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: 31 July 2021.

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
Dr. Sandra Ricart
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Interuniversitario de Geografía, Universidad de Alicante, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain
Interests: water governance; social learning; irrigation; sustainability; climate change; unconventional water resources

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

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

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

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

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 2 | Viewed by 683
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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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.


 

1.  Managing water scarcity futures: Identifying factors influencing water quality perception after the introduction of desalination in urban coastal environments

Author: Villar-Navascués, R.A. and Fragkou, M.C.

Abstract: During the last two decades, there has been a great development of desalination as a strategy to ensure the urban water supply in arid and semi-arid areas worldwide. Beyond its elevated economic costs, one of the main barriers that may limit the development of this technology is desalinated water´s quality perception by consumers. Typically, literature on water acceptability has been carried out in study cases whose urban water supply systems are fed by conventional water resources. This research aims to deepen our understanding on the factors behind water quality perception through a unique case of a Chilean coastal town where both desalinated and freshwater are distributed for human consumption. In the city of Antofagasta (Chile) desalinated water has been progressively introduced in the tap water mix since 2003, creating three parallel water supply areas according to the water sources distributed in each of them (desalinated water, freshwater and a mix of both). More than 900 questionnaires were conducted to evaluate water quality perception and water consumption habits in households. An ordinal logistic regression model has been implemented in order to identify which variables (urban, socio-demographic, socio-economic, or water use habits) explain better water quality perception for each water supply area. Results indicate that socio-economic status and behavioral variables are the main factors that explain acceptance or rejection of desalinated water for urban uses. Better knowledge about influencing factors of the perception of desalinated water quality will help to improve the design of socially and economically fair water policies in the face of future scarcity scenarios.

 

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