Special Issue "Integrated Water Resource System Modeling to Support Sustainable Water Management"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Elmira Hassanzadeh
Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, 2500 Chemin de Polytechnique, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1J4, Canada
Interests: water resource systems; climate change impact assessment; hydrology
Dr. Monireh Faramarzi
Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, University of Alberta, 11455 Saskatchewan, Drive Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada
Interests: watershed modeling; water resources management; hydrology; crop modeling; climate change analysis
Dr. Ilyas Masih
Website
Guest Editor
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft The Netherlands, P.O. Box 3015, 2601 DA Delft, the Netherlands
Interests: catchment hydrology; water resources assessment in well-gauged, poorly gauged and ungauged catchments; spatial and temporal variability of water resources; impact of global changes (e.g., climate and land use changes) on water resources; drought assessment and management; integrated water resources planning and management; sustainable development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ali Mirchi
Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, USA
Interests: water resources modeling; hydrologic engineering; systems analysis; system dynamics simulation; hydro-economic modeling
Dr. Marcio Giacomoni
Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 1 UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
Interests: water resources systems analysis; sustainability of the built and natural environments; complex adaptive systems; water resources planning and management
Dr. Rebecca Teasley
Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Associate Dean of Swenson College of Science & Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth, 103 Swenson Civil Engineering, 1405 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812
Interests: water resources systems analysis; transboundary water management; groundwater and surface water management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water resource systems are complex and encompass interdependent components such as impacts of water quality on quantity and vise versa, groundwater and surface water interactions, as well as trade-offs between and within human and environmental needs. Traditional water resource systems modeling, however, has mainly focused on one or few aspects of water resource systems without considering the interactions among system components. Considering the unprecedented pressures on water resources due to the combined effects of population and socio-economic growth, land use and land cover changes, as well as heightened climate variability and change, ignoring the interactions among water resource system components can lead to inadequate representations of system vulnerabilities, and therefore, proposition of unsustainable management solutions. In the search for integrated modeling approaches for representing the feedback processes within and between natural and anthropogenic components of water availability and water demand, this Special Issue of Water invites innovative scientific contributions that tackle one or more of the following challenges:

  • Integration of water quality and quantity in water allocation models
  • Interactions between surface and groundwater resources
  • Water conflict management
  • Trade-offs between ecosystem and human water needs
  • Accounting for water demands and availability across multiple scales
  • Assessing the impacts of global changes (e.g. environmental, land use land cover and climate change) on sustainable water resource management
  • Consideration of non-monetary human needs
  • Representation of stakeholder views, evolving social behaviours and adaptive management and governance strategies
  • Nexus between climate, water, food, and energy systems
  • Integrated modeling of trans-boundary, national, regional, and global water resource systems
  • Decentralized and agent-based modeling of water resource systems
  • Simulation- and optimization-based water allocation models
  • Decision support systems
  • Addressing the uncertainty in integrated water resource system models
  • Use of remotely sensed global data sets in integrated modelling
  • Integrated water resource modeling in practice

Dr. Elmira Hassanzadeh
Dr. Monireh Faramarzi
Dr. Ilyas Masih
Dr. Ali Mirchi
Dr. Marcio Giacomoni
Dr. Rebecca Teasley
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 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 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

  • Integrated water resource system modeling
  • System dynamics
  • Socio-hydrology
  • Water allocation
  • Climate change and variability
  • Water quality and quantity

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sea Level Rise Effect on Groundwater Rise and Stormwater Retention Pond Reliability
Water 2020, 12(4), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041129 - 15 Apr 2020
Abstract
The coastal areas of Florida, United States, are exposed to increasing risk of flooding due to sea level rise as well as severe hurricanes. Florida regulations suggest constructing stormwater retention ponds as an option to retain excess runoff generated by the increased impervious [...] Read more.
