Special Issue "Assessment 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: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sophia Barinova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
Interests: diversity and ecology of the algal and cyanobacterial communities in the rivers, lakes, natural and artificial ponds, and seacoast; bioindication of water quality and environmental impact; statistical methods
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water quality is currently one of the main indicators of the standard of living; therefore, all developed societies are making maximum efforts to provide the population and the economy with sufficient water of adequate quality. Most of the water comes from natural sources, including rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, the quality of which it is necessary not only to assess but also to predict. Classification systems of water quality, methods for assessment, and presentations of the results can be summarized, improved, and developed. The characteristics of diversity, abundance, biomass, and species composition of aquatic biota are used in bioindicator methods of water quality assessment in changing the environment. They enable an integrated assessment of the results of all processes occurring in a water body.

Prof. Dr. Sophia Barinova
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • algae
  • invertebrates
  • fish
  • macrophytes
  • diversity
  • bioindicator
  • water quality
  • aquatic ecosystem
  • rivers
  • lakes
  • sea
  • estuary

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Role of External Factors in the Variability of the Structure of the Zooplankton Community of Small Lakes (South-East Kazakhstan)
Water 2021, 13(7), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070962 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 417
Abstract
The variability of hydrochemical parameters, the heterogeneity of the habitat, and a low level of anthropogenic impact, create the premises for conserving the high biodiversity of aquatic communities of small water bodies. The study of small water bodies contributes to understanding aquatic organisms’ [...] Read more.
The variability of hydrochemical parameters, the heterogeneity of the habitat, and a low level of anthropogenic impact, create the premises for conserving the high biodiversity of aquatic communities of small water bodies. The study of small water bodies contributes to understanding aquatic organisms’ adaptation to sharp fluctuations in external factors. Studies of biological communities’ response to fluctuations in external factors can be used for bioindication of the ecological state of small water bodies. In this regard, the purpose of the research is to study the structure of zooplankton of small lakes in South-East Kazakhstan in connection with various physicochemical parameters to understand the role of biological variables in assessing the ecological state of aquatic ecosystems. According to hydrochemical data in summer 2019, the nutrient content was relatively high in all studied lakes. A total of 74 species were recorded in phytoplankton. The phytoplankton abundance varied significantly, from 8.5 × 107 to 2.71667 × 109 cells/m3, with a biomass from 0.4 to 15.81 g/m3. Shannon diversity index of phytoplankton in the lakes at high altitude varied from 1.33 to 2.39 and from 0.46 to 3.65 in the lakes at lower altitudes. The average weight of the cells of algae species varied from 0.2079 to 1.5076 × 10−6 mg in the lakes at lower altitudes, the average weight of the cells of algae species changed from 0.6682 to 1.2963 × 10−6 mg in the lakes at higher altitudes. Zooplankton was represented by 58 taxa. The total abundance of zooplankton varied from 0.05 to 169.00 thousand ind./m3 with biomass of 0.51–349.01 mg/m3. Shannon diversity of zooplankton in the lakes at lower altitude fluctuated from 0.42 to 2.32 and it was 0.66–1.77 in the lakes at higher altitudes. The average individual mass of specimens in zooplankton in mountain lakes ranged from 0.021 to 0.037 mg and varied from 0.002 to 0.007 mg in other lakes. The main factors in the development of the structure of zooplankton communities in small lakes were temperature, TDS, the content of nitrates, phosphates, and the composition and biomass of planktonic algae. The hydrochemical and biological data of the investigated lakes indicated their organic pollution. Our results once again confirmed the applicability of structural variables of zooplankton in assessing water quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Article
Fecal Contamination and High Nutrient Levels Pollute the Watersheds of Wujiang, China
Water 2021, 13(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040457 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Freshwaters in China are affected by point and non-point sources of pollution. The Wujiang District (Suzhou City, China) has a long history of canals, rivers, and lakes that are currently facing various water quality issues. In this study, the water quality of four [...] Read more.
Freshwaters in China are affected by point and non-point sources of pollution. The Wujiang District (Suzhou City, China) has a long history of canals, rivers, and lakes that are currently facing various water quality issues. In this study, the water quality of four rivers and a lake in Wujiang was assessed to quantify pollution and explore its causes. Seventy-five monthly samples were collected from these water bodies (five locations/samples per area) from August to October 2020 and were compared with nine control samples collected from a water protection area. Fifteen physicochemical, microbiological, and molecular–microbiological parameters were analyzed, including nutrients, total and fecal coliforms, and fecal markers. Significant monthly variation was observed for most parameters at all areas. Total phosphorus, phosphates, total nitrogen, ammonium–nitrogen, and fecal coliforms mostly exceeded the acceptable limits set by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. The LiPuDang Lake and the WuFangGang River were the most degraded areas. The studied parameters were correlated with urban, agricultural, industrial, and other major land use patterns. The results suggest that fecal contamination and nutrients, associated with certain land use practices, are the primary pollution factors in the Wujiang District. Detailed water quality monitoring and targeted management strategies are necessary to control pollution in Wujiang’s watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Article
Predicting Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) in a Regulated River Using a Revised EFDC Model
Water 2021, 13(4), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040439 - 08 Feb 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) produce toxins and odors in public water bodies and drinking water. Current process-based models predict algal blooms by modeling chlorophyll-a concentrations. However, chlorophyll-a concentrations represent all algae and hence, a method for predicting the proportion of harmful cyanobacteria [...] Read more.
Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) produce toxins and odors in public water bodies and drinking water. Current process-based models predict algal blooms by modeling chlorophyll-a concentrations. However, chlorophyll-a concentrations represent all algae and hence, a method for predicting the proportion of harmful cyanobacteria is required. We proposed a technique to predict harmful cyanobacteria concentrations based on the source codes of the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code from the National Institute of Environmental Research. A graphical user interface was developed to generate information about general water quality and algae which was subsequently used in the model to predict harmful cyanobacteria concentrations. Predictive modeling was performed for the Hapcheon-Changnyeong Weir–Changnyeong-Haman Weir section of the Nakdong River, South Korea, from May to October 2019, the season in which CyanoHABs predominantly occur. To evaluate the success rate of the proposed model, a detailed five-step classification of harmful cyanobacteria levels was proposed. The modeling results demonstrated high prediction accuracy (62%) for harmful cyanobacteria. For the management of CyanoHABs, rather than chlorophyll-a, harmful cyanobacteria should be used as the index, to allow for a direct inference of their cell densities (cells/mL). The proposed method may help improve the existing Harmful Algae Alert System in South Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Article
Diatom Algae-Indicators of Water Quality in the Lower Zarafshan River, Uzbekistan
Water 2021, 13(3), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030358 - 30 Jan 2021
Viewed by 589
Abstract
This work is the first, the purpose of which was a comprehensive assessment of the ecological state of the lower reaches of the Zarafshan River using bioindication of water quality by diatoms based on species’ ecological preferences, pollution indices, statistics, and ecological mapping. [...] Read more.
This work is the first, the purpose of which was a comprehensive assessment of the ecological state of the lower reaches of the Zarafshan River using bioindication of water quality by diatoms based on species’ ecological preferences, pollution indices, statistics, and ecological mapping. A total of 198 species and subspecies of diatoms were first identified from 195 samples collected four times a year at six sites in the lower reaches of the Zarafshan River in 2009–2015. The richest species were Cymbella, Navicula, and Nitzschia. Pleurosira laevis, resistant to salinity, was first found in aquatic habitats in Uzbekistan. Bioindicators of nine environmental variables make up 91% of the list. Distribution analysis of variables, pollution indices (SLA—SládečDek index of saprobity), and toxicity indices (WESI—Water Ecosystem State Index) show increases in salinity, turbidity, and decreases in organic pollution downstream. The source of acidification can be the Navoi region. We found an increase in the ability to self-purify with an increase in species richness and abundance of diatoms in the lower part of Zarafshan. Thus, the ecosystem of the studied part of the river successfully copes with the incoming pollution from the middle part of Zarafshan and demonstrates some stability and successful self-purification with a water quality class of 2–3. The first studied lower reaches of the ecosystem of the Zarafshan River using bioindicators, statistics, and ecological mapping show that the problem of aridization in Central Asia does not necessarily lead to degradation of the river ecosystem and an increase in pollution, but with rational water use can improve water quality and self-purification processes. Hence, diatoms can be good indicators of river water quality in a semi-arid region and reflect the climate and anthropogenic load change. We recommend that attention be paid to nutrient and turbidity management and to expand state monitoring points to the lower part of the river up to the Karakul region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Article
Planktonic Invertebrates in the Assessment of Long-Term Change in Water Quality of the Sorbulak Wastewater Disposal System (Kazakhstan)
Water 2020, 12(12), 3409; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123409 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 625
Abstract
The multicomponent composition of wastewater makes it challenging to assess its quality objectively, but the last one is a prerequisite for the safe re-use of wastewater. The solution to this problem should be aimed at finding criteria that make it possible to increase [...] Read more.
The multicomponent composition of wastewater makes it challenging to assess its quality objectively, but the last one is a prerequisite for the safe re-use of wastewater. The solution to this problem should be aimed at finding criteria that make it possible to increase the objectivity of assessing the water quality of reservoirs with multicomponent pollution. This work analyzes the water quality of the Sorbulak wastewater disposal system in the summer of 2017, based on chemical variables and zooplankton structure and assess the long-term changes in the water quality of Sorbulak. According to the Kruskal–Wallis test, in 2017, the differences between the studied water bodies in the content of nutrients and heavy metals were mostly insignificant. From 2000–2002 to 2017, nitrate, nitrite nitrogen, and heavy metals in Sorbulak significantly decreased. Zooplankton communities consisted of a relatively small number of eurybiontic species resistant to environmental factors. The variability of the quantitative variables of zooplankton was associated with the nutrients. Males dominated the population of the cyclopoid copepods Acanthocyclops trajani. In 2000–2002 individuals with morphological anomalies were found in cyclopoid copepods populations, but were absent in 2017. The appearance of individuals with morphological anomalies was associated with copper or lead. The chemical data and structure of zooplankton communities indicated that the toxic pollution of Sorbulak decreased by 2017 compared to 2000–2002. Our results demonstrate that the structural variables of zooplankton communities could be successfully used to assess the water quality of water bodies with mixed pollution. We recommend using not only the traditional set of biological variables (abundance, biomass, diversity indices, and the average mass of an individual), but also data on the structure of species dominance, the sex structure of copepod populations, and the presence of individuals with morphological anomalies for monitoring of water bodies with mixed pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Article
Groundwater Quality Characterization in an Overallocated Semi-Arid Coastal Area Using an Integrated Approach: Case of the Essaouira Basin, Morocco
Water 2020, 12(11), 3202; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113202 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 724
Abstract
In this study, hydrogeochemical analyses were combined with geographic information system (GIS) tools to investigate salinization sources of groundwater in the downstream part of the Essaouira basin, and to analyze the spatiotemporal trends in groundwater quality. To assess groundwater suitability for drinking purposes, [...] Read more.
