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Topical Collection "Sustainability of Water Environment"

Editors

Dr. Daniela Malcangio
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry (DICATECh), Polytechnic University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: turbulent jets and plumes; circulation of marine currents offshore and onshore; diffusion and dilution of discharges in the sea
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alan Cuthbertson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Science and Engineering (Civil Engineering), University of Dundee, UK
Interests: Flow-sediment interactions at multiple scales, Stratified and buoyancy driven flows, Topographic and Earth rotation effects on dense ocean currents
Dr. Juan Tomás García-Bermejo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mining and Civil Engineering, Technical University of Cartagena, Cartagena, 30203, Spain
Interests: planning and maintenance of hydraulic urban infrastructure; sewer processes; sediment transport modeling; experimental hydraulics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandra Saponieri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry (DICATECh), Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy
Interests: Coastal Management, Coastal Risk, Coastal Defense Strategies, Nearshore Morphodynamics and Hydrodynamics, Interaction between Waves and Groundwater, Waves/Coastal Structure Interaction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Janek Laanearu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Interests: Internal-flow hydraulics, Rotating stratified flows, Mixing of buoyancy-driven flows, Air-water interactions

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I ask you to join forces and show your excellent skills in the field of Hydraulics, in a broad sense, in giving life to the Special Issue “Sustainability of Water Environments” of the journal Sustainability by MDPI.

As Ban Ki-Moon (UN Secretary-General) said: “Environmental, economic and social indicators tell us that our current model of progress is unsustainable. Ours is a world of looming challenges and increasingly limited resources. Sustainable development offers the best chance to adjust our course.” Water is absolutely at the heart of sustainable development and is fundamental to human well-being. It is only renewable if well managed. Water resources support poverty reduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Water is also at the core of adaptation to climate change and serves as a crucial link between the climate system, human society, and the environment. The challenge is to manage water resources to maintain a beneficial balance between built and natural infrastructures and provision of their respective services.

It is the task of the scientific community (i.e., us) to ensure that water sustainability can pose a serious challenge to meet the needs of both people and planet. This Special Issue aims to be useful for researchers and practical engineers in making a rapid assessment of different environmental water body problems. There are different aspects and problems concerning water environments, such as the management of water resources, the management of pollution and waste water, the assessment of coastal risk due to flooding from the sea and erosion, etc. Equally varied are the ways in which the scientific world aims to remedy the problems related to the water environment with its research and results, which can be based on numerical codes, physical models, and in situ surveys, in the best case in full synergy among them.

I am sure that with your help all contributions will provide interesting insights into the scientific world inherent to the field of water environments.

Dr. Daniela Malcangio
Dr. Alan Cuthbertson
Dr. Juan T. García
Dr. Alessandra Saponieri
Dr. Janek Laanearu
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 collection 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 2200 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

  • environmental engineering
  • ocean currents and circulation
  • coastal risk and protection
  • water pollution
  • diffusion and dilution processes
  • hydrodynamic numerical modelling
  • hydrodynamic physical modelling
  • hydraulic modelling of stratified flows

Published Papers (16 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021, 2020