The coastal areas of Florida, United States, are exposed to increasing risk of flooding due to sea level rise as well as severe hurricanes. Florida regulations suggest constructing stormwater retention ponds as an option to retain excess runoff generated by the increased impervious area and to protect the environment by reducing pollutants from new developments. Groundwater level rise can significantly lower the soil storage capacity and infiltration at retention ponds, in turn, reducing the pond’s capacity to capture consecutive storms due to longer pond volume recovery time. Partial groundwater inundation can affect retention ponds’ ability to decrease peak flow rates and keep the post-development outflow lower than or equal to pre-development conditions. In this paper, the reliability and performance of a retention pond near Tampa Bay, Florida, was evaluated under sea level rise conditions. An integrated surface water and groundwater model was developed, and the groundwater table was projected for future conditions as a function of sea level rise. The results showed that sea level rise could increase the seasonal high water elevation of the retention pond up to 40 cm by mid-21st century. This increase lowered the reliability of the retention pond by about 45%. The pond failed to recover the designed treatment volume within required 72 h because of the high groundwater table, increasing the risk of pollutant discharge. Furthermore, the peak flow and volume of runoff significantly increased under sea level rise and associated groundwater table rise conditions. The study results suggest that it is imperative to consider future sea level rise conditions in stormwater design in low-lying coastal areas of Florida and around the world to prevent poor pond performance and increased risk of flooding in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Competitive Relationship between Flood Control and Power Generation with Flood Season Division: A Case Study in Downstream Jinsha River Cascade Reservoirs
Water 2019, 11(11), 2401; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112401 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
The lower reaches of Jinsha River host the richest hydropower energy sources in China. With the construction of Wudongde and Baihetan, the multi-objective optimization for cascade reservoirs (along with Xiluodu and Xiangjia Dam) in the lower reaches of Jinsha River will create significant [...] Read more.
The lower reaches of Jinsha River host the richest hydropower energy sources in China. With the construction of Wudongde and Baihetan, the multi-objective optimization for cascade reservoirs (along with Xiluodu and Xiangjia Dam) in the lower reaches of Jinsha River will create significant benefits. This paper focuses on the competitive relationship between flood control and power generation, and attaches attention to the measurement of different objective functions and their competitive relationship. With observations of the flood in 1974, 1981, and 1985, a 100-year return period flood with peak-3d volume pair as different inputs for the optimal model is approached by NSGA-II. Different flood seasons divided by flood feature is applied to figure out specific competitive relationship. The results can be concluded as the following: (1) Strong competitive relationship mainly occurs in pre-flood season. (2) Whether it shows a strong competitive relationship depends on the amount of discharge. If the turbine is set to full capacity, power generation is fulfilled certainly, which means that there exists a weak competitive relationship between multi-objectives. (3) The different processes of floods have an effect on the duration of a competitive relationship. A flood with a late peak causes the extension of strong competition in the pre-flood season, which lends itself to a strong competition relationship in the post-flood season. (4) The intensity of competition in the pre-flood season is higher than that in the post-flood season because it has a larger range. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Groundwater‒Energy‒Food Nexus in Iran’s Agricultural Sector: Implications for Water Security
Water 2019, 11(9), 1835; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091835 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper presents the first groundwater‒energy‒food (GEF) nexus study of Iran’s agronomic crops based on national and provincial datasets and firsthand estimates of agricultural groundwater withdrawal. We use agronomic crop production, water withdrawal, and energy consumption data to estimate groundwater withdrawal from electric-powered [...] Read more.
