sustainability of water systems from a multiperspective way. Water systems management requires the most advanced approaches and tools for rigorously addressing all the dimensions involved in the sustainability of its development. Consequently, the aspects for addressing the sustainability of water systems management may comprise physical (natural), chemical, socioeconomic, legal, institutional, infrastructure (engineering), political, and cultural processes, among others. This Special Issue welcomes general and specific contributions that address the sustainability of water systems management considering its development. Special attention will be given to those contributions that consider trade-offs and/or integration between some of the aspects/disciplines that drive the sustainability of water systems in the context of their development and management.

Dr. José-Luis Molina
Guest Editor

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 1800 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
  • integration
  • water systems
  • trade-off
  • analytical tools
  • development
  • water management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Recognizing Crucial Aquatic Factors Influencing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Eutrophication Zone of Taihu Lake, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5160; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195160 - 20 Sep 2019
Abstract
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are closely related to climate change and serious ecological instability, have attracted global attention. The estimation of crucial aquatic factors for the flux of GHGs in lakes is a key step in controlling and reducing GHG emissions. The [...] Read more.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are closely related to climate change and serious ecological instability, have attracted global attention. The estimation of crucial aquatic factors for the flux of GHGs in lakes is a key step in controlling and reducing GHG emissions. The importance of 14 aquatic factors for GHG emissions was estimated in Meiliang Bay, which is an eutrophication shallow bay in Taihu Lake in eastern China. The random forest (RF) method, which is an improved version of the classified and regression tree (CART) model, was employed. No distribution assumption on variables was required in this method and it could include nonlinear actions and interactions among factors. The results show significant positive correlations among the fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O. The most crucial factor influencing CO2 emissions is the water temperature (WT) followed by sulfate (SO42−), alkalinity (Alk), dissolved oxygen (DO), and nitrate (NO3–N). The important factors for CH4 emissions are WT, SO42−, DO, Alk, and NO2–N. The outcome for N2O, in which the key factor is NO2–N, was slightly different from those of CO2 and CH4. A comprehensive ranking index (CRI) for the fluxes of all three GHGs was also calculated and showed that WT, NO2–N, SO42−, DO, and Alk are the most crucial aquatic factors. These results indicate that increasing DO might be the most effective means of controlling GHG emissions in eutrophication lake bays. The role of SO42− in GHG emissions, which has previously been ignored, is also worth paying attention to. This study provides a useful basis for controlling GHG emissions in eutrophication shallow lake bays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
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Open AccessArticle
A Multivariate Geomorphometric Approach to Prioritize Erosion-Prone Watersheds
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185140 - 19 Sep 2019
Abstract
Soil erosion is considered one of the main degradation processes in ecosystems located in developing countries. In northern Mexico, one of the most important hydrological regions is the Conchos River Basin (CRB) due to its utilization as a runoff source. However, the CRB [...] Read more.
Soil erosion is considered one of the main degradation processes in ecosystems located in developing countries. In northern Mexico, one of the most important hydrological regions is the Conchos River Basin (CRB) due to its utilization as a runoff source. However, the CRB is subjected to significant erosion processes due to natural and anthropogenic causes. Thus, classifying the CRB’s watersheds based on their erosion susceptibility is of great importance. This study classified and then prioritized the 31 watersheds composing the CRB. For that, multivariate techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA), group analysis (GA), and the ranking methodology known as compound parameter (Cp) were used. After a correlation analysis, the values of 26 from 33 geomorphometric parameters estimated from each watershed served for the evaluation. The PCA defined linear-type parameters as the main source of variability among the watersheds. The GA and the Cp were effective for grouping the watersheds in five groups, and provided the information for the spatial analysis. The GA methodology best classified the watersheds based on the variance of their parameters. The group with the highest prioritization and erosion susceptibility included watersheds RH24Lf, RH24Lb, RH24Nc, and RH24Jb. These watersheds are potential candidates for the implementation of soil conservation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Water Quality Sustainability Evaluation under Uncertainty: A Multi-Scenario Analysis Based on Bayesian Networks
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4764; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174764 - 31 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
With increasing evidence of climate change affecting the quality of water resources, there is the need to assess the potential impacts of future climate change scenarios on water systems to ensure their long-term sustainability. The study assesses the uncertainty in the hydrological responses [...] Read more.
With increasing evidence of climate change affecting the quality of water resources, there is the need to assess the potential impacts of future climate change scenarios on water systems to ensure their long-term sustainability. The study assesses the uncertainty in the hydrological responses of the Zero river basin (northern Italy) generated by the adoption of an ensemble of climate projections from 10 different combinations of a global climate model (GCM)–regional climate model (RCM) under two emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5). Bayesian networks (BNs) are used to analyze the projected changes in nutrient loadings (NO3, NH4, PO4) in mid- (2041–2070) and long-term (2071–2100) periods with respect to the baseline (1983–2012). BN outputs show good confidence that, across considered scenarios and periods, nutrient loadings will increase, especially during autumn and winter seasons. Most models agree in projecting a high probability of an increase in nutrient loadings with respect to current conditions. In summer and spring, instead, the large variability between different GCM–RCM results makes it impossible to identify a univocal direction of change. Results suggest that adaptive water resource planning should be based on multi-model ensemble approaches as they are particularly useful for narrowing the spectrum of plausible impacts and uncertainties on water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges for Sustainable Water Use in the Urban Industry of Korea Based on the Global Non-Radial Directional Distance Function Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3895; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143895 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Since water stress and industrial water pollution pose a huge threat to South Korea’s sustainable water use, it is an urgent task to assess industrial water green use efficiency (GUEIW). Based on the global non-radial directional distance function (GNDDF) model, this paper calculated [...] Read more.