Article
Effects of River Scale on the Aesthetic Quality of Urban On-Water Sightseeing
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12543; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912543 - 01 Oct 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
On-water sightseeing plays a key role in the tourism of traditional Chinese landscapes. The on-water landscape affects tourism potential and the quality of urban landscapes. Current research on river landscape is mainly based on remote sensing images or on-land approaches, while studies of [...] Read more.
On-water sightseeing plays a key role in the tourism of traditional Chinese landscapes. The on-water landscape affects tourism potential and the quality of urban landscapes. Current research on river landscape is mainly based on remote sensing images or on-land approaches, while studies of on-water perspective landscapes at different river scales is lacking. In this paper, with Guilin city rivers taken as an example, we adopt image semantic segmentation technology to evaluate the visual landscape characteristics under different river scales, and subsequently employ automatic linear modeling to screen important factors affecting aesthetic quality. The results reveal the obvious differences between the on-water landscape characteristics of different scale rivers. The on-water landscape quality of large- and small-scale rivers is mainly affected by seven and four factors, respectively. The Karst landform of Guilin is observed to significantly improve the on-water landscape quality of large-scale rivers. By considering the impact mechanism of landscape composition on the aesthetic quality and the different scale rivers, we propose several aesthetic quality improvement strategies based on low-cost methods, including the planting of vegetation and the micro renewal of artificial constructions. This study contributes to the intelligent evaluation of urban on-water landscape and provides reference for on-water route selection and urban planning. Full article
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Review
Nitrogen Removal from Mature Landfill Leachate via Anammox Based Processes: A Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020995 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Mature landfill leachate is a complex and highly polluted effluent with a large amount of ammonia nitrogen, toxic components and low biodegradability. Its COD/N and BOD5/COD ratios are low, which is not suitable for traditional nitrification and denitrification processes. Anaerobic ammonia [...] Read more.
Mature landfill leachate is a complex and highly polluted effluent with a large amount of ammonia nitrogen, toxic components and low biodegradability. Its COD/N and BOD5/COD ratios are low, which is not suitable for traditional nitrification and denitrification processes. Anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) is an innovative biological denitrification process, relying on anammox bacteria to form stable biofilms or granules. It has been extensively used in nitrogen removal of mature landfill leachate due to its high efficiency, low cost and sludge yield. This paper reviewed recent advances of anammox based processes for mature landfill leachate treatment. The state of the art anammox process for mature landfill leachate is systematically described, mainly including partial nitrification–anammox, partial nitrification–anammox coupled denitrification. At the same time, the microbiological analysis of the process operation was given. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has the merit of saving the carbon source and aeration energy, while its practical application is mainly limited by an unstable influent condition, operational control and seasonal temperature variation. To improve process efficiency, it is suggested to develop some novel denitrification processes coupled with anammox to reduce the inhibition of anammox bacteria by mature landfill leachate, and to find cheap new carbon sources (methane, waste fruits) to improve the biological denitrification efficiency of the anammox system. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022, 2020

