Special Issue "Climate Change and Human Impact on Freshwater Water Resources: Rivers and Lakes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 13590

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Dariusz Wrzesiński
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Hydrology and Water Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-712 Poznań, Poland
Interests: hydroclimatology; teleconnections; climate change; time series analysis; river regime; entropy, water resource management; water balance; watershed hydrology; watershed management; lakes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Leszek Sobkowiak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Hydrology and Water Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
Interests: climate change; time series analysis; river regime; water resources management; water balance; watershed hydrology; watershed management; China
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Different patterns of phenomena observed in rivers (water stages, discharges, water temperature and chemistry, ice phenomena, etc.) in an average annual cycle, determined by climate and catchment properties, are relatively stable. Under the influence of changing climatic conditions and increasing human impact, a flow regime might destabilize and turn over to another with sometimes quite different seasonal patterns, thus disturbing the established hydroecological conditions and availability of water resources. Depending on the sensitivity of a particular river regime model, its changes are temporarily and spatially diversified. In order to identify a change in any pattern (regardless of the reason), it is necessary first of all to adequately describe its initial state and the state after the transformation. There are diverse pattern recognition methods, and both supervised and nonsupervised approaches can be applied to describe the flow regime patterns.

The hydrological regime of lakes can be analyzed in terms of their thermal conditions, formation of ice, and water levels. Quantitative, physical, and biological transformation of lake ecosystems may result from both natural (changes in precipitation, evaporation etc.) and human-induced (water intakes and discharges, hydraulic structures) processes. The regime of lakes in many regions of the world has been destabilized by intensive land use and regulation of water relations. Fluctuations in water levels, and thus changes in the lake area and the amount of stored water in the lake, are crucial in many physical–chemical (mixing, dissolution of substances, water transparency etc.), biological (extent of ecotone zones, extent of photic zone etc.) or economic (possibility of water withdrawals for industrial, domestic, agricultural purposes etc.) processes.

The main aim of this Special Issue is to share the results of research on the impact of climate change and human activity on the characteristics of the flow regime of rivers in different regions of the world, mainly in terms of the transformation of the flow regime characteristics, their stability and predictability, and quantitative and qualitative assessment of water resources. Papers focusing on methods of detection changes and classifying the river regimes are particularly invited.

At the same time, this Special Issue addresses the impact of climate change and human activity on the lake regime characteristics in various regions of the world, mainly in terms of long-term changes in the amount of water resources, seasonal changes of water levels, and thermal and ice conditions.

Keywords

  • flow regime; flow seasonality; thermal conditions; water chemistry; ice phenomena; climate change; human activity; methods of detection changes and classifying river regimes
  • regime of lake water levels; thermal conditions; thermal stratification; ice phenomena; lake ecosystems; changes of lake water resources; changes of lake area; disappearance of lakes

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Climate Change and Human Impact on Freshwater Water Resources: Rivers and Lakes
Water 2022, 14(8), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14081279 - 15 Apr 2022
Viewed by 363
Abstract
In this Special Issue, we have included articles focusing on disturbances of hydro-ecological conditions and availability of water resources stored in rivers and lakes due to climate change and human activity [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Changes in the Heat Content of Water Column in the Slope Area of the Southern Basin of Lake Baikal in the 21st Century
Water 2022, 14(3), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030348 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 630
Abstract
Climate change influences the temperature, ice and thermal regimes of lakes in the Northern Hemisphere. This study discusses the change in the heat content of the water column in the slope area of the southern basin of Lake Baikal under the influence of [...] Read more.
Climate change influences the temperature, ice and thermal regimes of lakes in the Northern Hemisphere. This study discusses the change in the heat content of the water column in the slope area of the southern basin of Lake Baikal under the influence of climate for the past 20 years. We clarify the seasonal variability of heat content in different water layers selected taking into account temperature and dynamic characteristics. During the study period, the value of heat content increased in the upper water layer (45–100 m) only in May (12.4 (MJ/m2)/year). In the water layers deeper than 100 m, the value of heat content decreased: −3–−4 (MJ/m2)/year from July to September in a layer of 100–300 m, −9–−13 (MJ/m2)/year in all months in a layer of 300–1100 m and −1.5–−3 (MJ/m2)/year in all months, except for January in a layer of 1100 m–bottom. Despite the revealed trends of the change in the heat content, the annual heat circulation remained within the normal range and did not have any trends. Full article
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Article
Climate Change Attribution in the Lena and Selenga River Runoff: An Evaluation Based on the Earth System and Regional Hydrological Models
Water 2022, 14(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010118 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 448
Abstract
The main goal of this study was to obtain the attribution results of a physical assessment of the modern hydrological consequences of separately natural and anthropogenic components of climate change, based on the synthesis of detailed process-based models of river runoff formation and [...] Read more.
