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Special Issue "Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water–Food–Energy Nexus".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jiaguo Qi

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: remote sensing of environment; water-energy-food nexus
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Richard Lawford

Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, USA
E-Mail
Interests: hydrology; climatology; meteorology
Guest Editor
Dr. Tira Foran

Basin Management Outcomes Program, CSIRO Land and Water, Black Mountain Laboratories, Clunies Ross St, ACT 2601, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61 2 6246 4308
Fax: +61 448 539 051
Interests: rural livelihoods and social change; Collaborative governance; Water-energy-food nexus; Environmental movements

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a prime exemplar of the large-scale, dynamic interactions between monsoon climate and human activities. Water resources and food production in the basin have relied on timely rainfall and the seasonal flows of the rivers and streams of the Mekong and its tributaries, supporting approximately 60 million people in the region for generations. However, the rhythm and intensity of the Asian monsoon climate over the last 50 years have changed noticeably, with more frequent floods and intense droughts devastating crops and dramatically altering aquatic ecosystems, and deeply disrupting rural livelihoods. Meanwhile, rising temperature in the Himalayas has increased snowmelt causing glacial retreat and altering freshwater dynamics in the region. Humans are responding to these changes. Land use change and construction of dams, unsynchronized with agricultural crops, have adversely affected the delivery of associated ecosystem services that local communities rely on. Expansion of irrigated agriculture and cropland abandonment due to changes in distribution of water resource further affect food production and freshwater resources. Together, these aforementioned changes in climate, land use, dam construction, and irrigation are having significant impacts on the WEF systems. Science-based solutions are being sought in order to address these emerging sustainability issues and the WEF Nexus, an important theme of the Future Earth and its KANs (knowledge action networks), in Monsoon Asia is emerging as one of the most important priorities appropriate to addressing these regional sustainability issues. This Special Issue presents a collective wisdom of latest research related to the WEF Nexus issues in the region. The overall aim is to promoting sustainable future pathways for the Mekong region, and Asia in an interconnected world. The Special Issue themes may include but not necessarily limited to the following: Theories and innovations in WEF Nexus; human interventions to hydrological processes and consequences in the GMS; land use and land cover changes and implications to water, energy and food systems; regional climate variability and its implications to WEF systems; science and technologies for solutions to food, energy and water nexus adaptation strategies and regional governance across boundaries.

Prof. Jiaguo Qi
Prof. Richard Lawford
Dr. Tira Foran
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

