Special Issue "Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Simon C. Parkinson
Website
Guest Editor
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
Interests: energy systems; water resources; sustainable development; integrated assessment
Dr. Edward Byers
Website
Guest Editor
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
Interests: water–energy–land nexus; climate change impacts; infrastructure systems; sustainable development
Dr. Edo Abraham
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Water management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Interests: water–energy–land nexus; operational research; integrated infrastructure planning; sustainable development; urban water systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tight links exist between processes and decisions in water, energy and land systems. Integrated assessment is therefore crucial for designing effective policies that avoid trade-offs and achieve synergies across sectors. The objective of this Special Issue is to improve the knowledge basis on integrated assessment approaches and tools for examining the water–energy–land nexus. Contributions will feature all three systems (water, energy and land) and span a range of spatial and temporal scales relevant for policy-making. We are particulary interested in analyses that examine and discuss solutions to water–energy–land nexus challenges.

Sincerely,

Dr. Simon C. Parkinson
Dr. Edward Byers
Dr. Edo Abraham
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Design and operation of multi-commodity infrastructure systems incorporating water, energy and land resources
  • Integrated water, energy and land footprinting analyses and methdologies
  • Multi-sector impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies
  • Remote sensing of water, energy and land resources/demands
  • Interactions between the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Global integrated assessment modeling

