Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 October 2023) | Viewed by 20745

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Guest Editor
Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95112, USA
Interests: water and wastewater treatment; water treatment; wastewater engineering; water analysis; environment; environmental pollution; solid waste management; environmental analysis; environmental impact assessment; water quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is very important for the existence of living things. Several studies have found that clean water laden with toxic chemical (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, pesticide residues, perfluorooctanoic acid), radiological (radioactive elements uranium, cesium, plutonium), and microbiological (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) contaminants through unintentional and intentional means can be detrimental to living things when consumed. These contaminants could occur via anthropogenic or natural activities. Therefore, to prevent pollution or limit the presence of conventional and emerging contaminants in various sources of water, it is imperative to devise water adaptive strategies to remediate water pollution in varied water sources, especially for climate-related pollution triggers, and to conduct routine water quality monitoring, assessment, and security evaluation to determine its useability (suitability) and associated health risks. This Special Issue welcomes original research, review articles, perspective articles, mini-reviews, opinions, and short communications describing recent findings on water quality, security and risk assessment, on a global scale.

The scope of the Special Issues includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Climate change and adaptation towards the improvement of water quality.
  • Water quality assessment of groundwater, rivers, rainwater and other sources of drinking water to cover chemical, radiological and microbiological contamination.
  • Risk assessment of groundwater, rainwater, rivers and other sources of drinking water.
  • Water security of the different water sources as it relates to pollution mitigation and water resource management.
  • Water quality monitoring of different water sources and solutions to improve water quality status.
  • Radiological contaminants and safety in varied water sources.

Dr. Imokhai Theophilus Tenebe
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • water quality
  • water pollution
  • risk assessment
  • point and diffuse pollution
  • water security
  • emerging water contaminants

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2356 KiB  
Article
Designing Water Inter-Plant Networks of Single and Multiple Contaminants through Mathematical Programming
by Abeer M. Shoaib, Amr A. Atawia, Mohamed H. Hassanean, Abdelrahman G. Gadallah and Ahmed A. Bhran
Water 2023, 15(24), 4315; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15244315 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 870
Abstract
Water is the meaning of life for humans, agricultural and industrial processes; controlling the distribution of water and wastewater between industrial processes is very vital for rationalizing water and preserving the environment. This paper addresses a mathematical approach to optimizing water inter-plant networks. [...] Read more.
Water is the meaning of life for humans, agricultural and industrial processes; controlling the distribution of water and wastewater between industrial processes is very vital for rationalizing water and preserving the environment. This paper addresses a mathematical approach to optimizing water inter-plant networks. The water network problem is formulated as a nonlinear program (NLP) that is solved by LINGO Software, version 14.0. A generalized two-step mathematical model is designed to be valid for solving networks containing large numbers of sources and sinks. The introduced model is proposed to be used for both single and multiple contaminant problems with up to six contaminants. Two mathematical models are presented to design water inter-plant networks efficiently. Firstly, the introduced model is solved by LINGO, in which the data given are applied; the obtained results are simultaneously sent to a second model (based on Excel Software 2019, v. 16.0), by which the obtained water networks are automatically drawn. The proposed approach has been applied in three case studies; the first case study contains five plants of single contaminants, the second case study contains three plants of single contaminants, and the third case study contains three plants of multiple contaminants. The results showed a noticeable reduction in the percentages of freshwater consumption in the investigated three case studies, which were 38.6, 4.74 and 8.64%, respectively, and the wastewater discharge of the three case studies were decreased by 38.1, 4.61 and 8.65%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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23 pages, 1826 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Spatial Distribution Characteristics of Emerging Pollutants in China
by Man Zhang, Yong Sun, Bin Xun and Baoyin Liu
Water 2023, 15(21), 3782; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15213782 - 29 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Pollutant types are increasing along with the rapid development of society and economy. Some emerging pollutants from chemicals have begun to appear and endanger public and ecosystem health. However, the research and development of emerging pollutant monitoring technology is still in its infancy, [...] Read more.