The main goal of this study was to obtain the attribution results of a physical assessment of the modern hydrological consequences of separately natural and anthropogenic components of climate change, based on the synthesis of detailed process-based models of river runoff formation and an ensemble of Earth system models (ESMs) within the large river basins in Eastern Siberia. This approach allows calculating the river flow using ESM-based data over the observation period under two scenarios, considering: (1) the anthropogenic impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and (2) only internal fluctuations of the climate system and natural external forcing. According to the results of the numerical experiments, the attributions of anthropogenic components of climate change in the dynamics of the Lena runoff are weak, i.e., during the observation period, the Lena River flow statistically significantly increases, but it occurs mainly due to natural climate variability. The changes in the Selenga runoff are intensely influenced by the anthropogenic component of climate change. Since the 1970s, the Selenga runoff increased under natural climatic conditions, but since the mid-1980s, it decreased under anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, due to reduced summer precipitation. This was the main reason for the last low-water period of 1996–2017 in the Selenga basin. Full article
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Article
Climate vs. Human Impact: Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Streamflow Variation
Water 2021, 13(17), 2404; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172404 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
This paper presents a novel framework comprising analytical, hydrological, and remote sensing techniques to separate the impacts of climate variation and regional human activities on streamflow changes in the Karkheh River basin (KRB) of western Iran. To investigate the type of streamflow changes, [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel framework comprising analytical, hydrological, and remote sensing techniques to separate the impacts of climate variation and regional human activities on streamflow changes in the Karkheh River basin (KRB) of western Iran. To investigate the type of streamflow changes, the recently developed DBEST algorithm was used to provide a better view of the underlying reasons. The Budyko method and the HBV model were used to investigate the decreasing streamflow, and DBEST detected a non-abrupt change in the streamflow trend, indicating the impacts of human activity in the region. Remote sensing analysis confirmed this finding by distinguishing land-use change in the region. The algorithm found an abrupt change in precipitation, reflecting the impacts of climate variation on streamflow. The final assessment showed that the observed streamflow reduction is associated with both climate variation and human influence. The combination of increased irrigated area (from 9 to 19% of the total basin area), reduction of forests (from 11 to 3%), and decreasing annual precipitation has substantially reduced the streamflow rate in the basin. The developed framework can be implemented in other regions to thoroughly investigate human vs. climate impacts on the hydrological cycle, particularly where data availability is a challenge. Full article
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Article
Monitoring Variations in Lake Water Storage with Satellite Imagery and Citizen Science
Water 2021, 13(7), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070949 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Despite lakes being a key part of the global water cycle and a crucial water resource, there is limited understanding of whether regional or lake-specific factors control water storage variations in small lakes. Here, we study groups of small, unregulated lakes in North [...] Read more.
Despite lakes being a key part of the global water cycle and a crucial water resource, there is limited understanding of whether regional or lake-specific factors control water storage variations in small lakes. Here, we study groups of small, unregulated lakes in North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, and Wisconsin, USA using lake level measurements gathered by citizen scientists and lake surface area measurements from optical satellite imagery. We show the lake level measurements to be highly accurate when compared to automated gauges (mean absolute error = 1.6 cm). We compare variations in lake water storage between pairs of lakes within these four states. On average, water storage variations in lake pairs across all study regions are moderately positively correlated (ρ = 0.49) with substantial spread in the degree of correlation. The distance between lake pairs and the extent to which their changes in volume are correlated show a weak but statistically significant negative relationship. Our results indicate that, on regional scales, distance is not a primary factor governing lake water storage patterns, which suggests that other, perhaps lakes-specific, factors must also play important roles. Full article
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Article
Relationships of Hydrological Seasons in Rivers and Groundwaters in Selected Catchments in Poland
Water 2021, 13(3), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030250 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
The study applied the method of hydrological season identification in a time series of river total and base flows and in groundwater levels. The analysis covered a series of daily measurements from the period 2008–2017 in nine catchments located in different geographical regions [...] Read more.