Article
Quality of the Wind Wave Forecast in the Black Sea Including Storm Wave Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13099; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313099 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
This paper presents the results of wind wave forecasts for the Black Sea. Three different versions utilized were utilized: the WAVEWATCH III model with GFS 0.25 forcing on a regular grid, the WAVEWATCH III model with COSMO-RU07 forcing on a regular grid, and [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of wind wave forecasts for the Black Sea. Three different versions utilized were utilized: the WAVEWATCH III model with GFS 0.25 forcing on a regular grid, the WAVEWATCH III model with COSMO-RU07 forcing on a regular grid, and the SWAN model with COSMO-RU07 forcing on an unstructured grid. AltiKa satellite altimeter data were used to assess the quality of wind and wave forecasts for the period from 1 April to 31 December 2017. Wave height and wind speed forecast data were obtained with a lead time of up to 72 h. The presented models provide an adequate forecast in terms of modern wave modeling (a correlation coefficient of 0.8–0.9 and an RMSE of 0.25–0.3 m) when all statistics were analyzed. A clear improvement in the wave forecast quality with the high-resolution wind forecast COSMO-RU07 was not registered. The bias error did not exceed 0.5 m in an SWH range from 0 to 3 m. However, the bias sharply increased to −2 or −3 m for an SWH range of 3–4 m. Wave forecast quality assessments were conducted for several storm cases. Full article
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Article
Bridges over Troubled Waters? The Political Economy of Public-Private Partnerships in the Water Sector
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10127; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810127 - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Global concerns about water security and water scarcity are motivating local governments, investors, and international financial institutions to prioritize investments in the water sector. Over the past thirty years, public–private partnerships (PPPs) have been popular mechanisms for encouraging private sector investment and helping [...] Read more.
Global concerns about water security and water scarcity are motivating local governments, investors, and international financial institutions to prioritize investments in the water sector. Over the past thirty years, public–private partnerships (PPPs) have been popular mechanisms for encouraging private sector investment and helping local governments overcome economic, political, and technical challenges associated with large infrastructure projects in the water, electricity, and transportation sectors. We argue that the political economy factors that affect the prevalence of PPPs in the water sector—which must serve broad populations of people at low cost—are different than other types of infrastructure projects. We use the World Bank’s Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) database to explore factors that affect the likelihood that PPPs will be initiated in water relative to other sectors, and in water treatment relative to water utilities. We demonstrate that the likelihoods of PPPs in the water sector and water treatment are positively correlated with levels of output from industries that are water-intensive and pollution-intensive when the host country relies heavily on fossil fuels to generate electricity. Furthermore, when corruption levels are high, projects are more likely to be initiated in water than in other sectors, but those investments are more likely to be in water utilities than water treatment. Full article
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Article
Spatial Effects of Urban-Rural Ditch Connectivity Gradient Changes on Water Quality to Support Ditch Optimization and Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158329 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
Ditch networks play crucial roles in regulating water fluxes with their surroundings. The connectivity of ditches can have great impacts on nutrient migration and transformations. However, connectivity patterns related to ditch networks have rarely been studied, especially the relationships with water quality assessed [...] Read more.
Ditch networks play crucial roles in regulating water fluxes with their surroundings. The connectivity of ditches can have great impacts on nutrient migration and transformations. However, connectivity patterns related to ditch networks have rarely been studied, especially the relationships with water quality assessed through spatial analysis. This paper considered ditch connectivity and water quality indicators comprehensively, using spatial autocorrelation and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models, to analyze the impact of ditch connectivity on water quality from urban to rural gradients. The results suggested that water quality in rural areas and towns was better than in suburbs and transition zones, and the different areas exhibited variable spatial ditch connectivity. The Moran’s I index of the connectivity indicators showed the clustering state of spatial distribution, with ditch connectivity explaining 61.06% of changes in water quality. The circularity and network connectivity of the ditches had the most influence on water quality. However, the degree of influence varied with region. Circularity had the greatest impact on water quality in urban areas, and network connectivity had the greatest impact on water quality in township areas. Therefore, future water improvement projects, based on ditch optimization and management, need to consider the more related influencing factors and their spatial differences. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Urban and Economic Development on Coastal Zone Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6071; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116071 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2036
Abstract
The land transformation process in the last decades produced the urbanization growth in flat and coastal areas all over the world. The combination of natural phenomena and human pressure is likely one of the main factors that enhance coastal dynamics. These factors lead [...] Read more.
