Special Issue "Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Matthias Zessner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management, TU Wien, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Interests: monitoring of emission pathways of nutrients and micropollutants; emission modeling; water pollution control; water quality and river basin management; regional nutrient management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Different types of pressures, such as nutrients, micropollutants, microbes, nanoparticles, microplastics or antibiotic-resistant gens, endanger the quality of water bodies. Evidence-based pollution control needs to build on the three basic elements of water governance: Monitoring, modeling, and management (m3). Monitoring sets the empirical basis by providing space- and time-dependent information on substance concentrations and loads as well as driving boundary conditions for assessing water quality trends, water quality statuses, and providing necessary information for the calibration and validation of models. Modeling needs proper system understanding and helps to derive information for times and locations where no monitoring is done or possible: Risk assessment for exceedance of quality standards, assessment of regionalized relevance of sources and pathways of pollution, effectiveness of measures, bundles of measures or policies, and assessment of future developments as scenarios or forecasts. Management relies on this information and translates it in a socioeconomic context into specific plans for implementation. Evaluation of success of management plans again includes well-defined monitoring strategies.

For this Special Issue, authors are invited to publish advances in monitoring, modeling, and management of water quality. Contributions are welcomed that either address new concepts and methods of water quality monitoring, new developments of modeling tools or innovative approaches of exploiting those monitoring and modeling strategies for effective water quality management.

Prof. Matthias Zessner
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • effectiveness of measures
  • scenarios and forecasts
  • socioeconomic context
  • sources and pathways of water pollution
  • system understanding
  • water governance
  • water quality statuses and trends
  • water pollution control

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Monitoring, Modeling and Management of Water Quality
Water 2021, 13(11), 1523; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111523 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 561
Abstract
In this special issue, we are able to present a selection of high-level contributions showing the manifold aspects of the monitoring, modeling, and management of water quality. Monitoring aspects range from cyanobacteria in water using spectrophotometry via wide-area water quality monitoring and exploiting [...] Read more.
In this special issue, we are able to present a selection of high-level contributions showing the manifold aspects of the monitoring, modeling, and management of water quality. Monitoring aspects range from cyanobacteria in water using spectrophotometry via wide-area water quality monitoring and exploiting unmanned surface vehicles, to using sentinel-2 satellites for the near-real-time evaluation of catastrophic floods. Modeling ranges from small scale approaches by deriving a Bayesian network for assessing the retention efficacy of riparian buffer zones, to national scales with a modification of the MONERIS (Modeling Nutrient Emissions in River Systems) nutrient emission model for a lowland country. Management is specifically addressed by lessons learned from the long-term management of a large (re)constructed wetland and the support of river basin management planning in the Danube River Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)

Research

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Article
Modification of the MONERIS Nutrient Emission Model for a Lowland Country (Hungary) to Support River Basin Management Planning in the Danube River Basin
Water 2020, 12(3), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030859 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
The contamination of waters with nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus originating from various diffuse and point sources, has become a worldwide issue in recent decades. Due to the complexity of the processes involved, watershed models are gaining an increasing role in their analysis. [...] Read more.
The contamination of waters with nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus originating from various diffuse and point sources, has become a worldwide issue in recent decades. Due to the complexity of the processes involved, watershed models are gaining an increasing role in their analysis. The goal set by the EU Water Framework Directive (to reach “good status” of all water bodies) requires spatially detailed information on the fate of contaminants. In this study, the watershed nutrient model MONERIS was applied to the Hungarian part of the Danube River Basin. The spatial resolution was 1078 water bodies (mean area of 86 km2); two subsequent 4 year periods (2009–2012 and 2013–2016) were modeled. Various elements/parameters of the model were adjusted and tested against surface and subsurface water quality measurements conducted all over the country, namely (i) the water balance equations (surface and subsurface runoff), (ii) the nitrogen retention parameters of the subsurface pathways (excluding tile drainage), (iii) the shallow groundwater phosphorus concentrations, and (iv) the surface water retention parameters. The study revealed that (i) digital-filter-based separation of surface and subsurface runoff yielded different values of these components, but this change did not influence nutrient loads significantly; (ii) shallow groundwater phosphorus concentrations in the sandy soils of Hungary differ from those of the MONERIS default values; (iii) a significant change of the phosphorus in-stream retention parameters was needed to approach measured in-stream phosphorus load values. Local emissions and pathways were analyzed and compared with previous model results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Impact of Combined Sewer Systems on the Quality of Urban Streams: Frequency and Duration of Elevated Micropollutant Concentrations
