Special Issue "Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marco Franchini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hydraulic Infrastructures, Department of Engineering, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat 1, 44100, Ferrara, Italy
Interests: hydrology: real time flood forecasting, flood routing, discharge measurements, rating curves, rainfall-runoff modelling and parameterization, uncertainty; hydraulic infrastructures: water distribution system management and design, water demand simulation and forecasting, leakage characterization and simulation, hybrid water supply systems
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Bruno Brunone
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Water Engineering Laboratory, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, I-06125 Perugia, Italy
Interests: water systems; pipeline outfalls; fault (leak) detection of pipe systems; transients
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Given the wealth of international conferences in nice venues, it is often quite difficult to successfully solicit active researchers for innovative conferences. This was the case for the Series of the International Electronic Conference in Water Sciences (ECWS) sponsored by Water and MDPI. Notwithstanding the aforementioned difficulty, about 40 papers were submitted to ECWS-4 (the 4th edition of ECWS), an encouraging improvement from previous editions. The success of ECWS-4 implies a change of mentality in researchers who do not attend the conference in person but are still able to share their ideas and projects with the larger community thereby.

As the final act of such an innovative process, we sent out a call for papers to all the researchers who work in this field and in particular those who have submitted a paper to the 4th electronic conference to be included in this special issue

The extremely diverse topics of ECWS-4 range from natural water resources management to water treatments, from high-tech pipe systems to storm and combined sewers, and all refer to the theme of urban hydraulics and hydrology. This Special Issue constitutes a tremendous chance to contribute to a comprehensive (and quite concise) textbook. In fact, the urgent need to refine reliable and sustainable tools for the management of the natural resources in the present scenario dominated by climate change is apparent to all. Moreover, the growing prestige of Water guarantees very fast circulation of the selected papers in the scientific and technical community.

Prof. Dr. Marco Franchini
Prof. Dr. Bruno Brunone
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 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

  • aquifers
  • rivers and lakes
  • water supply and distribution systems
  • drinking water treatments
  • sanitary, storm and combined sewers
  • wastewater treatment modeling
  • sustainable management
  • developing countries

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach
Water 2020, 12(12), 3589; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123589 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 473
Abstract
When the 4th edition of the International Electronic Conference on Water Sciences (ECWS-4), sponsored by Water and MDPI, was launched, the COVID-19 pandemic did not exist at all [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Research

