Special Issue "Methods for Assessing Water Quality and Its Impacts on Ecological Status in Reservoirs"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 6372

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sara Cristina Antunes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CIIMAR | Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research of the University of Porto
Interests: aquatic ecology; ecotoxicology; Water Framework Directive; bioassays; zooplankton; ecosystem services; water quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the key European legislation in terms of water policy and protection, which has been in place since 2000. While the WFD assessment scheme is conceptually and technically well developed for rivers, water quality evaluation in reservoirs lacks depth and an adequate toolbox for predictive or retrospective analyses. In part, this is due to their artificial nature, which led to the creation of the concept of “ecological potential” instead of the WFD paradigm of “ecological status”. Notwithstanding, reservoirs are among the most important freshwater ecosystems for human needs and are therefore under enormous pressure (water abstraction, fisheries, eutrophication, chemical contamination). Particularly in recent decades, this pressure has been heightened by climate change, including extreme events such as droughts and floods. Directly or indirectly, this has also influenced the spread of emergent chemical pollutants or biotic agents (invasive species, pathogens or their vectors). Increased human pressure and climate change will enhance or trigger future water availability crises (scarcity in quantity or quality) and conflicts over the use of water. For this reason, novel tools for the assessment of water quality or ecological potential are much needed, and this Special Issue is open to contributions on predictive models, conceptual assessment frameworks, or indicator metrics (functional, structural, ecotoxicological) to complement or replace the existent toolbox for assessing the ecological status of reservoirs. This Special Issue intends to work as a discussion forum of new ideas, thus promoting scientific advances and legislative initiatives (e.g., in the scope of the WFD bioassessment scheme for reservoirs).

Prof. Dr. Sara Cristina Antunes
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Water quality
  • Lentic ecosystems
  • Water analysis tools
  • Water Framework Directive
  • Bio-indicators
  • Ecosystem function
  • Contamination
  • Pollution
  • Aquatic ecotoxicity

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Assessment of the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities in the Evaluation of the Water Quality of Portuguese Reservoirs: An Experimental Approach
Water 2021, 13(23), 3391; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13233391 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
Reservoirs are dynamic ecosystems subject to different pressures that influence and compromise their ecological structure. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using the macroinvertebrate to assess the water quality of four reservoirs (one site in Miranda—M and [...] Read more.
Reservoirs are dynamic ecosystems subject to different pressures that influence and compromise their ecological structure. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using the macroinvertebrate to assess the water quality of four reservoirs (one site in Miranda—M and Pocinho—P; four sites in Aguieira—Ag1 to Ag4; and five sites in Alqueva—Al1 to Al5). The sites were sampled in autumn 2018 (A18), spring and autumn 2019 (S19 and A19) and spring 2020 (S20). In situ physical and chemical parameters were measured and a sample of water and macroinvertebrate were collected for further analyses. Total phosphorus exceeded the allowed concentrations (maximum values recorded: M—0.13 mg/L, P—0.09 mg/L, Ag3—0.22 mg/L and Al5—0.18 mg/L). Total abundance varied between 4 and 3088. Taxonomic richness was always low, between 1 and 12 taxa. The highest Shannon–Wiener value (1.91) was recorded in Ag1_A18 and Al2_A18. Pielou’s evenness varied widely across all reservoirs, from 0.06 to 0.92. Almost all the organisms found were associated with polluted water, according to the index ratings. Organisms tolerant of disturbances (e.g., Chironomidae and Oligochaeta) were associated with sites with the worst water quality, according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD), (M, Ag3, Ag4 and Al5) while organisms with moderate tolerance to disturbances (e.g., Cordullidae and Polycentropodidae) were associated with sites with better water quality (P, Ag1, Ag2 and Al1 to Al4). The macrozoobenthos index (MZB) used proved to be a sensitive tool to Portuguese reservoirs, corroborating most of the results obtained in the remaining analyses, as well as providing a clear ecological potential complementing the analysis carried out by the WFD. Based on this, the macroinvertebrate community appeared to be sensitive and able to characterize the reservoirs’ water quality. Full article
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Article
Phycocyanin Monitoring in Some Spanish Water Bodies with Sentinel-2 Imagery
Water 2021, 13(20), 2866; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202866 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Remote sensing is an appropriate tool for water management. It allows the study of some of the main sources of pollution, such as cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. These species are increasing due to eutrophication and the adverse effects of climate change. This leads [...] Read more.