Water 2020, 12(3), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030850 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
Water quality in urban streams is highly influenced by emissions from WWTP and from sewer systems particularly by overflows from combined systems. During storm events, this causes random fluctuations in discharge and pollutant concentrations over a wide range. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Water quality in urban streams is highly influenced by emissions from WWTP and from sewer systems particularly by overflows from combined systems. During storm events, this causes random fluctuations in discharge and pollutant concentrations over a wide range. The aim of this study is an appraisal of the environmental impact of micropollutant loads emitted from combined sewer systems. For this purpose, high-resolution time series of river concentrations were generated by combining a detailed calibrated model of a sewer system with measured discharge of a small natural river to a virtual urban catchment. This river base flow represents the remains of the natural hydrological system in the urban catchment. River concentrations downstream of the outlets are simulated based on mixing ratios of base flow, WWTP effluent, and CSO discharge. The results show that the standard method of time proportional sampling of rivers does not capture the risk of critical stress on aquatic organisms. The ratio between average and peak concentrations and the duration of elevated concentrations strongly depends on the source and the properties of the particular substance. The design of sampling campaigns and evaluation of data should consider these characteristics and account for their effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Land Cover and Water Quality Patterns in an Urban River: A Case Study of River Medlock, Greater Manchester, UK
Water 2020, 12(3), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030848 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
Urban river catchments face multiple water quality challenges that threaten the biodiversity of riverine habitats and the flow of ecosystem services. We examined two water quality challenges, runoff from increasingly impervious land covers and effluent from combined sewer overflows within a temperate zone [...] Read more.
Urban river catchments face multiple water quality challenges that threaten the biodiversity of riverine habitats and the flow of ecosystem services. We examined two water quality challenges, runoff from increasingly impervious land covers and effluent from combined sewer overflows within a temperate zone river catchment in Greater Manchester, North-West UK. Sub-catchment areas of the River Medlock were delineated from digital elevation models using a Geographical Information System. By combining flow accumulation and high-resolution land cover data within each sub-catchment and water quality measurements at five sampling points along the river, we identified which land cover(s) are key drivers of water quality. Impervious land covers increased downstream and were associated with higher runoff and poorer water quality. Of the impervious covers, transportation networks have the highest runoff ratios and therefore the greatest potential to convey contaminants to the river. We suggest more integrated management of imperviousness to address water quality, flood risk and, urban wellbeing could be achieved with greater catchment partnership working. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
An Observational Process Ontology-Based Modeling Approach for Water Quality Monitoring
Water 2020, 12(3), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030715 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
The increasing deterioration of aquatic environments has attracted more attention to water quality monitoring techniques, with most researchers focusing on the acquisition and assessment of water quality data, but seldom on the discovery and tracing of pollution sources. In this study, a semantic-enhanced [...] Read more.
The increasing deterioration of aquatic environments has attracted more attention to water quality monitoring techniques, with most researchers focusing on the acquisition and assessment of water quality data, but seldom on the discovery and tracing of pollution sources. In this study, a semantic-enhanced modeling method for ontology modeling and rules building is proposed, which can be used for river water quality monitoring and relevant data observation processing. The observational process ontology (OPO) method can describe the semantic properties of water resources and observation data. In addition, it can provide the semantic relevance among the different concepts involved in the observational process of water quality monitoring. A pollution alert can be achieved using the reasoning rules for the water quality monitoring stations. In this study, a case is made for the usability testing of the OPO models and reasoning rules by utilizing a water quality monitoring system. The system contributes to the water quality observational monitoring process and traces the source of pollutants using sensors, observation data, process models, and observation products that users can access in a timely manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Intelligent Wide-Area Water Quality Monitoring and Analysis System Exploiting Unmanned Surface Vehicles and Ensemble Learning
Water 2020, 12(3), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030681 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1261
Abstract
Water environment pollution is an acute problem, especially in developing countries, so water quality monitoring is crucial for water protection. This paper presents an intelligent three-dimensional wide-area water quality monitoring and online analysis system. The proposed system is composed of an automatic cruise [...] Read more.
