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Special Issue "Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Sujay Kaushal

Department of Geology & Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 21201, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-301-405-7048
Interests: land use and climate impacts on water resources; increased salinization and alkalinization of fresh water; urban watershed continuum concept; urban evolution; watershed restoration; applications of geochemical tracers to ecohydrology
Guest Editor
Prof. Paul Mayer

US Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Lab, Western Ecology Division, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ecosystem restoration; urban ecology; nitrogen; animal behavior
Guest Editor
Dr. Arthur Gold

110 Coastal Institute in Kingston, One Greenhouse Road, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
E-Mail
Phone: 401-874-2903
Fax: 401-874-4561
Interests: sources and sinks of nitrogen in coastal watersheds; process level and in situ studies on nitrate dynamics and GIS applications to scale up from the site level to the watershed scale; linking and managing environmental flows and watershed hydrology; extension activities directed towards demonstration/educational programs for local and regional decision makers to facilitate watershed management and minimizing risks of non-point source pollution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land use and climate change are impacting the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption and degrading natural ecosystems globally. During the present geological epoch of the Anthropocene, pollution from agriculture and urbanization have increased globally at the same time that warming trends and climate extremes have increased in frequency and intensity. Additionally, regional issues related to water consumption and droughts/floods further complicate water sustainability including salinization and alkalinization of major fresh water supplies and drinking water availability. For this Special Issue, we solicit papers related to any aspect of  the impacts of land use and climate change on water resources. We are particularly interested in papers that explore: (1) human alteration of the ecosystem stucture and function of headwaters and drainage networks; (2) losses in hydrologic storage and biogeochemical retention in ground water, streams, and wetlands (e.g., reduced snowpack, infiltration, and recharge, etc.); (3) changes in ecosystem services of water in response to land use and climate change; and (4) watershed management, adaptation, and restoration strategies to offset increasing effects of land use and climate change.  We intend to compile a Special Issue that will be a valuable resource for researchers, students, and managers, interested in the interactive effects of land use and climate change on Earth’s water cycle.

Dr. Sujay Kaushal
Dr. Paul Mayer
Dr. Arthur Gold
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 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.

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Climate
  • Land Use
  • Drought
  • Hydrology
  • Snow
  • Precipitation
  • Storms
  • Extreme Weather
  • Urbanization
  • Infrastructure
  • Groundwater
  • Drinking Water
  • Ecosystem Restoration
  • Metals, Nutrients
  • Pathogens
  • Personal Care Products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Salinization and Alkalinization
  • Sustainability
  • Global Water Security

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources—Global Stages of Interaction
Water 2017, 9(10), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100815
Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use and climate change can accelerate the depletion of freshwater resources that support humans and ecosystem services on a global scale. Here, we briefly review studies from around the world, and highlight those in this special issue. We identify stages that characterize [...] Read more.
Land use and climate change can accelerate the depletion of freshwater resources that support humans and ecosystem services on a global scale. Here, we briefly review studies from around the world, and highlight those in this special issue. We identify stages that characterize increasing interaction between land use and climate change. During the first stage, hydrologic modifications and the built environment amplify overland flow via processes associated with runoff-dominated ecosystems (e.g., soil compaction, impervious surface cover, drainage, and channelization). During the second stage, changes in water storage impact the capacity of ecosystems to buffer extremes in water quantity and quality (e.g., either losses in snowpack, wetlands, and groundwater recharge or gains in water and nutrient storage behind dams in reservoirs). During the third stage, extremes in water quantity and quality contribute to losses in ecosystem services and water security (e.g., clean drinking water, flood mitigation, and habitat availability). During the final stage, management and restoration strategies attempt to regain lost ecosystem structure, function, and services but need to adapt to climate change. By anticipating the increasing interaction between land use and climate change, intervention points can be identified, and management strategies can be adjusted to improve outcomes for realistic expectations. Overall, global water security cannot be adequately restored without considering an increasing interaction between land use and climate change across progressive stages and our ever-increasing human domination of the water cycle from degradation to ecosystem restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Beyond the Clean Water Rule: Impacts of a Non-Jurisdictional Ditch on Headwater Stream Discharge and Water Chemistry
Water 2016, 8(12), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120607
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 21 December 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (974 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ephemeral drainage ditches in upland areas, such as those draining roads, are excluded from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA). While several studies have shown that road drainage and/or development in forested watersheds can impact water quality, the direct physical [...] Read more.