Remote sensing is an appropriate tool for water management. It allows the study of some of the main sources of pollution, such as cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. These species are increasing due to eutrophication and the adverse effects of climate change. This leads to water quality loss, which has a major impact on the environment, including human water supplies, which consequently require more expensive purification processes. The application of satellite remote sensing images as bio-optical tools is an effective way to monitor and control phycocyanin concentrations, which indicate the presence of cyanobacteria. For this study, 90 geo-referenced phycocyanin measurements were performed in situ, using a Turner C3 Submersible Fluorometer and a laboratory spectrofluorometer, both calibrated with phycocyanin standard, in water bodies of the Iberian Peninsula. These samples were synchronized with Sentinel-2 satellite orbit. The images were processed using Sentinel Application Program software and corrected with the Case 2 Regional Coast color-extended atmospheric correction tool. To produce algorithms that would help to obtain the phycocyanin concentration from the reflectance measured by the multispectral instrument sensor of the satellite, the following band combinations were tested, among others: band 665 nm, band 705 nm, and band 740 nm. The samples were equally divided: half were used for the algorithm’s calibration, and the other half for its validation. With the best adjustment, the algorithm was made more robust and accurate through a recalculation, obtaining a determination coefficient of 0.7, a Root Mean Square Error of 8.1 µg L−1, and a Relative Root Mean Square Error of 19%. In several reservoirs, we observed alarming phycocyanin concentrations that may trigger many environmental health problems, as established by the World Health Organization. Remote sensing provides a rapid monitoring method for the temporal and spatial distribution of these cyanobacteria blooms to ensure good preventive management and control, in order to improve the environmental quality of inland waters. Full article
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Article
Bacterioplankton Community as a Biological Element for Reservoirs Water Quality Assessment
Water 2021, 13(20), 2836; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202836 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is used to evaluate the water quality of aquatic ecosystems. Phytoplankton is the only biological element considered in the reservoirs water quality assessment. In this study, we aimed to assess the use of the bacterioplankton community as an [...] Read more.
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is used to evaluate the water quality of aquatic ecosystems. Phytoplankton is the only biological element considered in the reservoirs water quality assessment. In this study, we aimed to assess the use of the bacterioplankton community as an indicator of water quality, using a culture-independent assay (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, DGGE). Four Portuguese reservoirs (Miranda, Pocinho, Aguieira and Alqueva) were analysed in four periods (autumn 2018, spring and autumn 2019, and spring 2020). Bacterial total abundance had similar values for Miranda, Pocinho and Aguieira, and generally lower values for Alqueva. Diversity and richness values did not show a clear trend. Negative correlations were observed between some nutrients and the bacterial community. Overall, members of Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria were identified in all sampling sites. In Alqueva, no spatial, temporal or water body quality relationships with bacterial community were observed, which may be due to its higher size, low water velocity rate and higher residence times. However, in Miranda, Pocinho and Aguieira, a strong spatial and temporal bacterial community dynamic was observed. Furthermore, the presence of some species (e.g., Acinetobacter sp.) may reflect the poor water quality that was not detected by the WFD approach. Full article
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Article
Microalgae Growth Inhibition-Based Reservoirs Water Quality Assessment to Identify Ecotoxicological Risks
Water 2021, 13(19), 2605; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13192605 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
This work intended to assess the adaptability of bioassay with Raphidocelis subcapitata to be used as a complement to the water quality assessment parameters of reservoirs imposed by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Thus, water samples of Portuguese reservoirs (Miranda, Pocinho, Aguieira, [...] Read more.
This work intended to assess the adaptability of bioassay with Raphidocelis subcapitata to be used as a complement to the water quality assessment parameters of reservoirs imposed by the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Thus, water samples of Portuguese reservoirs (Miranda, Pocinho, Aguieira, and Alqueva) were analyzed in three sampling periods (spring and autumn 2019, and spring 2020). A physical and chemical report of waters was also performed. R. subcapitata assay proved to be sensitive, indicating the presence of a potential perturbation that was not always associated with chemical analysis performed. In general, in the spring samplings, the water samples showed more disturbances to R. subcapitata, which in some situations may be associated with the higher content of nutrients and metals. Microalgae assay can be an effective complementary tool to indicate the ecotoxicological potential since they responded quickly to all sample components of water samples, in a wide-ranging variety of water conditions (different sites in several reservoirs). High similarities between the final ecotoxicological and the ecological potentials, according to the WFD parameters, were detected. The ecotoxicological approach based on our results allowed to confirm that bioassays with R. subcapitata are suitable and sensible to detect perturbations. Full article
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Article
Chlorophyll and Suspended Solids Estimation in Portuguese Reservoirs (Aguieira and Alqueva) from Sentinel-2 Imagery
Water 2021, 13(18), 2479; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182479 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
Reservoirs have been subject to anthropogenic stressors, becoming increasingly degraded. The evaluation of ecological potential in reservoirs is remarkably challenging, and consistent and regular monitoring using the traditional in situ methods defined in the WFD is often time- and money-consuming. Alternatively, remote sensing [...] Read more.