This paper presents the first groundwater‒energy‒food (GEF) nexus study of Iran’s agronomic crops based on national and provincial datasets and firsthand estimates of agricultural groundwater withdrawal. We use agronomic crop production, water withdrawal, and energy consumption data to estimate groundwater withdrawal from electric-powered irrigation wells and examine agronomic productivity in Iran’s 31 provinces through the lens of GEF nexus. The ex-post GEF analysis sheds light on some of the root causes of the nation’s worsening water shortage problems. Access to highly subsidized water (surface water and groundwater) and energy has been the backbone of agricultural expansion policies in Iran, supporting employment in agrarian communities. Consequently, water use for agronomic crop production has greatly overshot the renewable water supply capacity of the country, making water bankruptcy a serious national security threat. Significant groundwater table decline across the country and increasing energy consumption underscore dysfunctional feedback relations between agricultural water and energy price and groundwater withdrawal in an inefficient agronomic sector. Thus, it is essential to implement holistic policy reforms aimed at reducing agricultural water consumption to alleviate the looming water bankruptcy threats, which can lead to the loss of numerous agricultural jobs in the years to come. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trade-Offs between Human and Environment: Challenges for Regional Water Management under Changing Conditions
Water 2019, 11(9), 1773; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091773 - 26 Aug 2019
Abstract
Water resource systems are under unprecedented pressure mainly due to rapid socio-economic growth, weak water and land management decisions, as well as variability and change in climate conditions. These pressures have disrupted the functionality of freshwater ecosystems and have generated water management challenges [...] Read more.
Water resource systems are under unprecedented pressure mainly due to rapid socio-economic growth, weak water and land management decisions, as well as variability and change in climate conditions. These pressures have disrupted the functionality of freshwater ecosystems and have generated water management challenges in various regions across the globe. Here, we showcase the potential trade-offs in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada, between upstream human activities and downstream environmental needs under changing water availability conditions. We showed that an increase in irrigation areas can boost provincial economy but alter timing, magnitude and rhythmicity of the peak flows reaching downstream ecosystems. This indicates that the business as usual management might not be able to handle such emerging challenges. To improve water management, we argue that there is a need to better represent the dynamic interactions between human water use and water quantity and quality conditions and their influence on ecosystems. In addition, impact assessment frameworks need to be improved to better identify system vulnerabilities under changing natural and anthropogenic conditions. Moreover, due to the key role of stakeholders in adopting land and water management decisions, their viewpoints need to be understood and included in management decisions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Allocation Model of Water Resources Based on the Prospect Theory
Water 2019, 11(6), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061289 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The rational allocation of water resources in the basin/region can be better assisted and performed using a suitable water resources allocation model. Rule-based and optimization-based simulation methods are utilized to solve medium- and long-term water resources allocation problems. Since rule-based allocation methods requires [...] Read more.
The rational allocation of water resources in the basin/region can be better assisted and performed using a suitable water resources allocation model. Rule-based and optimization-based simulation methods are utilized to solve medium- and long-term water resources allocation problems. Since rule-based allocation methods requires more experience from expert practice than optimization-based allocation methods, it may not be utilized by users that lack experience. Although the optimal solution can be obtained via the optimization-based allocation method, the highly skilled expert experience is not taken into account. To overcome this deficiency and employ the advantages of both rule-based and optimization-based simulation methods, this paper proposes the optimal allocation model of water resources where the highly skilled expert experience has been considered therein. The “prospect theory” is employed to analyze highly skilled expert behavior when decision-making events occur. The cumulative prospect theory value is employed to express the highly skilled expert experience. Then, the various elements of the cumulative prospect theory value can be taken as the variables or parameters in the allocation model. Moreover, the optimal water allocation model developed by the general algebraic modeling system (GAMS) has been improved by adding the decision reversal control point and defining the inverse objective function and other constraints. The case study was carried out in the Wuyur River Basin, northeast of China, and shows that the expert experience considered as the decision maker’s preference can be expressed in the improved optimal allocation model. Accordingly, the improved allocation model will contribute to improving the rationality of decision-making results and helping decision-makers better address the problem of water shortage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Scenario-Based Framework for Conflict Resolution in Water Allocation in Transboundary Watersheds
Water 2019, 11(6), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061174 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
One of the main causes of water conflicts in transboundary watersheds all over the world is represented by the increasing water demand due to urban, industrial, and agricultural development. In this context, water scarcity plays a critical role since, during a drought period, [...] Read more.