In this study, hydrogeochemical analyses were combined with geographic information system (GIS) tools to investigate salinization sources of groundwater in the downstream part of the Essaouira basin, and to analyze the spatiotemporal trends in groundwater quality. To assess groundwater suitability for drinking purposes, the quality of sampled water was compared with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Moroccan guidelines. Wilcox and US salinity laboratory (USSL) diagrams were used to evaluate groundwater suitability for irrigation. Hydrogeochemical analyses revealed that groundwater is of Na-Cl and Ca-Mg-Cl types. The analyses of the correlation between the chemical elements showed that the water–rock interaction and the reverse ion exchange are the major processes impacting groundwater degradation in the study area. The study of groundwater suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes shows that groundwater quality in the study area is permissible, but not desirable for human consumption. Additionally, groundwater is permissible for agricultural use but with high-salinity hazards. The spatial distribution of the physicochemical elements shows a general upward gradient from the north to the south and from the east to the west. The trend in groundwater quality during the last five years shows a shifting in the quality from the mixed Ca-Mg-Cl to the Na-Cl type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Article
Zooplankton as Indicator of the Ecological State of Protected Aquatic Ecosystems (Lake Borovoe, Burabay National Nature Park, Northern Kazakhstan)
Water 2020, 12(9), 2580; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092580 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
The enrichment of the protected Borovoe Lake with nutrients has taken place within the last 100 years, from the moment the first resort was formed on its shores. The purpose of this study was to assess the current ecological state of Borovoe based [...] Read more.
The enrichment of the protected Borovoe Lake with nutrients has taken place within the last 100 years, from the moment the first resort was formed on its shores. The purpose of this study was to assess the current ecological state of Borovoe based on the structure of zooplankton. According to the chemical data, in the summer of 2019, the content of nutrients in the water was, relatively, not high; the content of heavy metals was very low. Twenty-seven species were found in zooplankton. The average abundance of zooplankton was 988.8 thousand ind./m3 with a biomass of 1.52 g/m3. Rotifera dominated. Cladocera sub-dominated. The Shannon index values were 2.31 bit/ind. and 2.57 bit/mg; the values of Clarke’s W-statistics and Δ-Shannon were negative. The abundance of zooplankton increased more than nine times, but the average individual mass of an organism decreased from 0.0112 to 0.0016 mg over the past decade. Despite the relatively low content of nutrients, the structure of zooplankton demonstrated that the nutritional load on Lake Borovoe is currently close to critical. Statistical mapping of the data and redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that the primary source of lake pollution is the village of Borovoe and sanatoriums located on the southeast and northwest coasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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Review

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Review
Modification of the Water Quality Index (WQI) Process for Simple Calculation Using the Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) Method: A Review
Water 2021, 13(7), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070905 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Human activities continue to affect our water quality; it remains a major problem worldwide (particularly concerning freshwater and human consumption). A critical water quality index (WQI) method has been used to determine the overall water quality status of surface water and groundwater systems [...] Read more.
Human activities continue to affect our water quality; it remains a major problem worldwide (particularly concerning freshwater and human consumption). A critical water quality index (WQI) method has been used to determine the overall water quality status of surface water and groundwater systems globally since the 1960s. WQI follows four steps: parameter selection, sub-indices, establishing weights, and final index aggregation, which are addressed in this review. However, the WQI method is a prolonged process and applied to specific water quality parameters, i.e., water consumption (particular area and time) and other purposes. Therefore, this review discusses the WQI method in simple steps, for water quality assessment, based on two multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods: (1) analytical hierarchical process (AHP); and (2) measuring attractiveness by a categorically based evaluation technique (MACBETH). MCDM methods can facilitate easy calculations, with less effort and great accuracy. Moreover, the uncertainty and eclipsing problems are also discussed—a challenge at every step of WQI development, particularly for parameter selection and establishing weights. This review will help provide water management authorities with useful knowledge pertaining to water usage or modification of existing indicators globally, and contribute to future WQI planning and studies for drinking, irrigation, domestic, and industrial purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Water Quality)
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