Pollutant types are increasing along with the rapid development of society and economy. Some emerging pollutants from chemicals have begun to appear and endanger public and ecosystem health. However, the research and development of emerging pollutant monitoring technology is still in its infancy, with no complete monitoring system in place. This makes it impossible to access and identify the spatial pattern of emerging pollutants. Therefore, this paper reviews the existing quantitative research results on four common emerging pollutants in China’s water environment—namely, endocrine disruptors, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds, and microplastics—extracts the quantitative monitoring results of emerging pollutants in the case studies, and outlines the spatial distribution characteristics of emerging pollutants in the water environment. The results show that the emerging pollutants have a large distribution area that has covered most of China. The level of pollution from emerging pollutants correlates with the level of economic development and the pollution level in economically developed regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, and the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region is significantly higher than in other regions. This study provides a reference for the prevention and control of emerging pollutants in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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14 pages, 3356 KiB  
Article
Possible Pollution of Surface Water Bodies with Tequila Vinasses
by Allan Tejeda, Arturo Montoya, Belkis Sulbarán-Rangel and Florentina Zurita
Water 2023, 15(21), 3773; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15213773 - 28 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1888
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the water quality in two streams of the Valles region of Jalisco, Mexico and fully determine if they are being used as tequila vinasse disposal sites. Three sampling campaigns were carried out at eight different [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the water quality in two streams of the Valles region of Jalisco, Mexico and fully determine if they are being used as tequila vinasse disposal sites. Three sampling campaigns were carried out at eight different points of the two streams that run near tequila factories (TFs). Different physicochemical parameters of water quality were measured: chemical oxygen demand (COD); biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5); total suspended solids (TSSs); total phosphates; fats, oils, and grease (FOG); Kjeldal nitrogen; nitrite; nitrate; pH; conductivity; temperature; dissolved oxygen (DO); and turbidity. Also, the analysis of samples of tequila vinasses (TVs) diluted with tap water were carried out to have a reference for the level of pollution in the streams. Furthermore, due to the fact that COD could be considered the main indicator of pollution with TVs, a linear regression was performed between COD concentrations and the percentage of dilution of TVs (with tap water). A positive correlation was found between these two variables, and based on this analysis, the vinasse content was estimated at each sampling point of the streams. It was found that on average, a volume of 8.5 ± 6.3% and 11.5 ± 4.9% of TVs were present in each sampling point of the Atizcoa and Jarritos Streams, respectively. Additionally, it was found that, in general, the concentration of pollutants increased as the streams passed through the TFs, particularly the Atizcoa Stream. According to the Water National Commission criteria, most of the points would be classified as highly polluted, since they reach concentrations of COD and BOD5 up to 6590 mg/L and 3775 mg/L, respectively, temperature values up to 37 °C, and DO values of 0.5 mg/L. Therefore, it was confirmed that the streams are being used as tequila vinasse disposal sites. Due to the above, there is an urgent need for tequila companies to implement treatment systems for the vinasse generated, since under current conditions, the monitored streams are practically devoid of aquatic life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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14 pages, 1797 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Sewage Molecular Markers: Linear Alkylbenzenes in Sediments of an Industrialized Region in Peninsular Malaysia
by Sadeq A. A. Alkhadher, Hussein E. Al-Hazmi, Suhaimi Suratman, Mohamad P. Zakaria, Najat Masood, Bartosz Szeląg, Sami M. Magam, Ebrahim H. H. Al-Qadami, Joanna Majtacz, Przemysław Kowal, Tonni A. Kurniawan, Sameer A. M. Abdulrahman and Saeed S. Albaseer
Water 2023, 15(18), 3301; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15183301 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
In this study, the use of linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) was employed to pinpoint the sources of human activity that cause detrimental impacts on the coastal environment and river ecosystems. LABs were detected using GC–MS in sediment samples assembled from Kim Kim River (KKR) [...] Read more.