One of the main causes of water conflicts in transboundary watersheds all over the world is represented by the increasing water demand due to urban, industrial, and agricultural development. In this context, water scarcity plays a critical role since, during a drought period, water supply is not sufficient to cover the demand of all water uses. In this work, we have conceptualized and developed a new scenario-based framework able to improve the sustainability and equity of water allocation among two or more riparian countries. The proposed approach is in accordance with the United Nations Watercourses Convention. It considers a hydraulic/hydrologic model, a water-management model, and combines them with multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and what if scenario analysis (WISA). The suggested framework was applied to the transboundary watershed of Cuareim/Quaraí river (Uruguay/Brazil) to tackle a real water-sharing conflict. It resulted in being very flexible in exploring various policy options and test and quantifying them with different scenarios to reach an objective and impartial decision in a water-sharing issue. This framework can effectively be applied to any other transboundary watershed to resolve any possible conflict related to water-allocation/water-management matter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of the South-North Water Diversion Project on the Water Dispatching Pattern and Ecological Environment in the Water Receiving Area: A Case Study of the Fuyang River Basin in Handan, China
Water 2019, 11(4), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040845 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Inter-basin water transfer projects are widely used in water-stressed areas. North China is facing severe imbalance between water demand and water supply. The South-to-North Water Diversion (SNWD) Project was built to transfer water from the Yangtze River Basin to the Hai River Basin. [...] Read more.
Inter-basin water transfer projects are widely used in water-stressed areas. North China is facing severe imbalance between water demand and water supply. The South-to-North Water Diversion (SNWD) Project was built to transfer water from the Yangtze River Basin to the Hai River Basin. The Fuyang River Basin in the southern part of the Hai River Basin, passing through the Handan city, was chosen as the study area. To identify the effects of the SNWD Project on the water-receiving area, this paper used the decision support system AQUATOOL to simulate the water-dispatching scheme while using the water from the SNWD Project for domestic need in different level years. The results indicate that the SNWD Project provided 128.32 × 106 m3 of water in a wet year, 109.88 × 106 m3 in a normal year and 135.14 × 106 m3 in a dry year to this area. The added quantity of recycled water is 56.75 × 106 m3, 50.59 × 106 m3 and 57.52 × 106 m3, respectively. The water shortage in normal years was covered by the SNWD Project and the water shortage in dry years was reduced by 62.4%. Local environment was improved because of the SNWD Project, i.e., the SNWD water replaced and reduced the use of groundwater and increased the inflow to the Fuyang River and the Yongnian Wetland by increasing the recycled water. This research has demonstrated the SNWD Project has started to play a key role in securing water use and improving the environment in the water-receiving area since its completion in 2014. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Optimal Allocation Model for Large Complex Water Resources System Considering Water supply and Ecological Needs
Water 2019, 11(4), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040843 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Water resources are very important to support the socio-economic development and maintain environmental health, which is a typical issue in water resources management. In this study, we developed an optimal allocation model for a large complex system of water resources by considering both [...] Read more.
Water resources are very important to support the socio-economic development and maintain environmental health, which is a typical issue in water resources management. In this study, we developed an optimal allocation model for a large complex system of water resources by considering both water supply and river ecological benefits. The water supply benefit is defined as the minimum water deficit for different water users, while the ecological benefit involves making the reservoir release as close as possible to the natural streamflow. To solve this problem, the combination of decomposition-coordination (DC) and discrete differential dynamic programming (DDDP) methods were proposed. The proposed methods first decomposed a large system with multi-objective programming into subsystems, and the optimal solution of each subsystem was accomplished by the DDDP method to solve the system efficiently. Then the subsystems’ solutions were coordinated to figure out the near global optimal solution. The proposed models were tested in the Lingui and Yongfu County, Guilin City in China. Results show that the optimal reservoir release is close to the natural flow regime and there is a slight water deficit ratio in both level years. The water supply objective is more sensitive to the system model compared with the ecological objective, and the result of water allocation is optimized when the reservoir release is as close as possible to the natural flow based on the minimum water deficit. The proposed system model could facilitate sustainable water use and provide technical support for water resources management in economic development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of an Integrated SWAT–MODFLOW Model to Evaluate Potential Impacts of Climate Change and Water Withdrawals on Groundwater–Surface Water Interactions in West-Central Alberta
Water 2019, 11(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010110 - 10 Jan 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
It has become imperative that surface and groundwater resources be managed as a holistic system. This study applies a coupled groundwater–surface water (GW–SW) model, SWAT–MODFLOW, to study the hydrogeological conditions and the potential impacts of climate change and groundwater withdrawals on GW–SW interactions [...] Read more.
