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Special Issue "Integrated Water Resources Research: Advancements in Understanding to Improve Future Sustainability"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jason A. Hubbart

West Virginia University, Davis College of Agriculture Natural Resources and Design, Morgantown, United States
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: physical hydrology; watershed management; water quality; environmental biophysics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Never, throughout human history, have pressures on water resources been greater than they are today. This is important considering that water is a cornerstone natural resource that provides the scaffolding for the natural environment and, thus, drives economic and social development. In response to increasing demands, difficult decisions are being made by managers that often include reallocations of the diminishing quantity and quality of the resource. However, cumulative anthropogenic drivers (e.g., land use, population growth, climate change) confound the uncertainties of decision-making, and many critical information gaps remain. This Special Issue of Water focuses on integrated and multidisciplinary water resources research that advances the understanding and sustainability of water resources. Articles will be considered that address all aspects of integrated and multidisciplinary water resources research, including (but not limited to) water quality, climate, ecohydrology, modeling, water economics, human dimensions of water, water governance, and stakeholder engagement. Articles may include advancements in effective ways of conducting integrated water research and communicating results to promote deliberate advancements in management, human well-being, and resource sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Jason A. Hubbart
Guest Editor

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

  • Water resources
  • Watershed management
  • Integrated water resources
  • Land use practices
  • Water sustainability
  • Water research

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Climatic Trends of West Virginia: A Representative Appalachian Microcosm
Water 2019, 11(6), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061117
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract
During the late 19th and very early 20th centuries widespread deforestation occurred across the Appalachian region, USA. However, since the early 20th century, land cover rapidly changed from predominantly agricultural land use (72%; 1909) to forest. West Virginia (WV) is now the USA’s [...] Read more.
During the late 19th and very early 20th centuries widespread deforestation occurred across the Appalachian region, USA. However, since the early 20th century, land cover rapidly changed from predominantly agricultural land use (72%; 1909) to forest. West Virginia (WV) is now the USA’s third most forested state by area (79%; 1989–present). It is well understood that land cover alterations feedback on climate with important implications for ecology, water resources, and watershed management. However, the spatiotemporal distribution of climatic changes during reforestation in WV remains unclear. To fill this knowledge gap, daily maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation data were acquired for eighteen observation sites with long periods of record (POR; ≥77 years). Results indicate an increasingly wet and temperate WV climate characterized by warming summertime minimum temperatures, cooling maximum temperatures year-round, and increased annual precipitation that accelerated during the second half (1959–2016) of the POR. Trends are elevation dependent and may be accelerating due to local to regional ecohydrological feedbacks including increasing forest age and density, changing forest species composition, and increasing globally averaged atmospheric moisture. Furthermore, results imply that excessive wetness may become the primary ecosystem stressor associated with climate change in the USA’s rugged and flood prone Appalachian region. The Appalachian region’s physiographic complexity and history of widespread land use changes makes climatic changes particularly dynamic. Therefore, mechanistic understanding of micro- to mesoscale climate changes is imperative to better inform decision makers and ensure preservation of the region’s rich natural resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterizing Land Use Impacts on Channel Geomorphology and Streambed Sedimentological Characteristics
Water 2019, 11(5), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051088
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 12 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
Land use can radically degrade stream physical habitat via alterations to channel geomorphology and sedimentological characteristics. However, independent and combined influences such as those of agricultural and urban land use practices on channel geomorphology and substrate composition remain poorly understood. To further understanding [...] Read more.
Land use can radically degrade stream physical habitat via alterations to channel geomorphology and sedimentological characteristics. However, independent and combined influences such as those of agricultural and urban land use practices on channel geomorphology and substrate composition remain poorly understood. To further understanding of mixed land use influence on stream physical habitat, an intensive, 56 km hydrogeomorphological assessment was undertaken in a representative mixed land use watershed located in Midwestern USA. Sub-objectives included quantitative characterization of (1) channel geomorphology, (2) substrate frequency and embeddedness, and (3) relationships between land use, channel geomorphology, and substrate frequency and embeddedness. Channel geomorphology, and stream substrate data were directly measured at survey transects (n = 561) every 100 m of the entire 56 km distance of the reference stream. Observed data were averaged within five sub-basins (Sites #1 to #5) nested across an agricultural-urban land use gradient. Multiple regression results showed agricultural and urban land use explained nearly all of the variance in average width to depth ratios (R2 = 0.960; p = 0.020; n = 5), and maximum bank angle (R2 = 0.896; p = 0.052; n = 5). Streambed substrate samples of pools indicated significantly (p < 0.001) increased substrate embeddedness at agricultural Site #1 (80%) located in the headwaters and urban Site #5 (79%) located in the lower reaches compared to rural-urban Sites #2 to #4 (39 to 57%) located in the mid-reaches of the study stream. Streambed substrate embeddedness samples of riffles that ranged from 51 to 72% at Sites #1 and #5, and 27 to 46% at Sites #2 to #4 were significantly different between sites (p = 0.013). Percent embeddedness increased with downstream distance by 5% km−1 with the lower urban reaches indicating symptoms of urban stream syndrome linked to degraded riffle habitat. Collectively, observed alterations to channel morphology and substrate composition point to land use alterations to channel geomorphology metrics correlated with increased substrate embeddedness outside of mid-reaches where bedrock channel constraints accounted for less than 3% of substrate frequency. Results from this study show how a hydrogeomorphological assessment can help elucidate casual factors, target critical source areas, and thus, guide regional stream restoration efforts of mixed-land-use watersheds. Full article
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