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Article
The Role of DEM Resolution and Evapotranspiration Assessment in Modeling Groundwater Resources Estimation: A Case Study in Sicily
Water 2020, 12(11), 2980; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112980 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 579
Abstract
The reliability of hydrological response simulated by distributed hydrological models in river basins with complex topographies strictly relies on the adopted digital elevation model (DEM) resolution. Furthermore, when the objective is to investigate hydrologic processes over a longer period, including both wet and [...] Read more.
The reliability of hydrological response simulated by distributed hydrological models in river basins with complex topographies strictly relies on the adopted digital elevation model (DEM) resolution. Furthermore, when the objective is to investigate hydrologic processes over a longer period, including both wet and dry conditions, the choice of a proper model for estimating actual evapotranspiration can play a key role in water resources assessment. When dealing with groundwater-fed catchment, these aspects directly reflect on water balance simulations and consequentially on groundwater resource quantification, which is fundamental for effective water resources planning and management at the river basin scale. In the present study, a DEM-based inverse hydrogeological balance method is applied to estimate the active mean annual recharge of the northern Etna groundwater system within the upstream part of the Alcantara river basin in Sicily region (Italy). Despite this area representing a biodiversity hot-spot, as well as the main water source for a population of about 35,000 inhabitants, so far little attention has been paid to groundwater estimation, mainly due to lack of data. In this context, this work aims to improve knowledge on groundwater recharge at the annual scale in this case-study area. In particular, the main objectives of this study are: (1) to quantify the influence of the DEM resolution on groundwater resource estimation and (2) to investigate the influence of the method used for evapotranspiration assessment on the model’s results. More specifically, groundwater and surface flows are evaluated by considering different DEM resolutions (i.e., 20, 60, 100, 300, 500 m) and three different theoretical approaches for evapotranspiration calculation (i.e., the Turc method, a modified-Turc method, and the Budyko model). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Seasonal Climate Forecast Skill Assessment for the Management of Water Resources in a Run of River Hydropower System in the Poqueira River (Southern Spain)
Water 2020, 12(8), 2119; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082119 - 26 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Run of river (RoR) hydropower systems, despite being one of the most cost-effective and environmentally benign energy technologies, have the disadvantage that production is not constant because it is subject to a high variability in precipitation and snow cover. In addition, the management [...] Read more.
Run of river (RoR) hydropower systems, despite being one of the most cost-effective and environmentally benign energy technologies, have the disadvantage that production is not constant because it is subject to a high variability in precipitation and snow cover. In addition, the management of RoR plants has to comply with some particular operating conditions, but also with some environmental flow requirements. This work presents the assessment of the main inputs included in a climate service, historical local data and the seasonal forecast of water inflow to RoR plants, which are used to predict the operability and the expected energy production. The analysis is presented through the application in a pilot RoR system located in the south of Spain, in a semi-arid Mediterranean area impacted by snow, where seasonal forecasting is especially challenging. The results show the high interannual variability of the operation in this kind of facilities. The outcomes indicate that seasonal climate forecast information would improve the prediction of observed river streamflow by 7.4% in reliability and 3.2% in sharpness compared to the current operational forecast based on historical data. The climate forecasts thus provide valuable information for the exploitation of available water resources, which generates a significant value for the operation of the plant and the energy production market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Design Thinking Methodology to Achieve Household Engagement in Urban Water Sustainability in the City of Huelva (Andalusia)
Water 2020, 12(7), 1943; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071943 - 08 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 827
Abstract
To advance to water sensitive cities (WSC) it will be necessary to achieve the commitment of the citizens, involving them in this transition. Citizen participation is considered essential, and one of the possible approaches to achieve this is through Design Thinking (DT), a [...] Read more.
To advance to water sensitive cities (WSC) it will be necessary to achieve the commitment of the citizens, involving them in this transition. Citizen participation is considered essential, and one of the possible approaches to achieve this is through Design Thinking (DT), a human-centered methodology that allows creating a framework to develop the hydrosocial contract. The Suez group proposed the challenge of collecting initiatives to achieve more efficient use of urban water in homes, by conducting a pilot in one of its investee companies, Aguas de Huelva. Our research proposal, selected by the Suez group, to achieve greater engagement of households regarding efficient water use, was to develop a web-based prototype applying DT methodologies, which would allow us to generate new messages and meanings regarding water, producing an innovation of meaning that would enable tracking the progress of the results. This article describes the approved framework to carry out the pilot experience in the homes of the city of Huelva in Andalusia, Spain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Complex Networks Theory for Evaluating Scaling Laws and WDS Vulnerability for Potential Contamination Events
Water 2020, 12(5), 1296; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051296 - 03 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
In the last few years, water utilities have recognized the importance of evaluating the safety of water distribution networks from the potential risks of contamination, arising from failures or from intentional (targeted) or random attacks. Research literature has been recently focused on the [...] Read more.
In the last few years, water utilities have recognized the importance of evaluating the safety of water distribution networks from the potential risks of contamination, arising from failures or from intentional (targeted) or random attacks. Research literature has been recently focused on the optimal design of efficient detection systems, generally expressed as the problem of the optimal placement of monitoring sensors. In this paper, we introduce a methodology for calculating an index of vulnerability that represents the tendency of an injected contaminant to spread over the network. Epanet quality simulations are performed in order to determine the distribution function of the number of potentially contaminated nodes. The results show how such distribution is overall fitted by a stretched exponential law. The comparison with an auto-similar, tree-like network (described by a power-law) allows the determination of the Vulnerability Index, which quantifies how “far” the behavior of a given system deviates from pure scale-freeness. It is analytically calculated by a two-fold approximation of the stretched exponential and provides an alternative way of evaluating robustness against random water contamination. Different networks can then be directly compared, in order to assess and prioritize control measures and interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Comparison of Statistical and Machine Learning Models for Pipe Failure Modeling in Water Distribution Networks
Water 2020, 12(4), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041153 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