It has become imperative that surface and groundwater resources be managed as a holistic system. This study applies a coupled groundwater–surface water (GW–SW) model, SWAT–MODFLOW, to study the hydrogeological conditions and the potential impacts of climate change and groundwater withdrawals on GW–SW interactions at a regional scale in western Canada. Model components were calibrated and validated using monthly river flow and hydraulic head data for the 1986–2007 period. Downscaled climate projections from five General Circulation Models (GCMs), under the RCP 8.5, for the 2010–2034 period, were incorporated into the calibrated model. The results demonstrated that GW–SW exchange in the upstream areas had the most pronounced fluctuation between the wet and dry months under historical conditions. While climate change was revealed to have a negligible impact in the GW–SW exchange pattern for the 2010–2034 period, the addition of pumping 21 wells at a rate of 4680 m3/d per well to support hypothetical high-volume water use by the energy sector significantly impacted the exchange pattern. The results showed that the total average discharge into the rivers was only slightly reduced from 1294 m3/d to 1174 m3/d; however, localized flowrate differences varied from under 5 m3/d to over 3000 m3/d in 320 of the 405 river cells. The combined potential impact is that intensive groundwater use may have more immediate effects on river flow than those of climate change, which has important implications for water resources management and for energy supply in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Impacts of Population Growth and Climate Change on Performance of Water Use Systems and Water Allocation in Kano River Basin, Nigeria
Water 2018, 10(12), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121766 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Improving the performance of water use systems (WUSs) is essential for addressing the pressure on water resources for sustainability. Despite the potential impacts of population growth and global warming especially in semi-arid regions, the knowledge and understanding of WUSs and impacts of those [...] Read more.
Improving the performance of water use systems (WUSs) is essential for addressing the pressure on water resources for sustainability. Despite the potential impacts of population growth and global warming especially in semi-arid regions, the knowledge and understanding of WUSs and impacts of those main drivers of change on their performance are not available in the Kano River basin (KRB). This paper assesses these impacts on the performance of KRB, using the new and innovative Sefficiency (sustainable efficiency) framework, which incorporates quantity, quality, and beneficial aspects of water use in a comprehensive and systemic manner. We found that performance of the WUSs is sensitive to population growth and global warming under the scenarios considered. Kano River is relatively less sensitive to global warming impacts, while high population growth is dominant. Moreover, their combined effect will result in a reduction of downstream water by 70% and potential demands will far exceed the available supply by 2050. It is recommended that efficient management of water regarding the qualitative as well as quantitative aspects is very critical in KRB. This study can be regarded as the first step, and future studies may adopt the described methodology and can benefit from smart technologies, e.g., sensors and remote sensing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Water Source Joint Scheduling Model Using a Refined Water Supply Network: Case Study of Tianjin
Water 2018, 10(11), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111580 - 05 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Water shortage problems are increasing in many water-deficient areas. Most of the current research on multi-source combined water supplies depends on an overall generalization of regional water supply systems, which are seldom broken down into the detail required to address specific research objectives. [...] Read more.
