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Special Issue "Ecological Status Assessment of Transitional Waters"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Chiara FACCA

Department of Environmental Sciences, Computer Science and Statistics, University of Ca' Foscari Venice, Campus scientifico, Via Torino 155, I-30172 Venice, VE, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: anthropogenic impacts; ecological status; environmental parameters; microalgae; transitional and coastal environments

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Transitional waters are highly productive ecosystems with a long history of anthropogenic exploitation (fishing, naval traffic, land reclamation, waste water discharge, agricultural drainage, morphological interventions, etc.), that has compromised their natural equilibrium. In Europe, the Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/EC) drew particular attention to the ecological status of such environments, requiring assessment tools based mainly on biological communities (microalgae, macrophytes, benthic invertebrates and fish fauna). As a consequence, the scientific community intensified the study of such ecosystems in order to provide the necessary assessment tools to guarantee their management. This Special Issue will update the knowledge on ecological status assessments in transitional waters, including not only the research that meets the WFD requirements, but all papers that can deepen our knowledge of this topic on a global scale. Studies are welcome that describe: i) how biological communities (including communities not foreseen in the WFD, i.e. microbial and zooplanktonic communities) can be used to evaluate ecological status; ii) how anthropogenic pressures can affect the ecological equilibrium; and iii) examples of ecological status assessment programmes.

Dr. Chiara FACCA
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 monthly 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 1600 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.


  • transitional waters
  • biological communities
  • ecological indicators
  • ecological status
  • anthropogenic impacts
  • assessment programmes
  • monitoring activities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Biological and Physical Effects of Brine Discharge from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant and Implications for Future Desalination Plant Constructions
Water 2019, 11(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020208
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
PDF Full-text (8500 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination is increasingly used as a technology for addressing shortages of freshwater supply and desalination plants are in operation or being planned world-wide and specifically in California, USA. However, the effects of continuous discharge of high-salinity brine into coastal [...] Read more.
Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination is increasingly used as a technology for addressing shortages of freshwater supply and desalination plants are in operation or being planned world-wide and specifically in California, USA. However, the effects of continuous discharge of high-salinity brine into coastal environments are ill-constrained and in California are an issue of public debate. We collected in situ measurements of water chemistry and biological indicators in coastal waters (up to ~2 km from shore) before and after the newly constructed Carlsbad Desalination Plant (Carlsbad, CA, USA) began operations. A bottom water salinity anomaly indicates that the spatial footprint of the brine discharge plume extended about 600 m offshore with salinity up to 2.7 units above ambient (33.2). This exceeds the maximum salinity permitted for this location based on the California Ocean Plan (2015 Amendment to Water Quality Control Plan). However, no significant changes in the assessed biological indicators (benthic macrofauna, BOPA-index, brittle-star survival and growth) were observed at the discharge site. A model of mean ocean wave potential was used as an indicator of coastal mixing at Carlsbad Beach and at other locations in southern and central CA where desalination facilities are proposed. Our results indicated that to minimize environmental impacts discharge should target waters where a long history of anthropogenic activity has already compromised the natural setting. To ensure adequate mixing of the discharge brine desalination plants should be constructed at high-energy sites with sandy substrates, and discharge through diffusor systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Status Assessment of Transitional Waters)

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