The study applied the method of hydrological season identification in a time series of river total and base flows and in groundwater levels. The analysis covered a series of daily measurements from the period 2008–2017 in nine catchments located in different geographical regions of Poland. The basis of the classification of hydrological seasons, previously applied for river discharges only, was the transformation of the original variables into a series reflecting three statistical features estimated for single-name days of a year from a multiyear: average value, variation coefficient, and autocorrelation coefficient. New variables were standardized and after hierarchical clustering, every day of a year had a defined type, valorizing three features which refer to quantity, variability, and the stochastic nature of total and base river flow as well as groundwater stage. Finally, sequences of days were grouped into basic (homogenous) seasons of different types and transitional seasons including mixed types of days. Analysis indicated determinants of types, length, and frequency of identified hydrological seasons especially related to river regime, hydrogeological and hydrometeorological conditions as well as physiographical background were directly influenced by geographical location. Analysis of the co-occurrence of the same types of hydrological seasons allowed, in some catchments, periods of synchronic alimentation (groundwater and base flow, mainly in the cold half-year) and water shortages (all three components, mainly in the warm half-year) to be identified. Full article
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Article
Estimation of the Dependence of Ice Phenomena Trends on Air and Water Temperature in River
Water 2020, 12(12), 3494; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123494 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
The identification of changes in the ice phenomena (IP) in rivers is a significant element of analyses of hydrological regime features, of the risk of occurrence of ice jam floods, and of the ecological effects of river icing (RI). The research here conducted [...] Read more.
The identification of changes in the ice phenomena (IP) in rivers is a significant element of analyses of hydrological regime features, of the risk of occurrence of ice jam floods, and of the ecological effects of river icing (RI). The research here conducted aimed to estimate the temporal and spatial changes in the IP in a lowland river in the temperate climate (the Noteć River, Poland, Central Europe), depending on air temperature (TA) and water temperature (TW) during the multi-annual period of 1987–2013. Analyses were performed of IP change trends in three RI phases: freezing, when there appears stranded ice (SI), frazil ice (FI), or stranded ice with frazil ice (SI–FI); the phase of stable ice cover (IC) and floating ice (FoI); and the phase of stranded ice with floating ice (SI–FoI), frazil ice with floating ice (FI–FoI), and ice jams (IJs). Estimation of changes in IP in connection with TA and TW made use of the regression model for count data with a negative binomial distribution and of the zero-inflated negative binomial model. The analysis of the multi-annual change tendency of TA and TW utilized a non-parametric Mann–Kendall test for detecting monotonic trends with Yue–Pilon correction (MK–YP). Between two and seven types of IP were registered at individual water gauges, while differences were simultaneously demonstrated in their change trends over the researched period. The use of the Vuong test confirmed the greater effectiveness of estimates for the zero-inflated model than for the temporal trend model, thanks to which an increase in the probability of occurrence of the SI phenomenon in the immediate future was determined; this, together with FI, was found to be the most frequently occurring IP in rivers in the temperate climate. The models confirmed that TA is the best estimator for the evaluation of trends of the occurrence of IC. It was shown that the predictive strength of models increases when thermal conditions are taken into consideration, but it is not always statistically significant. In all probability, this points to the impact of local factors (changes in bed and valley morphology and anthropogenic pressure) that are active regardless of thermal conditions and modify the features of the thermal-ice regime of rivers at specific spatial locations. The results of research confirm the effectiveness of compilating a few models for the estimation of the dependence of IP trends on air and water temperature in a river. Full article
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Article
Net Primary Production Predicted by the Proportion of C:N:P Stoichiometric Ratio in the Leaf-Stem and Root of Cynodon Dactylon (Linn.) in the Riparian Zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir
Water 2020, 12(11), 3279; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113279 - 22 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
Net primary production (NPP) is closely related to the proportion of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in the leaf-stem and root of perennial herbs. However, the relationship of NPP with the C:N:P stoichiometric ratio in above- and below-ground plant tissues remains [...] Read more.