  • WEF Nexus

  • Greater Mekong Subregion

  • Water resources

  • Land use

  • Climate Variability

  • Governance, Sustainability

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Crop Planting Structure Adjustment on Water Use Efficiency in the Irrigation Area of Hei River Basin
Water 2018, 10(10), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101305
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 16 September 2018 / Published: 22 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adjustment of crop planting structure can change the process of water and material circulation, and thus affect the total amount of water and evapotranspiration in the irrigation district. To guide the allocation of water resources in the region, it is beneficial to [...] Read more.
The adjustment of crop planting structure can change the process of water and material circulation, and thus affect the total amount of water and evapotranspiration in the irrigation district. To guide the allocation of water resources in the region, it is beneficial to ascertain the effects of changing the crop planting structure on water saving and farmland water productivity in the irrigation district. This paper takes Yingke Irrigation District as the background. According to the continuous observation data from 2012 to 2013, Based on the modified Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model and taking advantage of monthly scale remote sensing EvapoTranspiration (ET) and crop growth parameters (leaf area index and shoot dry matter), we tested the simulation accuracy of the model, proposed irrigation efficiency calculation methods considering water drainage, and established the scenario analysis method for the spatial distribution of crop planting structure. Finally, we evaluated the changes in water savings in irrigation district projects and resources, the irrigation water productivity and the net income water productivity under different planting structure scenarios. The results indicate that the efficiency of irrigation has increased by 15~20%, while considering drainage, as compared with conventional irrigation efficiency. Additionally, the adjustment of crop planting structure can reduce regional evapotranspiration by 14.9%, reduce the regional irrigation volume by 30%, and increase the net income of each regional water area by 16%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Describing and Visualizing a Water–Energy–Food Nexus System
Water 2018, 10(9), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091245
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
PDF Full-text (16295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study is to describe a target water–energy–food (WEF) nexus domain world including causal linkages and trade-off relationships between WEF resources and their stakeholders, and to develop a WEF nexus system map as an interdisciplinary tool used for understanding the [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to describe a target water–energy–food (WEF) nexus domain world including causal linkages and trade-off relationships between WEF resources and their stakeholders, and to develop a WEF nexus system map as an interdisciplinary tool used for understanding the subsequent complexity of WEF nexus systems. An ontology engineering method, which is a qualitative method, was applied for the replicability of the WEF nexus domain ontology and the map, because ontology engineering is a method of semantic web development for enhancing the compatibility of qualitative descriptions logically or objectively. The WEF nexus system map has three underlying concepts: (1) systems thinking, (2) holistic thinking, and (3) an integrated approach at an operational level, according to the hypothesis that the chains of changes in linkages between water, energy, and food resources holistically and systemically affect the WEF nexus system, including natural and social systems, both temporally and spatially. This study is significant because it allows us to (1) develop the WEF nexus domain ontology database, including defining the concepts and sub-concepts of trade-offs relating to WEF for the replicability of this study; (2) integrate the qualitative ontology method and quantitative network analysis method to identify key concepts serving as linkage hubs in the WEF nexus domain ontology; and (3) visualize human–nature interactions such as linkages between water, energy, and food resources and their stakeholders in social and natural systems. This paper also discusses future challenges in the application of the map for a science–policy–society interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Water and Suspended Sediment Budgets in the Lower Mekong from High-Frequency Measurements (2009–2016)
Water 2018, 10(7), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070846
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4452 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on a new dataset of high temporal resolution of water discharge (hourly frequency) and suspended sediment concentration (twice daily frequency at ebb and flood tides) at Can Tho and My Thuan stations during the 2009–2016 period, monthly and annual flow and suspended [...] Read more.
Based on a new dataset of high temporal resolution of water discharge (hourly frequency) and suspended sediment concentration (twice daily frequency at ebb and flood tides) at Can Tho and My Thuan stations during the 2009–2016 period, monthly and annual flow and suspended sediment flux of the lower Mekong River were calculated. The present water discharge of the Mekong River to the sea can be estimated to be 400 km3 yr−1, +/− 100 km3 yr−1 depending on El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the present sediment supply to the sea can be estimated to be 40 Mt yr−1, +/− 20 Mt yr−1 depending on ENSO. The ENSO influence (proxied by the Southern Oscillation Index—SOI) on Q (water discharge) and Qs (sediment flux) is at maximum at a time lag of 8–9 months. The 2010–2011 La Niña event increased the water supply by almost 30% and the sediment supply by 55% in 2011. The 2015–2016 El Niño event decreased the water supply by 20% and the sediment supply by 50% in 2015–2016. The average net water discharge was 12,550 m3 s−1 in neutral years. The Tien River at My Thuan accounted for ~52%, and the Hau River at Can Tho for ~48% of the total Mekong River discharge, with small variations (of the order 1%) amongst years. In terms of suspended sediment delivery to the sea, the Tien River accounted for a more variable portion of 55% in neutral years, 57.3% in 2015–2016 (El Niño) and 62% in 2011 (La Niña). 80% of water discharge occurred during the flood season (July–December) and 20% occurred in the low flow season (January–June), the proportion being 91% and 9% for the sediment supply. Previous estimates of annual sediment supplies to the sea (145–160 Mt yr−1) had been established before 2003. Possible origins of the recent reduction by ~75% of sediment supply are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region)