Ephemeral drainage ditches in upland areas, such as those draining roads, are excluded from the jurisdiction of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA). While several studies have shown that road drainage and/or development in forested watersheds can impact water quality, the direct physical and chemical impacts of a single drainage ditch have not been identified. In this study, we measured water chemistry (silicon, calcium, and sulfate) and magnitude of discharge from one such feature and at the outlet of the catchment it is within. We found that discharge from the drainage ditch was sometimes over 10% of the larger stream into which it drains, despite the small relative size of the ditch catchment (1.1 ha) compared to the main catchment (43 ha). Furthermore, we observed sharp decreases in silicon and calcium and increases in sulfate concentrations downstream from the drainage ditch across longitudinal sampling of the stream network. This illustrates the impacts of a common feature in high relief, forested areas that when aggregated over the landscape are likely responsible for regional water quality impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Potential Future Climate and Climate Extremes in the Brazos Headwaters Basin, Texas
Water 2016, 8(12), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120603
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Texas’ fast-growing economy and population, coupled with cycles of droughts due to climate change, are creating an insatiable demand for water and an increasing need to understand the potential impacts of future climates and climate extremes on the state’s water resources. The objective [...] Read more.
Texas’ fast-growing economy and population, coupled with cycles of droughts due to climate change, are creating an insatiable demand for water and an increasing need to understand the potential impacts of future climates and climate extremes on the state’s water resources. The objective of this study was to determine potential future climates and climate extremes; and to assess spatial and temporal changes in precipitation (Prec), and minimum and maximum temperature (Tmin and Tmax, respectively), in the Brazos Headwaters Basin under three greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (A2, A1B, and B1) for three future periods: 2020s (2011–2030), 2055s (2046–2065), and 2090s (2080–2099). Daily gridded climate data obtained from Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) were used to downscale outputs from 15 General Circulation Models (GCMs) using the Long Ashton Research Station–Weather Generator (LARS-WG) model. Results indicate that basin average Tmin and Tmax will increase; however, annual precipitation will decrease for all periods. Annual precipitation will decrease by up to 5.2% and 6.8% in the 2055s and 2090s, respectively. However, in some locations in the basin, up to a 14% decrease in precipitation is projected in the 2090s under the A2 (high) emissions scenario. Overall, the northwestern and southern part of the Brazos Headwaters Basin will experience greater decreases in precipitation. Moreover, precipitation indices of the number of wet days (prec ≥ 5 mm) and heavy precipitation days (prec ≥ 10 mm) are projected to slightly decrease for all future periods. On the other hand, Tmin and Tmax will increase by 2 and 3 °C on average in the 2055s and 2090s, respectively. Mostly, projected increases in Tmin and Tmax will be in the upper range in the southern and southeastern part of the basin. Temperature indices of frost (Tmin < 0 °C) and ice days (Tmax < 0 °C) are projected to decrease, while tropical nights (Tmin > 20 °C) and summer days (Tmax > 25 °C) are expected to increase. However, while the frequency distribution of metrological drought shows slight shifts towards the dry range, there was no significant difference between the baseline and projected metrological drought frequency and severity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Stream Flow and Their Relationships with Climatic Variations and Anthropogenic Activities in the Poyang Lake Basin, China
Water 2016, 8(12), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120564
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (17177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Poyang Lake Basin has been suffering from severe water problems such as floods and droughts. This has led to great adverse impacts on local ecosystems and water resource utilization. It is therefore important to understand stream flow changes and their driving factors. [...] Read more.