Water environment pollution is an acute problem, especially in developing countries, so water quality monitoring is crucial for water protection. This paper presents an intelligent three-dimensional wide-area water quality monitoring and online analysis system. The proposed system is composed of an automatic cruise intelligent unmanned surface vehicle (USV), a water quality monitoring system (WQMS), and a water quality analysis algorithm. An automatic positioning cruising system is constructed for the USV. The WQMS consists of a series of low-power water quality detecting sensors and a lifting device that can collect the water quality monitoring data at different water depths. These data are analyzed by the proposed water quality analysis algorithm based on the ensemble learning method to estimate the water quality level. Then, a real experiment is conducted in a lake to verify the feasibility of the proposed design. The experimental results obtained in real application demonstrate good performance and feasibility of the proposed monitoring system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Lessons Learnt from the Long-Term Management of a Large (Re)constructed Wetland, the Kis-Balaton Protection System (Hungary)
Water 2020, 12(3), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030659 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
Environmental management decisions should be made based on solid scientific evidence that relies on monitoring and modeling. In practice, changing economic, societal, and political boundary conditions often interfere with management during large, long, and complex projects. The result may be a sub-optimal development [...] Read more.
Environmental management decisions should be made based on solid scientific evidence that relies on monitoring and modeling. In practice, changing economic, societal, and political boundary conditions often interfere with management during large, long, and complex projects. The result may be a sub-optimal development path that may finally diverge from the original intentions and be economically or technically ineffective. Nevertheless, unforeseen benefits may be created in the end. The Kis-Balaton wetland system is a typical illustration of such a case. Despite tremendous investments and huge efforts put in monitoring and modeling, the sequence of decisions during implementation can hardly be considered optimal. We use a catchment model and a basic water quality model to coherently review the impacts of management decisions during the 30-year history. Due to the complexity of the system, science mostly excelled in finding explanations for observed changes after the event instead of predicting the impacts of management measures a priori. In parallel, the political setting and sectoral authorities experienced rearrangements during system implementation. Despite being expensive as a water quality management investment originally targeting nutrient removal, the Kis-Balaton wetland system created a huge ecological asset, and thereby became worth the price. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Deriving a Bayesian Network to Assess the Retention Efficacy of Riparian Buffer Zones
Water 2020, 12(3), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030617 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Bayesian networks (BN) have increasingly been applied in water management but not to estimate the efficacy of riparian buffer zones (RBZ). Our methodical study aims at evaluating the first BN to predict the RBZ efficacy to retain sediment and nutrients (dissolved, total, and [...] Read more.
Bayesian networks (BN) have increasingly been applied in water management but not to estimate the efficacy of riparian buffer zones (RBZ). Our methodical study aims at evaluating the first BN to predict the RBZ efficacy to retain sediment and nutrients (dissolved, total, and particulate nitrogen and phosphorus) from widely available variables (width, vegetation, slope, soil texture, flow pathway, nutrient form). To evaluate the influence of parent nodes and how the number of states affects prediction errors, we used a predefined general BN structure, collected 580 published datasets from North America and Europe, and performed classification tree analyses and multiple 10-fold cross-validations of different BNs. These errors ranged from 0.31 (two output states) to 0.66 (five states). The outcome remained unchanged without the least influential nodes (flow pathway, vegetation). Lower errors were achieved when parent nodes had more than two states. The number of efficacy states influenced most strongly the prediction error as its lowest and highest states were better predicted than intermediate states. While the derived BNs could support or replace simple design guidelines, they are limited for more detailed predictions. More representative data on vegetation or additional nodes like preferential flow will probably improve the predictive power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Monitoring of Cyanobacteria in Water Using Spectrophotometry and First Derivative of Absorbance
Water 2020, 12(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010124 - 30 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Management of cyanobacteria blooms and their negative impact on human and ecosystem health requires effective tools for monitoring their concentration in water bodies. This research investigated the potential of derivative spectrophotometry in detection and monitoring of cyanobacteria using toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains of [...] Read more.
Management of cyanobacteria blooms and their negative impact on human and ecosystem health requires effective tools for monitoring their concentration in water bodies. This research investigated the potential of derivative spectrophotometry in detection and monitoring of cyanobacteria using toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains of Microcystis aeruginosa. Microcystis aeruginosa was quantified in deionized water and surface water using traditional spectrophotometry and the first derivative of absorbance. The first derivative of absorbance was effective in improving the signal of traditional spectrophotometry; however, it was not adequate in differentiating between signal and noise at low concentrations. Savitzky-Golay coefficients for first derivative were used to smooth the derivative spectra and improve the correlation between concentration and noise at low concentrations. Derivative spectrophotometry improved the detection limit as much as eight times in deionized water and as much as four times in surface water. The lowest detection limit measured in surface water with traditional spectrophotometry was 392,982 cells/mL, and the Savitzky-Golay first derivative of absorbance was 90,231 cells/mL. The method provided herein provides a promising tool in real-time monitoring of cyanobacteria concentrations and spectrophotometry offers the ability to measure water quality parameters together with cyanobacteria concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Sentinel-2 Satellites Provide Near-Real Time Evaluation of Catastrophic Floods in the West Mediterranean
Water 2019, 11(12), 2499; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122499 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1586
Abstract
Flooding is among the most common natural disasters in our planet and one of the main causes of economic and human life loss worldwide. Evidence suggests the increase of floods at European scale with the Mediterranean coast being critically vulnerable to this risk. [...] Read more.