In this study, the use of linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) was employed to pinpoint the sources of human activity that cause detrimental impacts on the coastal environment and river ecosystems. LABs were detected using GC–MS in sediment samples assembled from Kim Kim River (KKR) and the Port Dickson coast (PDC). To assess the significance of variations in the distribution and concentrations of LABs across the sampling sites, this study utilized several statistical techniques such as post hoc tests, LSD techniques, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and the Pearson correlation coefficient using a significance level of p < 0.05. The degradation levels of LABs and wastewater treatment were assessed in the study using internal congeners (I/E), homologs of C13 and C12, and long-to-short-chain (L/S) ratios. The results revealed that the LAB concentrations varied between 88.3 and 112 ng/g dw in KKR and 119 to 256 ng/g dw in the PDC. Most of the surveyed areas exhibited a substantial count of C13–LABs homologs that displayed a significant difference (p < 0.05). The I/E ratios ranged from 1.7 to 2.0 in KKR and from 2.0 to 4.1 in the PDC, suggesting that the effluents originated from sources associated with the physical phase and biological phase in wastewater treatment systems (WWTSs). The results revealed that the degradation of LABs varied between 34% and 38% in KKR and between 40% and 64% in the PDC. This study underscores the importance of ongoing improvements to WWTSs and emphasizes the potential of LABs as indicators for monitoring wastewater contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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24 pages, 7608 KiB  
Article
Multi-Dimensional Surface Water Quality Analyses in the Manawatu River Catchment, New Zealand
by Imokhai T. Tenebe, Jason P. Julian, PraiseGod C. Emenike, Nathaniel Dede-Bamfo, Omeje Maxwell, Samuel E. Sanni, Eunice O. Babatunde and Darlan D. Alves
Water 2023, 15(16), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15162939 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1471
Abstract
Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) properties give vital information about pollution signatures in rivers, and they help develop best management practices (BMPs) for effective water resource management. This work employs multivariate statistical methods, receptor modeling, connectivity analysis, and univariate trend analysis to [...] Read more.
Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) properties give vital information about pollution signatures in rivers, and they help develop best management practices (BMPs) for effective water resource management. This work employs multivariate statistical methods, receptor modeling, connectivity analysis, and univariate trend analysis to investigate pollution sources across spatiotemporal scales in the Manawatu River, New Zealand. A positive matrix factorization (PMF) method was applied to interpret possible contamination sources. A 25-year dataset (1989–2014) comprising 12 water quality variables from three sites was used. Runoff connectivity analyses identified high-producing grassland (HG) as the most dominant pollution class in all sub-catchments. Univariate analyses revealed that nutrients and sediments were higher than in the initial monitoring years. The PMF analysis found possible pollutants causing impairment, which required attention from waste managers. PMF also showed that point, natural, and agricultural sources significantly contributed to pollution downstream of the river. In the midstream, the erosion, point, and agricultural sources were significant contributing factors. Agricultural pollution and soil erosion were the main contributors to the upstream sub-catchment area. This study suggests that BMPs with a high retention capacity are needed in specific locations in the catchment area to filter high concentrations of pollutants generated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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24 pages, 12984 KiB  
Article
An Integrated GIS and Machine-Learning Technique for Groundwater Quality Assessment and Prediction in Southern Saudi Arabia
by Mustafa El-Rawy, Okke Batelaan, Fahad Alshehri, Sattam Almadani, Mohamed S. Ahmed and Ahmed Elbeltagi
Water 2023, 15(13), 2448; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132448 - 4 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3275
Abstract
One of the most critical stages for developing groundwater resources for drinking water use is assessing the water quality. The use of a Water Quality Index (WQI) is considered an effective method of evaluating water quality. The objective of this research was to [...] Read more.
One of the most critical stages for developing groundwater resources for drinking water use is assessing the water quality. The use of a Water Quality Index (WQI) is considered an effective method of evaluating water quality. The objective of this research was to evaluate the performance of six multiple artificial intelligence techniques, i.e., linear regression (stepwise), support vector regression SVM (linear and polynomial kernels), Gaussian process regression (GPR), Fit binary tree, and artificial neural network ANN (Bayesian) to predict the WQI in Jizan, Southern Saudi Arabia. A total of 145 groundwater samples were collected from shallow dug wells and boreholes tapping the phreatic aquifer. The WQI was calculated from 11 physicochemical parameters (pH, TDS, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl, SO42−, HCO3, NO3, and TH). The spatial distribution results showed that higher values of Cl and SO42− were recorded in the places close to the coastline, indicating the occurrence of seawater intrusion and salinisation. Seven wells had a WQI of greater than 300, indicating that the water was unfit for consumption. The results showed that the GPR, linear regression (stepwise), and ANN models performed best during the training and testing stages, with a high correlation of 1.00 and low errors. The stepwise fitting model indicated that pH, K+, and NO3 were the most significant variables, while HCO3 was a non-significant variable for the WQI. The GPR, stepwise regression, and ANN models performed best during the training and testing stages, with a high correlation and low errors. In contrast, the SVM and Fit binary tree models performed the worst in the training and testing phases. Based on subset regression analysis, the optimum input combination for WQI model prediction was determined as these eight input combinations with high R2 (0.975–1.00) and high Adj-R2 (0.974–1.00). The resultant WQI model significantly contributes to sustainable groundwater resource management in arid areas and generates improved prediction precision with fewer input parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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15 pages, 1087 KiB  
Article
Bacterial Contamination Levels and Brand Perception of Sachet Water: A Case Study in Some Nigerian Urban Neighborhoods
by Imokhai T. Tenebe, Eunice O. Babatunde, Chinonso C. Eddy-Ugorji, Egbe-Etu E. Etu, Nkpa M. Ogarekpe, Chikodinaka V. Ekeanyanwu, Oladapo A. Diekola, Oluwarotimi S. Oladele and Obiora B. Ezeudu
Water 2023, 15(9), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091762 - 3 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2540
Abstract
Sachet water (SW) is a major source of drinking in most Nigerian homes, thus making it a possible conveyance medium for health risks due to contamination if persist rather than for replenishment of the body. This study collected SW from three busy neighborhoods [...] Read more.