The Poyang Lake Basin has been suffering from severe water problems such as floods and droughts. This has led to great adverse impacts on local ecosystems and water resource utilization. It is therefore important to understand stream flow changes and their driving factors. In this paper, the dynamics of stream flow and precipitation in the Poyang Lake Basin between 1961 and 2012 were evaluated with the Mann–Kendall test, Theil–Sen approaches, Pettitt test, and Pearson’s correlation. Stream flow was measured at the outlets of five major tributaries of Poyang Lake, while precipitation was recorded by fourteen meteorological stations located within the Poyang Lake Basin. Results showed that annual stream flow of all tributaries and the precipitation over the study area had insignificant (P > 0.1) temporal trends and change points, while significant trends and shifts were found in monthly scale. Stream flow concentration indices (SCI) at Waizhou, Meigang, and Wanjiabu stations showed significant (P < 0.05) decreasing trends with change points emerging in 1984 at Waizhou and 1978 at Wanjiabu, while there was no significant temporal trend and change point detected for the precipitation concentration indices (PCI). Correlation analysis indicated that area-average stream flow was closely related to area-average precipitation, but area-average SCI was insignificantly correlated with area-average PCI after change point (1984). El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) had greater impacts on stream flow than other climate indices, and La Niña events played a more important role in stream flow changes than EI Niño. Human activities, particularly in terms of reservoir constructions, largely altered the intra-annual distribution of stream flow but its effects on the amount of stream flow were relatively low. Results of this study provided a useful reference to regional water resource management and the prevention of flood and drought disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Extent of Stream Burial and Relationships to Watershed Area, Topography, and Impervious Surface Area
Water 2016, 8(11), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110538
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (5502 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stream burial—the routing of streams through culverts, pipes, and concrete lined channels, or simply paving them over—is common during urbanization, and disproportionately affects small, headwater streams. Burial undermines the physical and chemical processes governing life in streams, with consequences for water quality and [...] Read more.
Stream burial—the routing of streams through culverts, pipes, and concrete lined channels, or simply paving them over—is common during urbanization, and disproportionately affects small, headwater streams. Burial undermines the physical and chemical processes governing life in streams, with consequences for water quality and quantity that may amplify from headwaters to downstream receiving waters. Knowledge of the extent of stream burial is critical for understanding cumulative impacts to stream networks, and for future decision-making allowing for urban development while protecting ecosystem function. We predicted stream burial across the urbanizing Potomac River Basin (USA) for each 10-m stream segment in the basin from medium-resolution impervious cover data and training observations obtained from high-resolution aerial photography in a GIS. Results were analyzed across a range in spatial aggregation, including counties and independent cities, small watersheds, and regular spatial grids. Stream burial was generally correlated with total impervious surface area (ISA), with areas exhibiting ISA above 30% often subject to elevated ratios of stream burial. Recurring patterns in burial predictions related to catchment area and topographic slope were also detected. We discuss these results in the context of physiographic constraints on stream location and urban development, including implications for environmental management of aquatic resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Will Dam Removal Increase Nitrogen Flux to Estuaries?
Water 2016, 8(11), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110522
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 8 November 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To advance the science of dam removal, analyses of functions and benefits need to be linked to individual dam attributes and effects on downstream receiving waters. We examined 7550 dams in the New England (USA) region for possible tradeoffs associated with dam removal. [...] Read more.
To advance the science of dam removal, analyses of functions and benefits need to be linked to individual dam attributes and effects on downstream receiving waters. We examined 7550 dams in the New England (USA) region for possible tradeoffs associated with dam removal. Dam removal often generates improvements for safety or migratory fish passage but might increase nitrogen (N) flux and eutrophication in coastal watersheds. We estimated N loading and removal with algorithms using geospatial data on land use, stream flow and hydrography. We focused on dams with reservoirs that increase retention time at specific points of river reaches, creating localized hotspots of elevated N removal. Approximately 2200 dams with reservoirs had potential benefits for N removal based on N loading, retention time and depth. Across stream orders, safety concerns on these N removal dams ranged between 28% and 44%. First order streams constituted the majority of N removal dams (70%), but only 3% of those were classified as high value for fish passage. In cases where dam removal might eliminate N removal function from a particular reservoir, site-specific analyses are warranted to improve N delivery estimates and examine alternatives that retain the reservoir while enhancing fish passage and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Variation in Water Balance Components in Mountainous Inland River Basin Experiencing Climate Change
Water 2016, 8(10), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100472
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 22 October 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (12324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quantification of the changes of water balance components is significant for water resource assessment and management. This paper employed the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to estimate the water balance in a mountainous watershed in northwest China at different spatial scales [...] Read more.