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Open AccessArticle
A Combined Hydrological and Hydraulic Model for Flood Prediction in Vietnam Applied to the Huong River Basin as a Test Case Study
Water 2017, 9(11), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110879
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 11 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1971 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A combined hydrological and hydraulic model is presented for flood prediction in Vietnam. This model is applied to the Huong river basin as a test case study. Observed flood flows and water surface levels of the 2002–2005 flood seasons are used for model [...] Read more.
A combined hydrological and hydraulic model is presented for flood prediction in Vietnam. This model is applied to the Huong river basin as a test case study. Observed flood flows and water surface levels of the 2002–2005 flood seasons are used for model calibration, and those of the 2006–2007 flood seasons are used for validation of the model. The physically based distributed hydrologic model WetSpa is used for predicting the generation and propagation of flood flows in the mountainous upper sub-basins, and proves to predict flood flows accurately. The Hydrologic Engineering Center River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) hydraulic model is applied to simulate flood flows and inundation levels in the downstream floodplain, and also proves to predict water levels accurately. The predicted water profiles are used for mapping of inundations in the floodplain. The model may be useful in developing flood forecasting and early warning systems to mitigate losses due to flooding in Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Central Asia’s Ili River Ecosystem as a Wicked Problem: Unraveling Complex Interrelationships at the Interface of Water, Energy, and Food
Water 2018, 10(5), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050541
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2046 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Ili River originates in the mountains of Xinjiang, China, and flows across an increasingly arid landscape before terminating in Kazakhstan’s Lake Balkhash, which has no outlet to the ocean. The river has been extensively impounded and diverted over the past half century [...] Read more.
The Ili River originates in the mountains of Xinjiang, China, and flows across an increasingly arid landscape before terminating in Kazakhstan’s Lake Balkhash, which has no outlet to the ocean. The river has been extensively impounded and diverted over the past half century to produce hydroelectric power and food on irrigated land. Water withdrawals are increasing to the extent that they are beginning to threaten the ecosystem, just as it is becoming stressed by altered inflows as glaciers retreat and disappear. If the Ili River ecosystem is to be preserved, it is crucial that we thoroughly understand the spatial and temporal nuances of the interrelationships between water, energy, and food—and the vulnerability of these components to climate change. The ecosystem has all of the characteristics of a classically-defined “wicked problem”, and so it warrants treatment as a complex and dynamic challenge subject to changing assumptions, unexpected consequences, and strong social and economic overtones. Research should thus focus not just on new knowledge about the water, energy, or food component, but on advancing our understanding of the ecosystem as a whole. This will require the participation of interdisciplinary teams of researchers with both tacit and specialized knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of the Integrated Effects of Changing Climate, Land Use, and Dams on Mekong River Hydrology
Water 2018, 10(3), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030266
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ongoing and proposed construction of large-scale hydropower dams in the Mekong river basin is a subject of intense debate and growing international concern due to the unprecedented and potentially irreversible impacts these dams are likely to have on the hydrological, agricultural, and [...] Read more.
The ongoing and proposed construction of large-scale hydropower dams in the Mekong river basin is a subject of intense debate and growing international concern due to the unprecedented and potentially irreversible impacts these dams are likely to have on the hydrological, agricultural, and ecological systems across the basin. Studies have shown that some of the dams built in the tributaries and the main stem of the upper Mekong have already caused basin-wide impacts by altering the magnitude and seasonality of flows, blocking sediment transport, affecting fisheries and livelihoods of downstream inhabitants, and changing the flood pulse to the Tonle Sap Lake. There are hundreds of additional dams planned for the near future that would result in further changes, potentially causing permanent damage to the highly productive agricultural systems and fisheries, as well as the riverine and floodplain ecosystems. Several studies have examined the potential impacts of existing and planned dams but the integrated effects of the dams when combined with the adverse hydrologic consequences of climate change remain largely unknown. Here, we provide a detailed review of the existing literature on the changes in climate, land use, and dam construction and the resulting impacts on hydrological, agricultural, and ecological systems across the Mekong. The review provides a basis to better understand the effects of climate change and accelerating human water management activities on the coupled hydrological-agricultural-ecological systems, and identifies existing challenges to study the region’s Water, Energy, and Food (WEF) nexus with emphasis on the influence of future dams and projected climate change. In the last section, we synthesize the results and highlight the urgent need to develop integrated models to holistically study the coupled natural-human systems across the basin that account for the impacts of climate change and water infrastructure development. This review provides a framework for future research in the Mekong, including studies that integrate hydrological, agricultural, and ecological modeling systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Asia, with Focus on the Mekong Region)
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