Sachet water (SW) is a major source of drinking in most Nigerian homes, thus making it a possible conveyance medium for health risks due to contamination if persist rather than for replenishment of the body. This study collected SW from three busy neighborhoods in South-West Nigeria and investigated for the presence of indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli (E. coli), Total Coliform (TC), Total Heterophilic Bacteria (THB), Staphylococcus (Staph)) and some physio-chemical parameters (total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and salinity). Multi-variable and exploratory statistical methods were applied to the results to determine correlations between bacterial contamination levels and perceived brand reputation. Bacteriological tests with raw SW samples appeared too numerous to count (TNC) and thus required serial dilutions. After seven-fold serial dilutions, results obtained revealed that SW brands with good reputations had no TC and E. coli and was statistically significant with groupings of other SW brands (χ2 = 12.28; p < 0.05 and χ2 = 37.96; p < 0.05). Additionally, SW brands with poor reputations had mean values of TC (19.7×108 cfu/mL; 14×108 cfu/mL 1.15×108 cfu/mL) and E. coli (18.2×108 cfu/mL; 38.7×108 cfu/mL,32.4×108 cfu/mL) exceeding the threshold value of zero set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Only one sample from a poor reputation brand tested positive for Staphylococcus and was not statistically significant (χ2 = 5.2191; p = 0.074). Principal Component Analysis (PCA)/Factor Analysis (FA) revealed that most of the SW had fecal contamination was the major source. Therefore, this study suggests that periodic cleaning of distribution lines, location-specific treatment, and other quality control (QC) measures should be enforced to reduce water security risk for SW consumption in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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21 pages, 3179 KiB  
Article
Mapping Specific Constituents of an Ochre-Coloured Watercourse Based on In Situ and Airborne Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Data
by Christoph Ulrich, Michael Hupfer, Robert Schwefel, Lutz Bannehr and Angela Lausch
Water 2023, 15(8), 1532; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15081532 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1608
Abstract
It is a well-known fact that water bodies are crucial for human life, ecosystems and biodiversity. Therefore, they are subject to regulatory monitoring in terms of water quality. However, land-use intensification, such as open-cast mining activities, can have a direct impact on water [...] Read more.
