Sustainable Development of Water, Energy, and Environment Systems

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (3 May 2023) | Viewed by 8990

Special Issue Editors

Cities Research Institute and School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4222, Australia
Interests: water resource management; environmental health; water; sanitation hygiene (WASH); indigenous communities; systems thinking; digital transformation; water sciences and policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ever since 2002, when the first Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES) was held in Dubrovnik, the SDEWES Conference series has been providing a worldwide forum for scientists and those interested in sustainability to share the state of the art, future directions and priorities in this field. SDEWES is dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge on methods, policies, and technologies for increasing the sustainability of development by de-coupling growth from the use of natural resources and by transitioning to a knowledge-based economy.  

Considering all the economic, environmental, and social pillars of sustainable development, one of the main issues of the coming decades is to improve efficiency by integrating various life-supporting systems, using excess from one as a resource in another in the correct moment. Integrating electricity, heating, cooling, transport, water, buildings, waste, wastewater, industry, forestry and agriculture systems will be pivotal towards sustainable development. To make efficiency improvements happen, political aspects of sustainable development need to be considered as well, thus implying the need for taking account of, among other things, the Sustainable Development Goals, resource and political security, long-term planning, the role of political leaders and voters, energy democracy, and community and citizen participation in the energy transition.

SDEWES has maintained high publishing standards, with more than 2500 research articles published in leading journals. In 2022, the SDEWES Conference series (https://www.paphos2022.sdewes.org/) involved a number of scientific conferences: (1) the 5th South-East European (Vlorë, Albania), (2) the 3rd Latin American (São Paulo, Brazil) and, (3) the 17th SDEWES Conference (Paphos, Cyprus). These conferences contained over 700 contributions and 20 special sessions. MDPI’s Water journal is pleased to support SDEWES by launching a Special Issue dedicated to the 2022 17th SDEWES Conferences. This SI seeks to provide an opportunity for researchers in a wide range of areas to originate, discuss, share, and disseminate new ideas. Water also offers a perfect platform for the interdisciplinary and multi-cultural evaluation of complex systems.

Dr. Cara Beal
Dr. Oz Sahin
Guest Editors

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 2600 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 management
  • sustainability comparisons and measurements
  • green economy and better governance
  • climate resilient water systems
  • environmental policy and management
  • transformative water governance
  • water and wastewater treatment
  • water–energy nexus
  • energy and water efficiency
  • water demand management
  • water systems in rural, regional, and island communities