Net primary production (NPP) is closely related to the proportion of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in the leaf-stem and root of perennial herbs. However, the relationship of NPP with the C:N:P stoichiometric ratio in above- and below-ground plant tissues remains unknown under the periodic flooding stresses in the riparian zone ecosystem. In this study, the leaf-stem and root C, N, P content and biomass of Cynodon dactylon (Linn.) Pers. (C. dactylon) were investigated at the riparian zone altitudes of 145–155, 155–165, and 165–175 m above sea level (masl) of in a Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) tributary–Pengxi River. The results showed that the NPP and biomass of C. dactylon had a similar decreasing trend with a riparian zone altitudes decrease. The root of C. dactylon showed relatively lower N and P content, but much higher N and P use efficiency with higher C:N and C:P ratio than that of a leaf-stem under N limitation conditions. NPP was positively correlated to C:N in the stem-leaf to root ratio (C:Nstem-leaf/root) and C:P ratio in the root (C:Proot ratio). Hydrological and C:N:P stoichiometric variables could predict 68% of the NPP variance, and thus could be regarded as the main predictor of NPP in the riparian zone of the TGR. Full article
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Article
Hydrological Drought in Dongting Lake Area (China) after the Running of Three Gorges Dam and a Possible Solution
Water 2020, 12(10), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102713 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Dongting Lake is located at the downstream of Three Gorges Dam (TGD) and the hydrological drought is intensified after the impoundment of TGD as the dry period has been extended from 123 days/year before the operation of TGD (1981–2002) to 141 days/year (2003–2016) [...] Read more.
Dongting Lake is located at the downstream of Three Gorges Dam (TGD) and the hydrological drought is intensified after the impoundment of TGD as the dry period has been extended from 123 days/year before the operation of TGD (1981–2002) to 141 days/year (2003–2016) on average. Particularly, the Dongting Lake’s water shortage becomes very severe. To solve the problem caused by upstream dams, an innovative flood control scheme (IFCS) was introduced, and its feasibility of application in Dongting Lake is studied using the hydrodynamic module of Mike 21. The results show the IFCS can effectively convert the peak discharge of floodwater in wet seasons into water resources in dry seasons as the IFCS could significantly increase the usable water storage of the lake. For example, the usable water storage could increase to 2.85 billion m3 and 1.81 billion m3 in the extreme drought year of 2006 and 2011, respectively. The average increment of the water level would be about 0.4 m, 0.6 m, and 0.5 m in the West Dongting Lake (WDL), South Dongting Lake (SDL), and the East Dongting Lake (EDL), respectively, if the water stored in the inner lake was discharged uniformly in 30 days (27 November to 27 December 2006) with the application of IFCS. This study may provide an innovative method to alleviate the water shortage problem in Dongting Lake and other similar lakes. Full article
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Article
Studying the Effect of Channel Geometry on Different Water Quality Variables for Effective Designs and Waste Allocation Plans for Waterways
Water 2020, 12(8), 2176; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082176 - 01 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
It is necessary to study the parameters that affect water quality in order to devise mitigation measures if water quality would be at risk or negatively affected by those parameters. Those parameters are physical, chemical, biological, and hydraulic characteristics. This research will study [...] Read more.
It is necessary to study the parameters that affect water quality in order to devise mitigation measures if water quality would be at risk or negatively affected by those parameters. Those parameters are physical, chemical, biological, and hydraulic characteristics. This research will study the effect of channel geometry on different water quality variables, which is important in designing new irrigation canals in order to see how its geometry will affect water quality and lessen any negative impact if possible; also this study could aid in designing more reliable waste allocation plans for waterways. The studied geometric characteristics are top width, bottom width, water depth, side-slopes and channel length. Sheikh Zayed canal in Egypt is taken as the reference case study canal. Studied water quality variables are algae, nutrients, total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), pH, alkalinity and total inorganic carbon. It was found that concentrations of all water quality variables in water changed as a result of changing channel geometry. Some water quality variables such as algae, nutrients, and TSS are greatly affected, whereas others such as pH, alkalinity and total inorganic carbon are slightly affected. Full article
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Article
Effect of Solar Canals on Evaporation, Water Quality, and Power Production: An Optimization Study
Water 2020, 12(8), 2103; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082103 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Both energy and availability of water with good quality are essential for the well-being of humans. Thus, it is very important to study the parameters that would affect water quality, so as to come up with mitigation measures if water quality would be [...] Read more.