The application of statistical and Machine Learning models plays a critical role in planning and decision support processes for efficient and reliable Water Distribution Network (WDN) management. Failure models can provide valuable information for prioritizing system rehabilitation even in data scarcity scenarios, such [...] Read more.
The application of statistical and Machine Learning models plays a critical role in planning and decision support processes for efficient and reliable Water Distribution Network (WDN) management. Failure models can provide valuable information for prioritizing system rehabilitation even in data scarcity scenarios, such as developing countries. Few studies have analyzed the performance of more than two models, and examples of case studies in developing countries are insufficient. This study compares various statistical and Machine Learning models to provide useful information to practitioners for the selection of a suitable pipe failure model according to information availability and network characteristics. Three statistical models (i.e., Linear, Poisson, and Evolutionary Polynomial Regressions) were used for failure prediction in groups of pipes. Machine Learning approaches, particularly Gradient-Boosted Tree (GBT), Bayes, Support Vector Machines and Artificial Neuronal Networks (ANNs), were compared in predicting individual pipe failure rates. The proposed approach was applied to a WDN in Bogotá (Colombia). The statistical models showed an acceptable performance (R2 between 0.695 and 0.927), but the Poisson Regression was the most suitable for predicting failures in pipes with lower failure rates. Regarding Machine Learning models, Bayes and ANNs exhibited low performance in the prediction of pipe failure condition. The GBT approach had the best performing classifier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Shear-Thinning Fluid Flow in Variable-Aperture Channels
Water 2020, 12(4), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041152 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
Non-Newtonian fluid flow in a single fracture is a 3-D nonlinear phenomenon that is often averaged across the fracture aperture and described as 2-D. To capture the key interactions between fluid rheology and spatial heterogeneity, we adopt a simplified geometric model to describe [...] Read more.
Non-Newtonian fluid flow in a single fracture is a 3-D nonlinear phenomenon that is often averaged across the fracture aperture and described as 2-D. To capture the key interactions between fluid rheology and spatial heterogeneity, we adopt a simplified geometric model to describe the aperture variability, consisting of adjacent one-dimensional channels with constant aperture, each drawn from an assigned aperture distribution. The flow rate is then derived under the lubrication approximation for the two limiting cases of an external pressure gradient that is parallel/perpendicular to the channels; these two arrangements provide upper and lower bounds to the fracture conductance. The fluid rheology is described by the Prandtl–Eyring shear-thinning model. Novel closed-form results for the flow rate and hydraulic aperture are derived and discussed; different combinations of the parameters that describe the fluid rheology and the variability of the aperture field are considered. The flow rate values are very sensitive to the applied pressure gradient and to the shape of the distribution; in particular, more skewed distribution entails larger values of a dimensionless flow rate. Results for practical applications are compared with those valid for a power-law fluid and show the effects on the fracture flow rate of a shear stress plateau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Mining Activities and the Chemical Composition of R. Modonkul, Transbaikalia
Water 2020, 12(4), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040979 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
The Dzhidinsky orefield is located in the Zakamensky district of Buryatia. It is characterized by a high concentration of mineralization in a small area. The ores of the Dzhidinsky economic deposits are complex. This ore field includes Pervomaiskoye Mo, Kholtosonskoe W, and Inkurskoe [...] Read more.
The Dzhidinsky orefield is located in the Zakamensky district of Buryatia. It is characterized by a high concentration of mineralization in a small area. The ores of the Dzhidinsky economic deposits are complex. This ore field includes Pervomaiskoye Mo, Kholtosonskoe W, and Inkurskoe W deposits. The catchment basin of the river Modonkul is located in the Dzhidinsky orefield. Mineral resource industry waste is a real threat to the city Zakamensk. Currently, the waste of deposits is located at the floodplain terrace and the watershed of the river Modonkul. In this work, the impact of the drainage mine and tributary Inkur on the formation chemical composition of the river Modonkul is studied. The 80 samples of water and suspended matter were taken from a surface of 0–0.5 m on seven sites. Physical and chemical parameters were measured at the sampling sites, and chemical composition was analyzed in the laboratory. In the natural background of the river, the major cations are, in decreasing order, Ca2+ > Mg2+ > Na+ + K+, and major anions are, also in decreasing order, HCO3 > SO42− > Cl. Along the river, the chemical type of water changes from bicarbonate to sulfate across the sulfate-bicarbonate or bicarbonate-sulfate class and from calcium-magnesium across sodium-calcium-magnesium reverse calcium-magnesium group. Total dissolved solids (TDS) increase by a factor of 4.0–4.7 between the upper and mouth of the river. The dissolved and suspended loads were studied in the mixing zone of acid mine and river water. The different hydrochemistry characteristics may result from Fe, Al, and Mn hydroxide precipitation. The pH values and dissolved oxygen cycles could change the uptake of heavy metals on suspended iron and manganese oxides, and the mechanism of removing it in water. River particulates have the potential of regulating heavy metal inputs to aquatic systems from pollution. The ore elements or the heavy metals are removed from the water in two ways: by the runoff of Modonkul and the sedimentation of suspended material at the bottom. The inflow of mine water into the Modonkul river leads to the rare earth elements (REEs) composition with negative cerium and positive europium anomalies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Article
Laboratory Analysis of a Piston-Actuated Pressure-Reducing Valve under Low Flow Conditions
Water 2020, 12(4), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040940 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
The effectiveness of pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) for optimal pressure management of water distribution networks (WDNs) is proven, but problems and operational limitations have been highlighted by some recent experiences. In this study, we analyse the functioning of a piston-actuated pressure-reducing valve (PA-PRV) with [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) for optimal pressure management of water distribution networks (WDNs) is proven, but problems and operational limitations have been highlighted by some recent experiences. In this study, we analyse the functioning of a piston-actuated pressure-reducing valve (PA-PRV) with a mechanical pilot which is subjected to low-flow regimes, a condition that is often observed in real water distribution networks. The analyses were carried out by means of laboratory tests featuring two sets of experiments, i.e., (a) by testing the behaviour of the PRV when a pre-established initial value and subsequent variation of flow rate occurs in the system and (b) by testing the PRV against a temporal series of flow rates observed at the inlet section of a real district metered area. The first set of tests showed that the PA-PRV tends not to maintain pressure at the imposed set-point and exhibits an unstable behaviour characterised by significant pressure oscillations under some flow rate conditions. The second set of laboratory tests showed that the anomalous behaviour identified in the first set of tests can occur under ordinary operational conditions of a network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Review