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 8209 KiB  
Article
Sustainability Assessment of Urban Waterscape Belt Ecological Reconstruction Based on LCA–Emergy–Carbon Emission Methodology
by Desheng Dai, Di Yao, Yuchen Gao and Junxue Zhang
Water 2023, 15(13), 2345; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132345 - 24 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1095
Abstract
Rivers play a key role in regulating urban ecology, which can improve urban climate while slowing the heat island effect. As one of embodied energy in the field of ecology, emergy theory can be used to quantitatively evaluate the ecological characteristics of a [...] Read more.
Rivers play a key role in regulating urban ecology, which can improve urban climate while slowing the heat island effect. As one of embodied energy in the field of ecology, emergy theory can be used to quantitatively evaluate the ecological characteristics of a system. This will help to further explore urban ecological sustainability in this article. In this study, four ecological riverbank reconstruction projects have been executed to restore the ecology along the banks of the Jinchuan River in Nanjing, China, which focus on the key river–lakeside and waterfront space in the main urban area. The LCA–emergy–carbon emission method was applied through a series of indicators, including emergy indexes and carbon emission indicators. It is important to distinguish prior research, and few have utilized this approach on urban waterways and waterscapes. The results illustrate that the reconstruction system has obvious improvement significance to the whole river ecology. This change can also be seen when using LCA–emergy analysis. In a 20-year cycle, the emergy of the material production stage and maintenance phase account for a major emergy share, followed by the construction stage, transportation process, and design process stage. The sustainability (ESI indicator) has been improved after carrying out the reconstruction projects. By choosing water and gravel as the primary material, the carbon emission can be reduced. The water treatment process accounts for the vast majority of carbon emissions. Secondly, gravel also plays an important role in carbon emission. Finally, an improved measure (clean energy reuse) was conducted to enhance the ecology of the reconstruction projects and obtained a significant ecological sustainability boost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Water, Energy, and Environment Systems)
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34 pages, 11317 KiB  
Article
New Software for the Techno–Economic Analysis of Small Hydro Power Plants
by Zvonimir Guzović, Marina Barbarić, Zlatko Bačelić Medić and Nastia Degiuli
Water 2023, 15(9), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091651 - 23 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2033
Abstract
Project SMART (Strategies to Promote Small-Scale Hydro Electricity Production in Europe) from the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) program, in which 7 institutions from 5 European states participate, pointed to the important barriers for the expansion of small hydro power plants (SHP) in Europe. [...] Read more.
Project SMART (Strategies to Promote Small-Scale Hydro Electricity Production in Europe) from the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) program, in which 7 institutions from 5 European states participate, pointed to the important barriers for the expansion of small hydro power plants (SHP) in Europe. One of the main barriers is the lack of suitable methodology and software able to create a clear view of the SHP potential in the given territory, as well as a complete techno-economic analysis for certain locations. Worldwide, there are a certain number of software for this purpose, and will be presented in this paper. However, in practical application for concrete cases, they show certain disadvantages. For example, one software is not able to take into account all the specifics of watercourses and plants; another does not have the option of selecting all types of turbines; in others, the calculation models are based on a limited number of equations that do not describe all possible cases; in some, economic analysis is oversimplified, etc. The aim of this paper is to develop software that is more comprehensive than any existing software. A new software for the techno-economic analysis of SHP is developed using Python and will be presented in this paper. The software is very useful for experts in the field of SHP, but also much wider, for decision-makers, potential investors, and stakeholders, especially in developing countries. It will improve water resources management, disseminate opportunities to investors, and increase the interest of stakeholders to invest in SHP, resulting in their wider use. The software is tested on location for SHP in the Republic of Croatia by comparison with the results obtained by the usual classical calculation. The agreement of the results is satisfactory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Water, Energy, and Environment Systems)
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20 pages, 9026 KiB  
Article
Defining Heat in Place for the Discovered Geothermal Brine Reservoirs in the Croatian Part of Pannonian Basin
by Martina Tuschl and Tomislav Kurevija
Water 2023, 15(6), 1237; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061237 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
One of the important sources of renewable energy is geothermal heat. Its special feature of being independent 24/7 ensures the stability and security of the system, either for electricity or heat production. Geothermal energy has a local character and is limited by the [...] Read more.
One of the important sources of renewable energy is geothermal heat. Its special feature of being independent 24/7 ensures the stability and security of the system, either for electricity or heat production. Geothermal energy has a local character and is limited by the geological characteristics of each state. In the Republic of Croatia, the development of geothermal energy is closely related to the development of the oil industry, as geothermal deposits were discovered during oil and gas exploration. Considering the established temperature gradients in Croatia, there is a greater possibility of using geothermal energy, and for this, it is necessary to evaluate its full potential and possibilities of use. The aim of this research is to determine the heat potential of the Croatian part of the Pannonian Basin System (CPBS), a part of Croatia with exceptional geothermal potential, based on the analysis of a large amount of well data with confirmed water inflow. In order to estimate the heat in place, the available data on the presence of inflow, temperature, and porosity, as well as permeability and volume for each well/reservoir included in the assessment, were considered. In geothermal reservoirs, one of the most important pieces of data besides petrophysical and thermodynamic data is the potential of the well, i.e., the maximum flow under certain permeability and porosity conditions. To define this, the productivity index was made dependent on the permeability of each well, and the inflow in each well was risked using Monte Carlo for three main geological phases in CPBS, which subsequently influenced inflow and spacing between production and injection wells. The beta-PERT distribution for permeability is used in Monte Carlo simulation to determine the most likely values and produce a distribution that resembles the real probability distribution. As a result, geothermal potential was mapped according to the obtained values of heat in place for part of the CPBS covered with analysed wells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Water, Energy, and Environment Systems)
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17 pages, 6992 KiB  
Article
Aquavoltaics Feasibility Assessment: Synergies of Solar PV Power Generation and Aquaculture Production
by Moslem Imani, Hoda Fakour, Shang-Lien Lo, Mei-Hua Yuan, Chih-Kuei Chen, Shariat Mobasser and Isara Muangthai
Water 2023, 15(5), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15050987 - 04 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3301
Abstract
The negative effects of climate change have burdened humanity with the necessity of decarbonization by moving to clean and renewable sources of energy generation. While energy demand varies across the sectors, fisheries, including fishing and aquaculture, are among the most energy intensive processes [...] Read more.
The negative effects of climate change have burdened humanity with the necessity of decarbonization by moving to clean and renewable sources of energy generation. While energy demand varies across the sectors, fisheries, including fishing and aquaculture, are among the most energy intensive processes in the food production industry. The synergistic opportunities for co-located aquaculture and renewable energy can thus provide a multifunctional use of space and resources, creating opportunities to meet the identified energy demands of a variety of aquaculture operations. This study has investigated a sustainable energy model for a small-scale shrimp farm in western Taiwan with synergies for the dual use of the water area for solar photovoltaic electricity generation and aquaculture. Based on the simulation results and SWOT analysis, recommendations have been made for the design and operation of a solar-powered aeration system for shrimp farms. The average monthly energy production of 32 MWh is attainable at the estimated canopy space on a carport by installing 896 solar modules on the proposed site, fully covering the power demand of the shrimp farm. These findings have significance for encouraging effective practices in deploying solar techniques in aquaculture and making them replicable in global settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Water, Energy, and Environment Systems)
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