Both energy and availability of water with good quality are essential for the well-being of humans. Thus, it is very important to study the parameters that would affect water quality, so as to come up with mitigation measures if water quality would be at risk or negatively affected. Moreover, it is very important to always search for new energy resources, especially if they are renewable. This research study is concerned with studying solar canals and their effect on evaporation and water quality variables of canals covered by solar cells, as well as the effect on power production. Both a mathematical model and an optimization study were done, in order to determine the previously mentioned effects, and thus, to determine the most favorable covering percentage of the case study canal’s area that would lead to minimum evaporation volumes, maximum power, and yet preserving and meeting the standards of the water quality variables of the covered waterway. Water quality variables that were investigated are dissolved oxygen concentration, algae, nutrients, and pH of the water. It was found that, between 33% and 50% covering of the canal, the optimum conditions will be met. Full article
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Article
Detecting Patterns of Changes in River Water Temperature in Poland
Water 2020, 12(5), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051327 - 07 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
The study determined water temperature trends of rivers in Poland in the period 1971–2015, and also their spatial and temporal patterns. The analysis covered daily water temperature of 53 rivers recorded at 94 water gauge stations and air temperature at 43 meteorological stations. [...] Read more.
The study determined water temperature trends of rivers in Poland in the period 1971–2015, and also their spatial and temporal patterns. The analysis covered daily water temperature of 53 rivers recorded at 94 water gauge stations and air temperature at 43 meteorological stations. Average monthly, annual, seasonal and maximum annual tendencies of temperature change were calculated using the Mann–Kendall (M–K) test. Regional patterns of water temperature change were determined on the basis of Ward’s hierarchical grouping for 16 correlation coefficients of average annual water temperature in successive 30-year sub-periods of the multi-annual period of 1971–2015. Moreover, regularities in monthly temperature trends in the annual cycle were identified using 12 monthly values obtained from the M–K Z test. The majority of average annual air and water temperature series demonstrate statistically significant positive trends. In three seasons: spring, summer and autumn, upward tendencies of temperature were detected at 70%–90% of the investigated water gauges. In 82% of the analysed rivers, similarity to the tendencies of change of monthly air temperature was concluded, with the climatic factor being recognised as of decisive importance for the changes in water thermal characteristics of the majority of rivers in Poland. In the winter months, positive trends of temperature were considerably weaker and in general statistically insignificant. On a regional scale, rivers with a quasi-natural thermal regime experienced temperature increases from April to November. In the other cases, different directions of change in river water temperature (RWT) were attributed to various forms of human impact. It was also found that for the majority of rivers the average annual water temperature in the analysed 30-year sub-periods displayed upward trends, statistically significant or close to the significance threshold. Stronger trends were observed in the periods after 1980, while a different nature of water temperature change was detected only in a couple of mountainous rivers or rivers transformed by human impact. In the beginning of the analysed period (1971–2015), the average annual water temperature of these rivers displayed positive and statistically significant trends, while after 1980 the trends were negative. The detected regularities and spatial patterns of water temperature change in rivers with a quasi-natural regime revealed a strong influence of climate on the modification of their thermal regime features. Rivers characterised by a clearly different nature of temperature change, both in terms of the direction of the tendencies observed and their statistical significance, were distinguished by alterations of water thermal characteristics caused by human activity. The results obtained may be useful in optimising the management of aquatic ecosystems, for which water temperature is a significant indicator of the ongoing environmental changes. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Fresh–Saline Groundwater Distribution in the Nile Delta Aquifer Using a 3D Variable-Density Groundwater Flow Model
Water 2019, 11(9), 1946; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091946 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
The Nile Delta Aquifer (NDA) is threatened by salt water intrusion (SWI). This article demonstrates an approach for identifying critical salinity concentration zones using a three-dimensional (3D) variable-density groundwater flow model in the NDA. An innovative procedure is presented for the delineation of [...] Read more.
The Nile Delta Aquifer (NDA) is threatened by salt water intrusion (SWI). This article demonstrates an approach for identifying critical salinity concentration zones using a three-dimensional (3D) variable-density groundwater flow model in the NDA. An innovative procedure is presented for the delineation of salinity concentration in 2010 by testing different simulation periods. The results confirm the presence of saline groundwater caused by SWI in the north of the NDA. In addition, certain regions in the east and southwest of the NDA show increased salinity concentration levels, possibly due to excessive groundwater extraction and dissolution of marine fractured limestone and shale that form the bedrock underlying the aquifer. The research shows that the NDA is still not in a state of dynamic equilibrium. The modeling instrument can be used for simulating future scenarios of SWI to provide a sustainable adaptation plan for groundwater resource. Full article
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