Flooding is among the most common natural disasters in our planet and one of the main causes of economic and human life loss worldwide. Evidence suggests the increase of floods at European scale with the Mediterranean coast being critically vulnerable to this risk. The devastating event in the West Mediterranean during the second week of September 2019 is a clear case of this risk crystallization, when a record-breaking flood (locally called the “Cold Drop” (Gota Fría)) has swollen into a catastrophe to the southeast of Spain surpassing previous all-time records. By using a straightforward approach with the Sentinel-2 twin satellites from the Copernicus Programme and the ACOLITE atmospheric correction processor, an initial approximation of the delineated flooded zones, including agriculture and urban areas, was accomplished in quasi-real time. The robust and flexible approach requires no ancillary data for rapid implementation. A composite of pre- and post-flood images was obtained to identify change detection and mask water pixels. Sentinel-2 identifies not only impacts on land but also on water ecosystem and its services, providing information on water quality deterioration and concentration of suspended matter in highly sensitive environments. Subsequent water quality deterioration occurred in large portions of Mar Menor, the largest coastal lagoon in the Mediterranean. The present study demonstrates the potentials brought by the free and open-data policy of Sentinel-2, a valuable source of rapid synoptic spatio-temporal information at the local or regional scale to support scientists, managers, stakeholders, and society in general during and after the emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Chromaticity Measurement Based on the Image Method and Its Application in Water Quality Detection
Water 2019, 11(11), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112339 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
In order to measure the chromaticity of water and the content of dissolved matter more accurately, effectively, and cheaply, a chromaticity measurement system based on the image method was proposed and applied. The measurement system used the designed acquisition device and image processing [...] Read more.
In order to measure the chromaticity of water and the content of dissolved matter more accurately, effectively, and cheaply, a chromaticity measurement system based on the image method was proposed and applied. The measurement system used the designed acquisition device and image processing software to obtain the Red-Green-Blue (RGB) values of the image and converted the color image from RGB color space to Hue-Saturation-Intensity (HSI) space to separate the chromaticity and brightness. According to the definition of chromaticity, the hue (H), saturation (S) values, and chromaticity of standard chromaticity solution images were fitted by a non-linear surface, and a three-dimensional chromaticity measurement model was established based on the H and S values of water images. For the measurement of a standard chromaticity solution, the proposed method has higher accuracy than spectrophotometry. For actual water sample measurements, there is no significant difference between the results of this method and the spectrophotometer method, which verified the validity of the method. In addition, the system was tried to measure the concentration of ammonia nitrogen, phosphate, and chloride in water with satisfactory results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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Article
Assessing the Impact of Storm Drains at Road Embankments on Diffuse Particulate Phosphorus Emissions in Agricultural Catchments
Water 2019, 11(10), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102161 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1251
Abstract
This study presents a simple mapping key suitable for quick and systematic assessments of the types of agricultural and civil engineering structures present in a certain agricultural catchment as well as the impact they may have on the spatial distribution of critical source [...] Read more.
This study presents a simple mapping key suitable for quick and systematic assessments of the types of agricultural and civil engineering structures present in a certain agricultural catchment as well as the impact they may have on the spatial distribution of critical source areas. An application of this mapping key to three small sub-catchments of a case study catchment with an area of several hundred square kilometres (one-stage cluster sampling) in Austria clearly reveals that road embankments with subsurface drainage can exert a major influence on emissions and transport pathways of sediment-bound pollutants like particulate phosphorus (PP). Due to this, the semi-empirical, spatially distributed PhosFate model is extended to separately model PP emissions into surface waters via storm drains along road embankments. Furthermore, the overall share of road embankments with subsurface drainage on all road embankments in the case study catchment is inferred with the help of a Bayesian hierarchical model. The combination of the results of these two models shows that the share of storm drains at road embankments on total PP emissions ranges from about one fifth to one third in the investigated area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring, Modelling and Management of Water Quality)
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