Reservoirs have been subject to anthropogenic stressors, becoming increasingly degraded. The evaluation of ecological potential in reservoirs is remarkably challenging, and consistent and regular monitoring using the traditional in situ methods defined in the WFD is often time- and money-consuming. Alternatively, remote sensing offers a low-cost, high frequency, and practical complement to these methods. This paper proposes a novel approach, using a C2RCC processor to analyze Sentinel-2 imagery data to retrieve information on water quality in two reservoirs of Portugal, Aguieira and Alqueva. We evaluate the temporal and spatial evolution of Chl a and total suspended solids (TSS), between 2018 and 2020, comparing in situ and satellite data. Generally, Alqueva reservoir allowed lower relative (NRMSE = 8.9% for Chl a and NRMSE = 21.9% for TSS) and systematic (NMBE = 1.7% for Chl a and NMBE = 2.0% for TSS) errors than Aguieira, where some fine-tuning would be required. Our paper shows how satellite data can be fundamental for water-quality assessment to support the effective and sustainable management of inland waters. In addition, it proposes solutions for future research in order to improve upon the methods used and solve the challenges faced in this study. Full article
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Article
The Use of Zooplankton Metrics to Determine the Trophic Status and Ecological Potential: An Approach in a Large Mediterranean Watershed
Water 2021, 13(17), 2382; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172382 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 778
Abstract
In the European Water Framework Directive, zooplankton was not included as a Biological Quality Element despite its important place in the aquatic trophic web. In the present study on zooplankton abundances and biomasses, we used several metrics to test their ability to detect [...] Read more.
In the European Water Framework Directive, zooplankton was not included as a Biological Quality Element despite its important place in the aquatic trophic web. In the present study on zooplankton abundances and biomasses, we used several metrics to test their ability to detect differences among trophic statuses and ecological potential levels, and collected a large sum of data in more than 60 reservoirs at Ebro watershed, on more than 300 sampling occasions over 10 years. Our results indicate that most zooplankton metrics are correlated to environmental variables that determine reservoirs’ trophic states, especially chlorophyll a and total phosphorus. The metrics with better sensitivity to differentiate trophic states and ecological potential levels were ZOO (total zooplankton), LZOO (large zooplankton), CLAD (cladocerans), and ZOO:CHLA (zooplankton:chlorophyll a ratio). Microcrustacean metrics such as DAPHN (Daphnia), COP (copepods), CYCLO (cyclopoids), and CALA (calanoids) were good at differentiating between high and low water quality in trophic status (oligotrophic–eutrophic) and ecological potential (good or superior–moderate). Thus, zooplankton can be used as a valuable tool to determine water quality; we believe that zooplankton should be considered a Biological Quality Element within Water Framework Directive monitoring programs for inland waters. Full article
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Article
Validation of Water Quality Monitoring Algorithms for Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 in Mediterranean Inland Waters with In Situ Reflectance Data
Water 2021, 13(5), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050686 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1273
Abstract
Freshwater quality maintenance is essential for human use and ecological functions. To ensure this objective, governments establish programs for a continuous monitoring of the inland waters state. This could be possible with Sentinel-2 (S2) and Sentinel-3 (S3), two remote sensing satellites of the [...] Read more.
Freshwater quality maintenance is essential for human use and ecological functions. To ensure this objective, governments establish programs for a continuous monitoring of the inland waters state. This could be possible with Sentinel-2 (S2) and Sentinel-3 (S3), two remote sensing satellites of the European Space Agency, equipped with spectral optical sensors. To determine optimal water quality algorithms applicable to their spectral bands, 36 algorithms were tested for different key variables (chlorophyll a (Chl_a), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), colored dissolved organic matter (TSS), phycocyanin (PC) and Secchi disk depth (SDD)). A database of 296 water-leaving reflectance spectra were used, as well as concomitant water quality measurements of Mediterranean reservoirs and lakes of Spain. Two equal data sets were used for calibration and validation. The best algorithms were recalculated using all database and used the following band relations: SDD, R560/R700; CDOM, R665/R490; PC, R705/R665 for S2 and R620, R665, R709 and R779 for S3, using a semi-analytical algorithm; R700 for TSS < 20 mg/L and R783/R492 (S2) or R779/R510 (S3) for TSS > 20 mg/L; and for Chl_a, the maximum (R443; R492)/R560 for Chl_a < 5 mg/m3 and R700/R665 for Chl_a > 5 mg/m3. A preliminary test with a satellite image in a well-known reservoir showed results consistent with the expected ranges and spatial patterns of the variables. Full article
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