Since water stress and industrial water pollution pose a huge threat to South Korea’s sustainable water use, it is an urgent task to assess industrial water green use efficiency (GUEIW). Based on the global non-radial directional distance function (GNDDF) model, this paper calculated GUEIW in 16 Korean local governments from 2006 to 2015 using two decomposition indicators: Economic efficiency of industrial water use (ECEIW) and environmental efficiency of industrial water use (ENEIW). The growth of GUEIW is mainly driven by ECEIW, and subsequent environmental problems are obstacles to achieving green use of Korean industrial water. The regional heterogeneity of GUEIW is so important that the downstream region outperformed the upstream region in all three indicators. The government’s efforts to ensure water quality inhibits industrial development in upstream areas, where incomes are much lower than in downstream areas, and downstream industrial areas have to pay upstream industrial areas extra for water. However, regarding upstream industrial areas, low prices easily promote water waste. Because of relatively high water use costs, downstream producers are encouraged to save water. To improve the economic efficiency of industrial water use in upstream areas, advanced water technology should be developed or introduced to make full use of water resources in industrial production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Regression Analysis and Neural Networks to Predict Total Suspended Solids in Water Bodies from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Images
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092580 - 05 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The concentration of suspended solids in water is one of the quality parameters that can be recovered using remote sensing data. This paper investigates the data obtained using a sensor coupled to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in order to estimate the concentration [...] Read more.
The concentration of suspended solids in water is one of the quality parameters that can be recovered using remote sensing data. This paper investigates the data obtained using a sensor coupled to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in order to estimate the concentration of suspended solids in a lake in southern Brazil based on the relation of spectral images and limnological data. The water samples underwent laboratory analysis to determine the concentration of total suspended solids (TSS). The images obtained using the UAV were orthorectified and georeferenced so that the values referring to the near, green, and blue infrared channels were collected at each sampling point to relate with the laboratory data. The prediction of the TSS concentration was performed using regression analysis and artificial neural networks. The obtained results were important for two main reasons. First, although regression methods have been used in remote sensing applications, they may not be adequate to capture the linear and/or non-linear relationships of interest. Second, results show that the integration of UAV in the mapping of water bodies together with the application of neural networks in the data analysis is a promising approach to predict TSS as well as their temporal and spatial variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Rivers’ Temporal Sustainability through the Evaluation of Predictive Runoff Methods
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051720 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
The concept of sustainability is assumed for this research from a temporal perspective. Rivers represent natural systems with an inherent internal memory on their runoff and, by extension, to their hydrological behavior, that should be identified, characterized and quantified. This memory is formally [...] Read more.
The concept of sustainability is assumed for this research from a temporal perspective. Rivers represent natural systems with an inherent internal memory on their runoff and, by extension, to their hydrological behavior, that should be identified, characterized and quantified. This memory is formally called temporal dependence and allows quantifying it for each river system. The ability to capture that temporal signature has been analyzed through different methods and techniques. However, there is a high heterogeneity on those methods’ analytical capacities. It is found in this research that the most advanced ones are those whose output provides a dynamic and quantitative assessment of the temporal dependence for each river system runoff. Since the runoff can be split into temporal conditioned runoff fractions, advanced methods provide an important improvement over classic or alternative ones. Being able to characterize the basin by calculating those fractions is a very important progress for water managers that need predictive tools for orienting their water policies to a certain manner. For instance, rivers with large temporal dependence will need to be controlled and gauged by larger hydraulic infrastructures. The application of this approach may produce huge investment savings on hydraulic infrastructures and an environmental impact minimization due to the achieved optimization of the binomial cost-benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
Open AccessReview
Reviewing Arch-Dams’ Building Risk Reduction Through a Sustainability–Safety Management Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010392 - 03 Jan 2020
Abstract
The importance of dams is rapidly increasing due to the impact of climate change on increasing hydrological process variability and on water planning and management need. This study tackles a review for the concrete arch-dams’ design process, from a dual sustainability/safety management approach. [...] Read more.
The importance of dams is rapidly increasing due to the impact of climate change on increasing hydrological process variability and on water planning and management need. This study tackles a review for the concrete arch-dams’ design process, from a dual sustainability/safety management approach. Sustainability is evaluated through a design optimization for dams´ stability and deformation analysis; safety is directly related to the reduction and consequences of failure risk. For that, several scenarios about stability and deformation, identifying desirable and undesirable actions, were estimated. More than 100 specific parameters regarding dam-reservoir-foundation-sediments system and their interactions have been collected. Also, a summary of mathematical modelling was made, and more than 100 references were summarized. The following consecutive steps, required to design engineering (why act?), maintenance (when to act) and operations activities (how to act), were evaluated: individuation of hazards, definition of failure potential and estimation of consequences (harm to people, assets and environment). Results are shown in terms of calculated data and relations: the area to model the dam–foundation interaction is around 3.0 Hd2, the system-damping ratio and vibration period is 8.5% and 0.39 s. Also, maximum elastic and elasto-plastic displacements are ~0.10–0.20 m. The failure probability for stability is 34%, whereas for deformation it is 29%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Development of Water Systems Management)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: “Formula´Monterrey for the Provision of Good Water Services in Mexico”

Authors: Ismael Aguilar-Barajas* and Aldo I. Ramírez

Tecnológico de Monterrey, MEXICO

 *Corresponding author: [email protected]

 Abstract: Monterrey´s Metropolitan Area (MMA), situated in Northeastern Mexico and with a population of 4.5 million people, is a major economic hub for the nation.  Over the last 20 years the city has been able to offer drinking water on a 24/7 basis.  In fact, Monterrey is a Latin American reference of good provision of water services.  This paper unveils the ‘formula’ for the quality of these services.  One of the major lessons is that this provision is contextually based and that its understanding requires a system perspective, in which permanent innovation is key.

 

 

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