Special Issue "Mitigating the Impacts of Agricultural Water Pollution on River Ecology"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Richard Cooper
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Interests: catchment science; hydrology; hydrochemistry; aquatic ecology; agronomy; water pollution; pollution mitigation; sediment fingerprinting

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diffuse and point source pollution from agriculture are major drivers behind the degradation of freshwater systems, causing an array of detrimental economic and environmental impacts that threaten the ability of these systems to provide ecosystem services. Achieving reductions in agricultural water pollution requires changes in land management practices and the implementation of mitigation measures to tackle the principal reasons for water quality failure. This Special Issue of Water seeks to evaluate the extent to which on-farm mitigation measures can cost-effectively reduce the impacts of agricultural water pollution on river ecology while maintaining food production capacity. Contributions are invited across this theme and could include (but are not limited to) studies that evaluate the effectiveness of sediment, nutrient, or pesticide mitigation measures; studies that demonstrate the value of high-resolution monitoring for improving our understanding of hydrological and geochemical functioning and pollutant pathways; studies that investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of agricultural water pollution; studies exploring the responses of aquatic organisms to agricultural pollution exposure; and social science studies exploring ways to influence land manager behaviour and environmental awareness around agricultural water pollution.

Dr. Richard Cooper
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. Water 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.

Keywords

  • rivers
  • agriculture
  • water pollution
  • mitigation measures
  • aquatic ecology
  • nutrients
  • sediments
  • pesticides
  • land management
  • catchment science

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Sediment and Nutrient Retention in Ponds on an Agricultural Stream: Evaluating Effectiveness for Diffuse Pollution Mitigation
Water 2021, 13(12), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121640 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
The creation of ponds and wetlands has the potential to alleviate stream water quality impairment in catchments affected by diffuse agricultural pollution. Understanding the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of these features is important in determining their effectiveness at mitigating pollution. This study investigated [...] Read more.
The creation of ponds and wetlands has the potential to alleviate stream water quality impairment in catchments affected by diffuse agricultural pollution. Understanding the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of these features is important in determining their effectiveness at mitigating pollution. This study investigated sediment and nutrient retention in three connected (on-line) ponds on a lowland headwater stream by sampling inflowing and outflowing concentrations during base and storm flows. Sediment trapping devices were used to quantify sediment and phosphorus accumulations within ponds over approximately monthly periods. The organic matter content and particle size composition of accumulated sediment were also measured. The ponds retained dissolved nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus and suspended solids during baseflows. During small to moderate storm events, some ponds were able to reduce peak concentrations and loads of suspended solids and phosphorus; however, during large magnitude events, resuspension of deposited sediment resulted in net loss. Ponds filtered out larger particles most effectively. Between August 2019 and March 2020, the ponds accumulated 0.306 t ha−1 sediment from the 30 ha contributing area. During this period, total sediment accumulations in ponds were estimated to equal 7.6% of the suspended flux leaving the 340 ha catchment downstream. This study demonstrates the complexity of pollutant retention dynamics in on-line ponds and highlights how their effectiveness can be influenced by the timing and magnitude of events. Full article
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Article
Eco-Compensation Schemes for Controlling Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution in Maoli Lake Watershed
Water 2021, 13(11), 1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111536 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Maoli Lake is the water source for local residents and a national nature protected area. However, due to intensive agriculture development, the water quality has deteriorated over the past decades. An effective measure to improve water quality is to control the agricultural non-point [...] Read more.
Maoli Lake is the water source for local residents and a national nature protected area. However, due to intensive agriculture development, the water quality has deteriorated over the past decades. An effective measure to improve water quality is to control the agricultural non-point source (NPS) pollution through elaborate schemes based on eco-compensation. In order to develop such eco-compensation schemes, three scenarios of agricultural activity adjustment were designed: S1 (halving fertilization every year), S2 (fallow every other year), and S3 (returning agricultural land to forest). A Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was adopted to simulate runoff, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus. Based on SWAT results, a multi-criteria spatial evaluation model considering the environmental, economic, and social effects of eco-compensation was created for best scenario decision. The results reveal the following: (1) the total nutrients loss of agricultural land reduces in all scenarios, but S2 has more reduction compared to S1 and S3; (2) from the comprehensive perspective of environment–economy–society effects, S2 is the best scenario for rice land and dry land; (3) the comprehensive effect of eco-compensation at the grid scale has a significant spatial difference, and therefore, we highlight the necessity and significance of controlling agricultural NPS pollution by eco-compensation on a precise spatial scale. This study can broaden the application field of the SWAT model and provide a scientific basis and experience for the evaluation and spatial design of agriculture eco-compensation. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Role of Ponds in Pesticide Dissipation at the Agricultural Catchment Scale: A Critical Review
Water 2021, 13(9), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13091202 - 26 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Ponds in agricultural areas are ubiquitous water retention systems acting as reactive biogeochemical hotspots controlling pesticide dissipation and transfer at the catchment scale. Several issues need to be addressed in order to understand, follow-up and predict the role of ponds in limiting pesticide [...] Read more.
Ponds in agricultural areas are ubiquitous water retention systems acting as reactive biogeochemical hotspots controlling pesticide dissipation and transfer at the catchment scale. Several issues need to be addressed in order to understand, follow-up and predict the role of ponds in limiting pesticide transfer at the catchment scale. In this review, we present a critical overview of functional processes underpinning pesticide dissipation in ponds. We highlight the need to distinguish degradative and non-degradative processes and to understand the role of the sediment-water interface in pesticide dissipation. Yet it is not well-established how pesticide dissipation in ponds governs the pesticide transfer at the catchment scale under varying hydro-climatic conditions and agricultural operation practices. To illustrate the multi-scale and dynamic aspects of this issue, we sketch a modelling framework integrating the role of ponds at the catchment scale. Such an integrated framework can improve the spatial prediction of pesticide transfer and risk assessment across the catchment-ponds-river continuum to facilitate management rules and operations. Full article
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Review
Literature Review: Global Neonicotinoid Insecticide Occurrence in Aquatic Environments
Water 2020, 12(12), 3388; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123388 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
Neonicotinoids have been the most commonly used insecticides since the early 1990s. Despite their efficacy in improving crop protection and management, these agrochemicals have gained recent attention for their negative impacts on non-target species such as honeybees and aquatic invertebrates. In recent years, [...] Read more.
Neonicotinoids have been the most commonly used insecticides since the early 1990s. Despite their efficacy in improving crop protection and management, these agrochemicals have gained recent attention for their negative impacts on non-target species such as honeybees and aquatic invertebrates. In recent years, neonicotinoids have been detected in rivers and streams across the world. Determining and predicting the exposure potential of neonicotinoids in surface water requires a thorough understanding of their fate and transport mechanisms. Therefore, our objective was to provide a comprehensive review of neonicotinoids with a focus on their fate and transport mechanisms to and within surface waters and their occurrence in waterways throughout the world. A better understanding of fate and transport mechanisms will enable researchers to accurately predict occurrence and persistence of insecticides entering surface waters and potential exposure to non-target organisms in agricultural intensive regions. This review has direct implications on how neonicotinoids are monitored and degraded in aquatic ecosystems. Further, an improved understanding of the fate and transport of neonicotinoids aide natural resource practitioners in the development and implementation of effective best management practices to reduce the potential impact and exposure of neonicotinoids in waterways and aquatic ecosystems. Full article
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