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Review
Urban Multi-Source Water Supply in China: Variation Tendency, Modeling Methods and Challenges
Water 2020, 12(4), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041199 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Urban water resources are the basis for the formation and development of cities and the source of urban water supply. However, with the acceleration of urbanization and the explosion of urban populations, the contradiction between water supply and demand in some areas, especially [...] Read more.
Urban water resources are the basis for the formation and development of cities and the source of urban water supply. However, with the acceleration of urbanization and the explosion of urban populations, the contradiction between water supply and demand in some areas, especially in big cities, has become increasingly prominent. It is simply not sufficient to rely on local conventional water resources to meet urban water demand, and a single source water supply mode has a higher vulnerability, resulting in greater safety risks in urban or regional water supply systems. Therefore, giving full play to the water supply capacity and carrying out multi-source water supplies are necessary and urgent. This paper gives an overview of the optimal allocation of multi-source for urban water supply concerning variation tendency, modeling methods and facing challenges. Based on the variation tendency of water consumption and water supply pattern in China, Tianjin is taken as a typical city for systematically outlining water supply changes and cause analysis. Subsequently, the modeling methods for proposing the optimal allocation scheme are summarized, which are composed of defining the topological relation, constructing the mathematical model and seeking the optimal solution. Ultimately, the current and emerging challenges are discussed including emergency operation of multi-source water supply and joint operation of water quality and quantity. These summaries and prospects provide a valuable reference for giving full play to the multi-source water supply capacity and carrying out relevant research so as to propose the optimal allocation scheme in urban multi-source water supply systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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Review
Surface Water and Groundwater Quality in South Africa and Mozambique—Analysis of the Most Critical Pollutants for Drinking Purposes and Challenges in Water Treatment Selection
Water 2020, 12(1), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010305 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2151
Abstract
According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the countries which still have limited access to water for drinking purposes are mainly those in the Sub-Saharan region. In this context, the current study provides an overview of the quality of [...] Read more.
According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the countries which still have limited access to water for drinking purposes are mainly those in the Sub-Saharan region. In this context, the current study provides an overview of the quality of surface water and groundwater in rural and peri-urban areas of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and Mozambique (MZ) in terms of concentrations of conventional pollutants, inorganic chemicals, microorganisms, and micropollutants. Their values were compared with the drinking water standards available for the two countries. Regarding surface water, it was found that microorganisms occur at high concentrations; nickel (RSA) and boron (MZ) are other critical parameters. Regarding groundwater, arsenic and lead (RSA) and boron, sodium, and chloride (MZ) are the main critical substances. With regard to micropollutants, their surface water concentrations are much higher than those in European rivers. The highest values were for ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid, clozapine, and estriol. Suitable treatment is necessary to produce safe water depending on the main critical pollutants but, at the same time, action should be taken to improve wastewater treatment in rural areas to improve and safeguard surface water bodies and groundwater which are sources for drinking needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Management: A Pragmatic Approach)
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