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Sustainable Water Resources Management in an Arid Area Using a Coupled Optimization-Simulation Modeling
Water 2020, 12(3), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030885 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Severe water scarcity in recent years has magnified the economic, social, and environmental significance of water stress globally, making optimal planning in water resources necessary for sustainable socio-economic development. One of the regions that is most affected by this is the Sistan region [...] Read more.
Severe water scarcity in recent years has magnified the economic, social, and environmental significance of water stress globally, making optimal planning in water resources necessary for sustainable socio-economic development. One of the regions that is most affected by this is the Sistan region and its Hamoun wetland, located in south-east Iran. Water policies are essential to sustain current basin ecosystem services, maintaining a balance between conflicting demands from agriculture and the protection of wetland ecosystems. In the present study, a multi-objective optimization model is linked with the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) software to optimize water allocation decisions over multiple years. We formulate and parameterize a multi-objective optimization problem where the net economic benefit from agriculture and the supply of environmental requirements were maximized, to analyze the trade-off between different stakeholders. This problem is modeled and solved for the study area with detailed agricultural, socio-economic, and environmental data for 30 years and quantification of ecosystem services. By plotting Pareto sets, we investigate the trade-offs between the two conflicting objectives and evaluate a possible compromise. The results are analyzed by comparing purely economic versus multi-objective scenarios on the Pareto front. Finally, the disadvantages and advantages of these scenarios are also qualitatively described to help the decision process for water resources managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Advanced Treatment Technologies on the Energy Use in Satellite Water Reuse Plants
Water 2020, 12(2), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020366 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
With an ever-increasing world population and the resulting increase in industrialization and agricultural practices, depletion of one of the world’s most important natural resources, water, is inevitable. Water reclamation and reuse is the key to protecting this natural resource. Water reclamation using smaller [...] Read more.
With an ever-increasing world population and the resulting increase in industrialization and agricultural practices, depletion of one of the world’s most important natural resources, water, is inevitable. Water reclamation and reuse is the key to protecting this natural resource. Water reclamation using smaller decentralized wastewater treatment plants, known as satellite water reuse plants (WRP), has become popular in the last decade. Reuse plants have stricter standards for effluent quality and require a smaller land footprint (i.e., real estate area). They also require additional treatment processes and advanced treatment technologies. This greatly increases the energy consumption of an already energy intensive process, accentuating even more the nexus between energy use and wastewater processing. With growing concerns over the use of nonrenewable energy sources and resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, WRPs are in need of energy evaluations. This paper contrasts the energy consumption of both conventional and advanced treatment processes in satellite WRPs. Results of this research provide a means for engineers and wastewater utilities to evaluate unit processes based on energy consumption as well as a foundation for making decisions regarding the sustainability of using advanced treatment technologies at reuse facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
An Analysis of Energy Consumption and the Use of Renewables for a Small Drinking Water Treatment Plant
Water 2020, 12(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010028 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
One of the pressing issues currently faced by the water industry is incorporating sustainability considerations into design practice and reducing the carbon emissions of energy-intensive processes. Water treatment, an indispensable step for safeguarding public health, is an energy-intensive process. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
One of the pressing issues currently faced by the water industry is incorporating sustainability considerations into design practice and reducing the carbon emissions of energy-intensive processes. Water treatment, an indispensable step for safeguarding public health, is an energy-intensive process. The purpose of this study was to analyze the energy consumption of an existing drinking water treatment plant (DWTP), then conduct a modeling study for using photovoltaics (PVs) to offset that energy consumption, and thus reduce emissions. The selected plant, located in southwestern United States, treats 0.425 m3 of groundwater per second by utilizing the processes of coagulation, filtration, and disinfection. Based on the energy consumption individually determined for each unit process (validated using the DWTP’s data), the DWTP was sized for PVs (as a modeling study). The results showed that the dependency of a DWTP on the traditional electric grid could be greatly reduced by the use of PVs. The largest consumption of energy was associated with the pumping operations, corresponding to 150.6 Wh m−3 for the booster pumps to covey water to the storage tanks, while the energy intensity of the water treatment units was found to be 3.1 Wh m−3. A PV system with a 1.5 MW capacity with battery storage (30 MWh) was found to have a positive net present value and a levelized cost of electricity of 3.1 cents kWh−1. A net reduction in the carbon emissions was found as 950 and 570 metric tons of CO2-eq year−1 due to the PV-based design, with and without battery storage, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Production in Uganda—An Integrated Systems Assessment with Water and Energy Implications
Water 2019, 11(9), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091805 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
With less than 3% of agricultural cropland under irrigation, subsistence farmers in Uganda are dependent on seasonal precipitation for crop production. The majority of crops grown in the country—especially staple food crops like Matooke (Plantains)—are sensitive to the availability of water throughout their [...] Read more.
With less than 3% of agricultural cropland under irrigation, subsistence farmers in Uganda are dependent on seasonal precipitation for crop production. The majority of crops grown in the country—especially staple food crops like Matooke (Plantains)—are sensitive to the availability of water throughout their growing period and hence vulnerable to climatic impacts. In response to these challenges, the Government has developed an ambitious irrigation master plan. However, the energy implications of implementing the plan have not been explored in detail. This article attempts to address three main issues involving the nexus between water, energy, crop production, and climate. The first one explores the impact of climate on rain-fed crop production. The second explores the irrigation crop water needs under selected climate scenarios. The third focuses on the energy implications of implementing the irrigation master plan. We attempt to answer the above questions using a water balance model for Uganda developed for this study. Our results, developed at a catchment level, indicate that on average there could be an 11% reduction and 8% increase in rain-fed crop production in the cumulatively driest and wettest climates, respectively. Furthermore, in the identified driest climate, the electricity required for pumping water is expected to increase by 12% on average compared to the base scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus)
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Integrated Solutions for the Water-Energy-Land Nexus: Are Global Models Rising to the Challenge?
Water 2019, 11(11), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112223 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Increasing human demands for water, energy, food and materials, are expected to accentuate resource supply challenges over the coming decades. Experience suggests that long-term strategies for a single sector could yield both trade-offs and synergies for other sectors. Thus, long-term transition pathways for [...] Read more.
Increasing human demands for water, energy, food and materials, are expected to accentuate resource supply challenges over the coming decades. Experience suggests that long-term strategies for a single sector could yield both trade-offs and synergies for other sectors. Thus, long-term transition pathways for linked resource systems should be informed using nexus approaches. Global integrated assessment models can represent the synergies and trade-offs inherent in the exploitation of water, energy and land (WEL) resources, including the impacts of international trade and climate policies. In this study, we review the current state-of-the-science in global integrated assessment modeling with an emphasis on how models have incorporated integrated WEL solutions. A large-scale assessment of the relevant literature was performed using online databases and structured keyword search queries. The results point to the following main opportunities for future research and model development: (1) improving the temporal and spatial resolution of economic models for the energy and water sectors; (2) balancing energy and land requirements across sectors; (3) integrated representation of the role of distribution infrastructure in alleviating resource challenges; (4) modeling of solution impacts on downstream environmental quality; (5) improved representation of the implementation challenges stemming from regional financial and institutional capacity; (6) enabling dynamic multi-sectoral vulnerability and adaptation needs assessment; and (7) the development of fully-coupled assessment frameworks based on consistent, scalable, and regionally-transferable platforms. Improved database management and computational power are needed to address many of these modeling challenges at a global-scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus)
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