It is a well-known fact that water bodies are crucial for human life, ecosystems and biodiversity. Therefore, they are subject to regulatory monitoring in terms of water quality. However, land-use intensification, such as open-cast mining activities, can have a direct impact on water quality. Unfortunately, in situ measurements of water quality parameters are spatially limited, costly and time-consuming, which is why we proposed a combination of hyperspectral data, in situ data and simple regression models in this study to estimate and thus monitor various water quality parameters. We focused on the variables of total iron, ferrous iron, ferric iron, sulphate and chlorophyll-a. Unlike other studies, we used a combination of airborne hyperspectral and RGB data to ensure a very high spatial resolution of the data. To investigate the potential of our approach, we conducted simultaneous in situ measurements and airborne hyperspectral/RGB aircraft campaigns at different sites of the Spree River in Germany to monitor the impact of pyrite weathering on water bodies after open-cast mining activities. Appropriate regression models were developed to estimate the five variables mentioned above. The model with the best performance for each variable gave a coefficient of determination R2 of 64% to 79%. This clearly shows the potential of airborne hyperspectral/RGB data for water quality monitoring. In further investigations, we focused on the use of machine learning techniques, as well as transferability to other water bodies. The approach presented here has great potential for the development of a monitoring method for the continuous monitoring of still waters and large watercourses, especially given the freely available space-based hyperspectral missions via EnMAP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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20 pages, 4963 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Hydrochemistry, Groundwater Drinking Quality, and Possible Hazard to Human Health in Shizuishan Area, Northwest China
by Shan Xiao, Yuan Fang, Jie Chen, Zonghua Zou, Yanyan Gao, Panpan Xu, Xueke Jiao and Miaoyue Ren
Water 2023, 15(6), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061082 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2626
Abstract
Groundwater is an important source of drinking water, particularly in arid regions. In this study, a total of 66 groundwater samples were collected from the phreatic aquifer in the Shizuishan area, a traditional irrigation region of Ningxia. The results showed that the TDS [...] Read more.
Groundwater is an important source of drinking water, particularly in arid regions. In this study, a total of 66 groundwater samples were collected from the phreatic aquifer in the Shizuishan area, a traditional irrigation region of Ningxia. The results showed that the TDS values were above the drinking water standards for nearly 50% of the groundwater samples. The ions followed the order of Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ and SO42− > Cl > HCO3 in the groundwater. There were four dominant factors in controlling groundwater chemistry based on principal component analysis: the salinity factor, alkalinity factor, carbonate factor, and pollution factor. The high concentration of NH4-N in groundwater was attributed to agricultural activities, but the high NO3-N levels were mainly due to sewage or wastewater. F and As were derived from geogenic sources. Based on the result of the WQI assessment, about 40% of the samples in the central part of the study region showed unacceptable water quality for drinking, which was mainly associated with high NH4-N, TDS, and As concentrations. The total non-carcinogenic risks of drinking the groundwater were 0.05–10.62 for adults and 0.09–20.65 for children, respectively. The order of pollutants in the groundwater in terms of their hazard to residents was: As > F > NO3-N > NH4-N. The carcinogenic risk values of As through oral ingestion for children and adults were 0–7.37 × 10−4 and 0–1.89 × 10−4, respectively. Chronic exposure by oral ingestion presented as the main source of susceptibility to exposure to groundwater contaminants for children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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16 pages, 8297 KiB  
Article
Groundwater Hydrochemical Characteristics and Water Quality in Egypt’s Central Eastern Desert
by Ahmed Saleh, Ahmed Gad, Alaa Ahmed, Hasan Arman and Hassan I. Farhat
Water 2023, 15(5), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15050971 - 3 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2746
Abstract
The rapid expansion of economic activities in Egypt’s Central Eastern Desert has resulted in poorly coordinated groundwater development, having a negative impact on the resource. This study was conducted to assess the hydrochemical characteristics of the different aquifers in the Central Eastern Desert, [...] Read more.
The rapid expansion of economic activities in Egypt’s Central Eastern Desert has resulted in poorly coordinated groundwater development, having a negative impact on the resource. This study was conducted to assess the hydrochemical characteristics of the different aquifers in the Central Eastern Desert, with an emphasis on the impact of seawater intrusion and groundwater quality for different purposes. A total of 21 groundwater samples were collected representing the three main aquifers (Eocene Carbonate, Nubian Sandstone, and Fractured Basement) in the Central Eastern Desert, and analyzed for major ions and trace elements. The majority of the samples had electrical conductivity values that exceeded the salinity limit for natural water. Groundwater saline load is primarily influenced by sodium, calcium, chloride, and sulfate concentrations. The groundwater in the Central Eastern Desert mainly consists of Na-Cl, Ca-Cl, and Na-SO4 water-types. Saltwater intrusion and water-rock interactions via cation exchange and minerals weathering are the primary controlling factors of groundwater hydrochemistry. The high salinity of this groundwater renders it unsuitable for irrigation or consumption. Additionally, it is unfit for domestic use based on total hardness values. Furthermore, the Al, Cd, Fe, Mn, and Ni concentrations in the investigated groundwater exceed the allowable limits for human consumption. Proper mitigation measures and adaptation strategies are required for groundwater sustainability in the Central Eastern Desert. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality, Water Security and Risk Assessment)
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