Quantification of the changes of water balance components is significant for water resource assessment and management. This paper employed the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to estimate the water balance in a mountainous watershed in northwest China at different spatial scales over the past half century. The results showed that both Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) and determination coefficient (R2) were over 0.90 for the calibration and validation periods. The water balance components presented rising trends at the watershed scale, and the total runoff increased by 30.5% during 1964 to 2013 period. Rising surface runoff and rising groundwater flow contributed 42.7% and 57.3% of the total rising runoff, respectively. The runoff coefficient was sensitive to increasing precipitation and was not significant to the increase of temperature. The alpine meadow was the main landscape which occupied 51.1% of the watershed and contributed 55.5% of the total runoff. Grass land, forest land, bare land, and glacier covered 14.2%, 18.8%, 15.4%, and 0.5% of the watershed and contributed 8.5%, 16.9%, 15.9%, and 3.2% of the total runoff, respectively. The elevation zone from 3500 to 4500 m occupied 66.5% of the watershed area, and contributed the majority of the total runoff (70.7%). The runoff coefficients in the elevation zone from 1637 to 2800 m, 2800 to 3500 m, 3500 to 4000 m, 4000 to 4500 m, and 4500 to 5062 m were 0.20, 0.27, 0.32, 0.43, and 0.78, respectively, which tend to be larger along with the elevation increase. The quantities and change trends of the water balance components at the watershed scale were calculated by the results of the sub-watersheds. Furthermore, we characterized the spatial distribution of quantities and changes in trends of water balance components at the sub-watershed scale analysis. This study provides some references for water resource management and planning in inland river basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Nonlinear Changes in Land Cover and Sediment Runoff in a New Zealand Catchment Dominated by Plantation Forestry and Livestock Grazing
Water 2016, 8(10), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100436
Received: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 4 October 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (5447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land cover can change frequently on intensively managed landscapes, affecting water quality across different spatiotemporal scales. Multi-resolution datasets are necessary in order to assess the extent and trends of these changes, as well as potential cross-scale interactions. In this study, both spatial and [...] Read more.
Land cover can change frequently on intensively managed landscapes, affecting water quality across different spatiotemporal scales. Multi-resolution datasets are necessary in order to assess the extent and trends of these changes, as well as potential cross-scale interactions. In this study, both spatial and temporal analyses of land disturbance (i.e., soil exposure from vegetation removal) and water quality were performed on datasets ranging from daily to yearly time scales. Time-series analyses of land disturbance were compared against the water quality variables of total suspended solids (TSS), turbidity, and visual clarity for the Hoteo River catchment on the North Island of New Zealand for the 2000–2013 period. During forest harvest and recovery phases, exotic forests were the dominant disturbance, up to five times the area of grassland disturbance; while after recovery, grasslands assumed the dominant role, for up to 16 times the area of forest disturbance. Time-series of TSS from field sampling (2000–2013) and TSS-event analyses (2012–2014) displayed distinct nonlinear patterns, suggesting that after major events, sediment that is stored in the landscape is exhausted and a period of sediment build-up follows until the next major event. Time-series analyses also showed a connection between trends in connected land disturbance and visual water clarity, with connected disturbance having the potential to be a water quality indicator. Future research should be conducted at even finer spatiotemporal scales over longer periods in order to identify effects of localized land disturbances on downstream water quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Phosphorus Retention in Stormwater Control Structures across Streamflow in Urban and Suburban Watersheds
Water 2016, 8(9), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090390
Received: 23 May 2016 / Revised: 11 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (2721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that stormwater control measures (SCMs) are less effective at retaining phosphorus (P) than nitrogen. We compared P retention between two urban/suburban SCMs and their adjacent free-flowing stream reaches at the Baltimore Long-Term Ecological Study (LTER) site, and examined changes [...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown that stormwater control measures (SCMs) are less effective at retaining phosphorus (P) than nitrogen. We compared P retention between two urban/suburban SCMs and their adjacent free-flowing stream reaches at the Baltimore Long-Term Ecological Study (LTER) site, and examined changes in P retention in SCMs across flow conditions. Results show that, when compared with free-flowing stream reaches, the SCMs had significantly lower dissolved oxygen (%DO) and higher P concentrations, as well as lower mean areal retention rates and retention efficiencies of particulate P (PP). In all the SCMs, concentrations of total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) consistently exhibited inverse correlations with %DO that was lower during summer base flows. Particulate phosphorus (PP) concentrations peaked during spring high flow period in both streams and in-line pond/SCMs, but they were also higher during summer base flows in suburban/urban SCMs. Meanwhile, PP areal retention rates and retention efficiencies of the SCMs changed from positive (indicating retention) during high flows to negative (indicating release) during low flows, while such changes across flow were not observed in free-flowing stream reaches. We attribute the changing roles of SCMs from a PP sink to a PP source to changes in SCM hydrologic mass balances, physical sedimentation and biogeochemical mobilization across flows. This study demonstrates that in suburban/urban SCMs, P retained during high flow events can be released during low flows. Cultivation of macrophytes and/or frequent sediment dredging may provide potential solutions to retaining both P and nitrogen in urban SCMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Future of Water Supply and Demand in the Middle Drâa Valley, Morocco, under Climate and Land Use Change
Water 2016, 8(8), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080313
Received: 3 April 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regions of scarce fresh water resources, such as the Middle East and North Africa, are facing great challenges already today, and even more in the future, due to climatic and socioeconomic changes. The Middle Drâa valley in Morocco is one of many semi-arid [...] Read more.