The land transformation process in the last decades produced the urbanization growth in flat and coastal areas all over the world. The combination of natural phenomena and human pressure is likely one of the main factors that enhance coastal dynamics. These factors lead to an increase in coastal risk (considered as the product of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability) also in view of future climate change scenarios. Although each of these factors has been intensively studied separately, a comprehensive analysis of the mutual relationship of these elements is an open task. Therefore, this work aims to assess the possible mutual interaction of land transformation and coastal management zones, studying the possible impact on local coastal communities. The idea is to merge the techniques coming from urban planning with data and methodology coming from the coastal engineering within the frame of a holistic approach. The main idea is to relate urban and land changes to coastal management. Then, the study aims to identify if stakeholders’ pressure motivated the deployment of rigid structures instead of shoreline variations related to energetic and sedimentary balances. The influence of coastal protection (described by an indicator taking into account the linear density of the rigid protection extension alongshore) measures have been considered. Finally, the economical performances in the period just after the land transformation have been studied by means of a dimensionless index based on the concept of the local unit. The method has been applied to the case study of the Abruzzo Region. Results reveal a large urbanization growth and a generalized over-protection of the coast with a resulting spatial alternation of shoreline retreat and advance. On the other hand, the analysis of the local economy reveals that the presence of tourism activities does not necessarily lead to an increase in the local economy. Indeed, the most important improvement in local economies in the region can be associated with coastal stretches characterized by a high environmental value. Full article
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Article
Investigating the Relationship between Public Satisfaction and Public Environmental Participation during Government Treatment of Urban Malodorous Black River in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3584; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063584 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1776
Abstract
During China’s rapid economic development and urbanization, numerous cases of urban malodorous black river (MBR) have occurred. MBR refers to a polluted urban river that smells bad, is almost black in color, has no aquatic plants or animals, and that consequently causes many [...] Read more.
During China’s rapid economic development and urbanization, numerous cases of urban malodorous black river (MBR) have occurred. MBR refers to a polluted urban river that smells bad, is almost black in color, has no aquatic plants or animals, and that consequently causes many social and environmental problems. The Chinese government has sought public participation during the whole process of MBR treatment as part of a comprehensive action plan to improve residents’ satisfaction with their environment. To investigate the influencing factors of public participation and satisfaction, a questionnaire survey was conducted among residential communities close to an MBR. SPSS 22.0 was employed to conduct an analysis of the collected data, using factor analysis, correlation analysis, and linear regression analysis. The results indicate that there is a direct relationship between public satisfaction and the factors of government treatment, public perception and public participation behaviors, such as engagement behavior, supervision behavior, health influence, and compensation measures. Full article
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Article
Are China’s Water Resources for Agriculture Sustainable? Evidence from Hubei Province
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063510 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
We assessed the sustainability of agricultural water resources in Hubei Province, a typical agricultural province in central China, for a decade (2008–2018). Since traditional evaluation models often consider only the distance between the evaluation point and the positive or negative ideal solution, we [...] Read more.
We assessed the sustainability of agricultural water resources in Hubei Province, a typical agricultural province in central China, for a decade (2008–2018). Since traditional evaluation models often consider only the distance between the evaluation point and the positive or negative ideal solution, we introduce gray correlation analysis and construct a new sustainability evaluation model. Our research results show that only one city had excellent sustainable development capacity of agricultural water resources, and the evaluation value of eight cities fluctuated by around 0.5 (the median of the evaluation result), while the sustainable development capacity of agricultural water resources in other cities was relatively poor. Our findings not only reflect the differences in the natural conditions of water resources among various cities in Hubei, but also the impact of the cities’ policies to ensure efficient agricultural water use for sustainable development. The indicators and methods in this research are not difficult to obtain in most countries and regions of the world. Therefore, the indicator system we have established by this research could be used to study the sustainability of agricultural water resources in other countries, regions, or cities. Full article
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Article
A Comparison of Linear and Non-Linear Machine Learning Techniques (PCA and SOM) for Characterizing Urban Nutrient Runoff
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042054 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
Urban stormwater runoff represents a significant challenge for the practical assessment of diffuse pollution sources on receiving water bodies. Given the high dimensionality of the problem, the main goal of this study was the comparison of linear and non-linear machine learning (ML) methods [...] Read more.
Urban stormwater runoff represents a significant challenge for the practical assessment of diffuse pollution sources on receiving water bodies. Given the high dimensionality of the problem, the main goal of this study was the comparison of linear and non-linear machine learning (ML) methods to characterize urban nutrient runoff from impervious surfaces. In particular, the principal component analysis (PCA) for the linear technique and the self-organizing map (SOM) for the non-linear technique were chosen and compared considering the high number of successful applications in the water quality field. To strengthen this comparison, these techniques were supported by well-known linear and non-linear methods. Those techniques were applied to a complete dataset with precipitation, flow rate, and water quality (sediments and nutrients) records of 577 events gathered for a watershed located in Southern Italy. According to the results, both linear and non-linear techniques can represent build-up and wash-off, the two main processes that characterize urban nutrient runoff. In particular, non-linear methods are able to capture and represent better the rainfall-runoff process and the transport of dissolved nutrients in urban runoff (dilution process). However, their computational time is higher than the linear technique (0.0054 s vs. 15.24 s, for linear and non-linear, respectively, in our study). The outcomes of this study provide significant insights into the application of ML methods for the water quality field. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2022, 2021