Water shortage problems are increasing in many water-deficient areas. Most of the current research on multi-source combined water supplies depends on an overall generalization of regional water supply systems, which are seldom broken down into the detail required to address specific research objectives. This paper proposes the concept of a water treatment and distribution station (water station), and generalizes the water supply system into three modules: water supply source, water station, and water user. Based on a topological diagram of the water network (supply source–station–user), a refined water resource allocation model was established. The model results can display, in detail, the water supply source, water supply quantity, water distribution engineering, and other information of all users in each water distribution area. This makes it possible to carry out a detailed analysis of the supply and demand of users, and to provide suggestions and theoretical guidance for regional water distribution implementation. Tianjin’s water resource allocation was selected as a case study, and a water resource allocation scheme for a multi-source, combined water supply, was simulated and discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Process Representation in the Simulation of the Hydrology of a Meso-Scale Semi-Arid Catchment
Water 2018, 10(11), 1549; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111549 - 31 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The variability of rainfall and climate, combined with land use and land cover changes, and variation in geology and soils makes it a difficult task to accurately describe the key hydrological processes in a catchment. With the aim to better understand the key [...] Read more.
The variability of rainfall and climate, combined with land use and land cover changes, and variation in geology and soils makes it a difficult task to accurately describe the key hydrological processes in a catchment. With the aim to better understand the key hydrological processes and runoff generation mechanisms in the semi-arid meso-scale Kaap catchment in South Africa, a hydrological model was developed using the open source STREAM model. Dominant runoff processes were mapped using a simplified Height Above the Nearest Drainage approach combined with geology. The Prediction in Ungauged Basins (PUB) framework of runoff signatures was used to analyse the model results. Results show that in the headwater sub-catchments of Noordkaap and Suidkaap, plateaus dominate, associated with slow flow processes. Therefore, these catchments have high baseflow components and are likely the main recharge zone for regional groundwater in the Kaap. In the Queens sub-catchment, hillslopes associated with intermediate and fast flow processes dominate. However, this catchment still has a strong baseflow component, but it seems to be more impacted by evaporation depletion, due to different soils and geology, especially in drier years. At the Kaap outlet, the model indicates that hillslopes are important, with intermediate and fast flow processes dominating and most runoff being generated through direct runoff and shallow groundwater components, particularly in wetter months and years. There is a high impact of water abstractions and evaporation during the dry season, affecting low flows in the catchment. Results also indicate that the root zone storage and the parameters of effective rainfall separation (between unsaturated and saturated zone), quickflow coefficient and capillary rise, were very sensitive in the model. The inclusion of capillary rise (feedback from the saturated to unsaturated zone) greatly improved the simulation results. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Water Footprint and Water Pinch Analysis in Ethanol Industrial Production for Water Management
Water 2019, 11(3), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030518 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fuel ethanol is considered to be a clean alternative fuel to meet increasing energy demands and mitigate environmental pollution. Faced with challenges in terms of energy security and environmental pollution, China is vigorously developing fuel ethanol. However, ethanol-manufacturing is a water-intensive industry; it [...] Read more.
Fuel ethanol is considered to be a clean alternative fuel to meet increasing energy demands and mitigate environmental pollution. Faced with challenges in terms of energy security and environmental pollution, China is vigorously developing fuel ethanol. However, ethanol-manufacturing is a water-intensive industry; it consumes large volumes of fresh water and generates a corresponding amount of waste water. Expansion of this industry can reduce water quality and cause water stress. This study aims to combine the water footprint (WF) with a water pinch analysis technique to manage water consumption and sewage discharge systematically in an ethanol plant. A well-operated cassava ethanol plant in China was chosen as a case study. The WF of industrial ethanol production was evaluated. The total WF was 17.08 L/L ethanol, comprised of a 7.69 L blue water footprint (BWF), and a 9.39 L gray water footprint (GWF). The direct WF was 16.38 L/L ethanol, and the indirect WF was 0.70 L/L ethanol. Thereafter, a water pinch analysis was conducted, and the optimal direct water reuse scheme was studied. After the water network was optimized, the BWF was reduced by 0.98 L/L ethanol, while the GWF was reduced by 1.47 L/L ethanol. These results indicate that the combined use of WF and pinch analysis can provide the starch-based ethanol industry with an effective tool to improve its water management. Full article
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