Regions of scarce fresh water resources, such as the Middle East and North Africa, are facing great challenges already today, and even more in the future, due to climatic and socioeconomic changes. The Middle Drâa valley in Morocco is one of many semi-arid to arid mountainous areas struggling with increasing water scarcity threatening self-sufficient husbandry. In order to maintain people’s livelihoods water management needs to be adapted. The Water Evaluation And Planning System (WEAP) software has been widely used to examine complex water systems in the water resource planning sector all around the world and proved to be a helpful asset to show the various interactions of water supply and demand. This paper presents the application of WEAP on the Middle Draâ valley’s water demand and supply, including several socioeconomic and land use scenarios under one basic climate change scenario. The climate scenario shows a significant decrease in available water resources up to 2029 while all socioeconomic scenarios show an increase in water demand. In years of droughts groundwater is used for irrigation, leading to increasingly depleted aquifers. The aquifers are recharged by percolation losses from irrigation and by river bed infiltration the latter of which is stronger in the northern oases than in the southern oases due to water withdrawal rules. A drastic reduction of irrigated agricultural area is the only solution to guarantee sustainable water use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Nutrient Retention in Restored Streams and Rivers: A Global Review and Synthesis
Water 2016, 8(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040116
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 6 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (2766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from human activities have contributed to degradation of coastal waters globally. A growing body of work suggests that hydrologically restoring streams and rivers in agricultural and urban watersheds has potential to increase N and P retention, but [...] Read more.
Excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from human activities have contributed to degradation of coastal waters globally. A growing body of work suggests that hydrologically restoring streams and rivers in agricultural and urban watersheds has potential to increase N and P retention, but rates and mechanisms have not yet been analyzed and compared across studies. We conducted a review of nutrient retention within hydrologically reconnected streams and rivers, including 79 studies. We developed a typology characterizing different forms of stream and river restoration, and we also analyzed nutrient retention across this typology. The studies we reviewed used a variety of methods to analyze nutrient cycling. We performed a further intensive meta-analysis on nutrient spiraling studies because this method was the most consistent and comparable between studies. A meta-analysis of 240 experimental additions of ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) was synthesized from 15 nutrient spiraling studies. Our results showed statistically significant relationships between nutrient uptake in restored streams and specific watershed attributes. Nitrate uptake metrics were significantly related to watershed surface area, impervious surface cover, and average reach width (p < 0.05). Ammonium uptake metrics were significantly related to discharge, velocity, and transient storage (p < 0.05). SRP uptake metrics were significantly related to watershed area, discharge, SRP concentrations, and chl a concentrations (p < 0.05). Given that most studies were conducted during baseflow, more research is necessary to characterize nutrient uptake during high flow. Furthermore, long-term studies are needed to understand changes in nutrient dynamics as projects evolve over time. Overall analysis suggests the size of the stream restoration (surface area), hydrologic connectivity, and hydrologic residence time are key drivers influencing nutrient retention at broader watershed scales and along the urban watershed continuum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use, Climate, and Water Resources)
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