Article
Development of an Eco-Sustainable Solution for the Second Life of Decommissioned Oil and Gas Platforms: The Mineral Accretion Technology
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3742; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093742 - 05 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2690
Abstract
With the approaching end of the productive lives of offshore oil and gas platforms, the issue about decommissioning and what to do with existing structures arises. In this regard, this study aims to test solutions, at a preliminary level, for the eco-sustainable reuse [...] Read more.
With the approaching end of the productive lives of offshore oil and gas platforms, the issue about decommissioning and what to do with existing structures arises. In this regard, this study aims to test solutions, at a preliminary level, for the eco-sustainable reuse of platforms at the end of their extraction phase. In particular, mineral accretion technology is applied by low-voltage electrolysis of seawater due to the precipitation of calcium carbonate on a cathode material in order to assess the protection capacity of the platforms against corrosion. This approach allows the extension of a platform’s “life” under a more sustainable purpose. The results, derived from laboratory and field experiments, will allow us to reduce uncertainties and define the best operating conditions to increase the efficiency of the mineral accretion technology in the marine ecosystem. The data collection on the main parameters that influence the process (i.e., temperature, salinity, and applied current) and the quantitative analysis of the collected material allowed us to acquire a better knowledge about mineral composition and deposition rate. Full article
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Article
Combined Discharge and Thermo-Salinity Measurements for the Characterization of a Karst Spring System in Southern Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3311; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083311 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
The hydrological monitoring of springs is an auxiliary and indispensable tool that goes alongside investigations in wells to reconstruct a conceptual phenomenological model of an aquifer–groundwater system and its interactions with surface waters. There are manifold ways to carry out this monitoring, but [...] Read more.
The hydrological monitoring of springs is an auxiliary and indispensable tool that goes alongside investigations in wells to reconstruct a conceptual phenomenological model of an aquifer–groundwater system and its interactions with surface waters. There are manifold ways to carry out this monitoring, but the choice of which way is significant for a correct qualitative and quantitative knowledge of spring systems. The present work focuses on the characterization of the thermo-saline and flow regimes of the Tara spring system along the northern coast of Taranto (southern Italy), where a karst groundwater basin is the major source of the Tara River and the surrounding coastal wetland. A series of measurements was carried out on the spring system to support a technical feasibility study on the possible use of the brackish water of this river to feed a future desalination plant. To estimate the flow rate, a comparison was made between different flow measurement methods in a derivation channel. Through an analysis of the available dataset, the response of the aquifer to the autumn–winter recharge, for which updated hydrologic measurements were not available, is highlighted. Full article
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Article
Canonical Correlation Study on the Relationship between Shipping Development and Water Environment of the Yangtze River
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083279 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1697
Abstract
The sustainable development of the Yangtze River will affect the lives of the people who live along it as well as the development of cities beside it. This study investigated the relationship between shipping development and the water environment of the Yangtze River. [...] Read more.
The sustainable development of the Yangtze River will affect the lives of the people who live along it as well as the development of cities beside it. This study investigated the relationship between shipping development and the water environment of the Yangtze River. Canonical correlation analysis is a multivariate statistical method used to study the correlation between two groups of variables; this study employed it to analyze data relevant to shipping and the water environment of the Yangtze River from 2006 to 2016. Furthermore, the Yangtze River Shipping Prosperity Index and Yangtze River mainline freight volume were used to characterize the development of Yangtze River shipping. The water environment of the Yangtze River is characterized by wastewater discharge, ammonia nitrogen concentration, biochemical oxygen demand, the potassium permanganate index, and petroleum pollution. The results showed that a significant correlation exists between Yangtze River shipping and the river’s water environment. Furthermore, mainline freight volume has a significant impact on the quantity of wastewater discharged and petroleum pollution in the water environment. Full article
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Article
Toxicity and Hazards of Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Sunscreens to Aquatic Life of Quintana Roo, Mexico
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083270 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2547
Abstract
Sunscreens have spread widely into aquatic systems over the last 18 years in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This contamination is caused by intensive use as a result of leisure activities, as sunbathers apply the substances intensively (up to 83.75% of tourists and locals). Moreover, [...] Read more.
Sunscreens have spread widely into aquatic systems over the last 18 years in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This contamination is caused by intensive use as a result of leisure activities, as sunbathers apply the substances intensively (up to 83.75% of tourists and locals). Moreover, 25% of the compounds are mainly released into the water through topical products washing off. On average, 300,000 tourists arrive every week in Quintana Roo, increasing the contamination. In addition, there are no recent studies on sunscreen toxicity and the hazards this represents for the native zooplankton of Quintana Roo. In order to assess their adverse effects, acute toxicity was assessed for nine sunscreens (five non-biodegradable and four biodegradable) in four zooplankton species (Brachionus cf ibericus, Cypridopsis vidua, Diaphanocypris meridana, and Macrothrix triserialis). In total, 21 LC50 values were obtained, which are the baseline values for estimating risk and for determining the expected maximum permissible concentration. Our data on toxicity to freshwater species compared to marine species indicate that freshwater species are more sensitive than marine species. In conclusion, biodegradable sunscreen posed a moderate risk, and non-biodegradable posed a high risk. Our outcomes suggested that the maximum permissible concentrations for the contamination of sunscreens were 8.00E-05 g/L for non-biodegradable and 1.60E-04 g/L for biodegradable sunscreens. Full article
