Special Issue "Social Learning on Desalinated and Reclaimed Water for Irrigation and Urban Tourism Demand"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 3899

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Antonio M. Rico Amorós
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Interuniversitario de Geografía, Universidad de Alicante, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain
Interests: water management; water consumption; non-conventional water resources; irrigation; urban tourism planning; natural risks
Prof. Dr. Sandra Ricart
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interuniversity Institute of Geography, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
Interests: water governance; socioecological systems; nonconventional water resources; climate change adaptation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Desalinated and wastewater are expected to play a key role in narrowing the water demand–supply gap, especially for addressing irrigation or to guarantee urban tourist supplies in areas vulnerable to climate change and with drought risks. Both sources are limited by different key barriers: 1) their management is more complex than the management of freshwater, 2) their cost is more expensive than the cost of conventional resources due to conveyance, storage, and distribution in a dedicated network, 3) their use is conditioned by food production regulation and trade barriers, and 4) they are perceived as being risky and expensive rather than beneficial. Addressing the last barrier is not solely related to technical issues, but to social and behavioral issues. This Special Issue aims to provide a learning platform about how reuse and desalinated water are perceived by both farmers (producers) and the public (as citizens and/or tourists). Within this context, we would like to invite you to submit original research with case studies and review articles to disseminate the new findings on expertise, preconceived and prejudiced beliefs, fears, attitudes, lack of knowledge, and yuck factor as they relate to desalinated and wastewater resources. Three main research questions may be addressed in this Special Issue:

  • What are the main factors able to explain the acceptance or rejection of desalinated and wastewater resources for irrigation and urban tourism use compared to the use of conventional water resources?
  • How are desalinated and wastewater resources managed, and which types of measures have been promoted to overcome current and potential barriers and risks?
  • What main pros and cons have been observed when comparing the use of traditional and unconventional resources in the same activity? Has the choice been motivated by issues related to climate change (water scarcity, droughts), sustainability goals (water efficiency, water pollution), or circular economy (water costs, water reuse)?
Prof. Dr. Antonio M. Rico Amorós
Dr. Sandra Ricart
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 2200 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

  • desalination
  • wastewater
  • irrigation
  • urban tourism
  • management
  • social learning
  • behavior and attitudes
  • environmental and health risks
  • sustainable development goals
  • circular economy
  • climate change

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Managing Water Scarcity Futures: Identifying Factors Influencing Water Quality, Risk Perception and Daily Practices in Urban Environments after the Introduction of Desalination
Water 2021, 13(19), 2738; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13192738 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 861
Abstract
During the last two decades on a global scale, there has been a significant development of desalination as a strategy to ensure the urban water supply in arid and semi-arid areas. Beyond issues related to the higher economic costs, one of the main [...] Read more.
During the last two decades on a global scale, there has been a significant development of desalination as a strategy to ensure the urban water supply in arid and semi-arid areas. Beyond issues related to the higher economic costs, one of the main barriers that may limit this water source’s development is its supposed negative water quality perception. This research aims to understand better which factors are behind water quality perception in Antofagasta (Chile), where desalinated water was introduced in 2003. Since then, this urban water supply system has increasingly incorporated desalination, creating three parallel areas according to the water sources used in each of them (desalinated water, freshwater and a mix of both). To do so, more than 800 questionnaires to test water quality perception and water consumption habits were conducted in households. Up to six logistic regression models have been implemented to identify which variables better explain water quality satisfaction, risk perception and daily water practices considering the water supply area. It is worth noting that most of this type of research has been carried out in study cases with homogeneous urban water supply systems with conventional water resources. Results indicate that, among other factors, organoleptic water characteristics, such as taste, and socioeconomic status are some of the main factors that explain the perception of water quality and daily practices. In addition, a lower water quality perception and greater risk perception have been identified where desalinated water has been introduced, which makes some households develop averting behaviors to improve water quality, such as boil water. Full article
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Article
Wastewater Treatment Plants in Mediterranean Spain: An Exploration of Relations between Water Treatments, Water Reuse, and Governance
Water 2021, 13(12), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121710 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are fundamental to enable the transition towards the principles of a circular economy in water supply. In Mediterranean Spain, an area with recurrent episodes of water stress, treated wastewater may become a critical resource for the future. However, its [...] Read more.
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are fundamental to enable the transition towards the principles of a circular economy in water supply. In Mediterranean Spain, an area with recurrent episodes of water stress, treated wastewater may become a critical resource for the future. However, its incorporation into the array of potential water options opens up questions regarding the different qualities obtained with each treatment, the extent of existing water reuse practices, or the governance regime of plants. In this paper, the state of WWTPs in Mediterranean Spain is analyzed, with focus on plant sizes, treatment technologies, water use, and governance regimes. The latter shows a strong presence of private WWTPs and a lesser extent of public–private WWTPs, while the number of public plants is small. Regarding treatment technologies, the most sophisticated systems are found in public–private plants that are also the largest in size. Reclaimed water is very significant for agricultural and golf course irrigation in some areas (Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia), but still relatively incipient for other uses. Full article
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Article
Why (Not) Desalination? Exploring Driving Factors from Irrigation Communities’ Perception in South-East Spain
Water 2020, 12(9), 2408; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092408 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Desalination for sustaining agricultural production is conceived as an alternative water source in some Mediterranean countries faced with climatological and hydrological constraints. Although high costs are often cited as limiting factors, how farmers discern desalinated water has not been discussed in-depth in the [...] Read more.
Desalination for sustaining agricultural production is conceived as an alternative water source in some Mediterranean countries faced with climatological and hydrological constraints. Although high costs are often cited as limiting factors, how farmers discern desalinated water has not been discussed in-depth in the literature. This paper aims to deepen how desalination is perceived by irrigators, what driving factors are affecting irrigation communities’ decision-making processes, and what learnings can be drawn from their experiences regarding desalination acceptance or rejection. Eleven irrigation communities have been selected from Alicante and Murcia regions (South-East Spain), which account for more than 60,000 irrigators and 120,000 ha. Questionnaires were conducted between March and December 2019. Results highlighted the main advantages (water availability and supply security) and disadvantages (high price affecting profitable crop options, high-energy consumption, water quality standards, the production capacity of desalination plants, no seasonal variation in water production, and shortages due to technical problems) of using desalinated water. Additionally, through the analysis of regional and national press news, it can be concluded that socio-political aspects, such as corruption, cost overruns, and political disputes are also considered. Full article
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