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Article
Linking Changes in Land Cover and Land Use of the Lower Mekong Basin to Instream Nitrate and Total Suspended Solids Variations
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072992 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3053
Abstract
Population growth and economic development are driving changes in land use/land cover (LULC) of the transboundary Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB), posing a serious threat to the integrity of the river system. Using data collected on a monthly basis over 30 years (1985–2015) [...] Read more.
Population growth and economic development are driving changes in land use/land cover (LULC) of the transboundary Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB), posing a serious threat to the integrity of the river system. Using data collected on a monthly basis over 30 years (1985–2015) at 14 stations located along the Lower Mekong river, this study explores whether spatiotemporal relationships exist between LULC changes and instream concentrations of total suspended solids (TSS) and nitrate—as proxies of water quality. The results show seasonal influences where temporal patterns of instream TSS and nitrate concentrations mirror patterns detected for discharge. Changes in LULC influenced instream TSS and nitrate levels differently over time and space. The seasonal Mann–Kendall (SMK) confirmed significant reduction of instream TSS concentrations at six stations (p < 0.05), while nitrate levels increased at five stations (p < 0.05), predominantly in stations located in the upper section of the basin where forest areas and mountainous topography dominate the landscape. Temporal correlation analyses point to the conversion of grassland (r = −0.61, p < 0.01) to paddy fields (r = 0.63, p < 0.01) and urban areas (r = 0.44, p < 0.05) as the changes in LULC that mostly impact instream nitrate contents. The reduction of TSS appears influenced by increased forest land cover (r = −0.72, p < 0.01) and by the development and operation of hydropower projects in the upper Mekong River. Spatial correlation analyses showed positive associations between forest land cover and instream concentrations of TSS (r = 0.64, p = 0.01) and nitrate (r = 0.54, p < 0.05), indicating that this type of LULC was heavily disturbed and harvested, resulting in soil erosion and runoff of nitrate rich sediment during the Wet season. Our results show that enhanced understanding of how LULC changes influence instream water quality at spatial and temporal scales is vital for assessing potential impacts of future land and water resource development on freshwater resources of the LMB. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Water Quality and Heavy Metals in Wetlands along the Yellow River in Henan Province
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041300 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2947
Abstract
Assessing spatiotemporal variation in water quality and heavy metals concentrations in wetlands and identifying metal contamination source are crucial steps for the protection and sustainable utilization of water resources. Using the water quality identification index (Iwq), heavy metal pollution index (HPI), [...] Read more.
Assessing spatiotemporal variation in water quality and heavy metals concentrations in wetlands and identifying metal contamination source are crucial steps for the protection and sustainable utilization of water resources. Using the water quality identification index (Iwq), heavy metal pollution index (HPI), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and redundancy analysis (RDA), we evaluated spatiotemporal variation in water quality and heavy metals concentrations, and their interrelation in wetlands along the middle and lower Yellow River. The average Iwq was highest during flood season but the average HPI was lowest in the same season. Meanwhile, the trend in mean HPI across three hydrological seasons was the opposite to that of mean Iwq. There was significant variation in wetlands water pollution status across seasons. During the flood season, the wetlands in the affected area with hanging river were seriously polluted. In other seasons, pollution in the artificial wetlands was even more severe. Moreover, serious pollution of wetlands in belt transect #03 (Yuanyang-Zhongmu) was more frequent. Dissolved oxygen and chemical oxygen demand strongly influenced heavy metal concentrations, while other water quality parameters had different influences on heavy metal concentrations in different hydrological seasons. The causes of water pollution were divided into natural factors and human disturbance (with potential relationships between them). The polluted wetlands were greatly affected by the Yellow River during the flood season while they were more impacted by agricultural and domestic sewage discharge in other seasons. However, heavy metal deposition and leaching into riparian wetlands were still affected by diverse channel conditions. If this trend is allowed to continue unabated, wetlands along the middle and lower Yellow River are likely to lose their vital ecological and social functions. Full article
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Article
Identifying Ecosystem Key Factors to Support Sustainable Water Management
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031148 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3503
Abstract
There is a growing consensus that sustainable development requires a behavioral change, forced by firm decision-making. However, existing decision-supporting tools are unlikely to provide relevant information, hampered by the complexity of combined socio-economic and natural systems. Protecting the intrinsic value of ecosystems and [...] Read more.
There is a growing consensus that sustainable development requires a behavioral change, forced by firm decision-making. However, existing decision-supporting tools are unlikely to provide relevant information, hampered by the complexity of combined socio-economic and natural systems. Protecting the intrinsic value of ecosystems and providing sufficient natural resources for human use at the same time leads up to a wide span of management, ranging from species traits to governance. The aim of this study is to investigate the interactions between the natural and economic systems from the perspective of sustainable development. The way to reduce systems complexity by selecting key factors of ecosystem functioning for policy and management purposes is discussed. To achieve this, the Pentatope Model is used as a holistic framework, an ecosystem nodes network is developed to select key factors, and a combined natural and socio-economic valuation scheme is drawn. These key factors—abiotic resources and conditions, biodiversity, and biomass—are considered fundamental to the ecosystem properties habitat range and carrying capacity. Their characteristics are discussed in relation to sustainable water management. The conclusion is that sustainable development requires environmental decision-making that includes the intrinsic natural value, and should be supported by ecological modelling, additional environmental quality standards, and substance balances. Full article
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