Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on Water Resources

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 22016

Special Issue Editors

CMNS—Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
Interests: environmental impact assessment; hydrological modeling; watershed hydrology; water resources management
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, Univeristy of New Brunsiwck, Fredericton, NB, Canada
Interests: hydrology; ecological modelling; watershed management; GIS and landscape analysis; forest growth and yield models
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land use and climate changes are impacting the quantity and quality of water resources locally, regionally, and globally. Contaminants from various sources, including agricultural, urban, and industrial areas, are increasing and posing threats to freshwater for human consumption and the health of natural ecosystems. At the same time, warming trends and climate extremes have increased in frequency and intensity further complicating water sustainability through droughts and floods. For this special Issue, we solicit papers related to any aspect of the impacts of land use and climate changes on water resources. The following are the topic areas we are particularly interested in:

  1. Application of models to assess land use and climate change impacts on water resources;
  2. Changes in ecosystem services of water in response to land use and climate change;
  3. Changes in the greenhouse gases emissions of water resources;
  4. Management, adaptation, and restoration strategies to mitigate adverse effects of land use and climate change.

We intend to compile a Special Issue that will be a valuable resource for researchers, students, and managers, interested in the interactive effects of land use and climate change on Earth’s water resources. We welcome submissions from around the world representing a range of disciplines, as well as papers that provide transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and perspectives.

Dr. Junyu Qi
Prof. Dr. Fan-Rui Meng
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Land use
  • Climate change
  • Water resources
  • Water quality
  • Water quantity
  • Ecosystem
  • Agriculture

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 7903 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Impacts of Detailed Land Use and Management Inputs on the Accuracy and Resolution of SWAT Predictions in an Experimental Watershed
by Junyu Qi, Xiaoyu Kang, Sheng Li and Fanrui Meng
Water 2022, 14(15), 2352; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152352 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Land use and management practice inputs to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) are critical for evaluating the impact of land use change and best management practices on soil erosion and water quality in watersheds. We developed an algorithm in this study [...] Read more.
Land use and management practice inputs to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) are critical for evaluating the impact of land use change and best management practices on soil erosion and water quality in watersheds. We developed an algorithm in this study to maximize the usage of land use and management records during the setup of SWAT for a small experimental watershed in New Brunswick, Canada. In the algorithm, hydrologic response units (HRUs) were delineated based on field boundaries and associated with long-term field records. The SWAT model was further calibrated and validated with respect to water flow and sediment and nutrient (nitrate and soluble phosphorus) loadings at the watershed outlet. As a comparison, a baseline version of SWAT was also set up using the conventional way of HRU delineation with limited information on land use and management practices. These two versions of SWAT were compared with respect to input and output resolution and prediction accuracy of monthly and annual water flow and sediment and nutrient loadings. Results show that the SWAT set up with the new method had much higher accuracies in generating annual areas of crops, fertilizer application, tillage operation, flow diversion terraces (FDT), and grassed waterways in the watershed. Compared with the SWAT set up with the conventional method, the SWAT set up with the new method improved the accuracy of predicting monthly sediment loading due to a better representation of FDT in the watershed, and it also successfully estimated the spatial impact of FDT on soil erosion across the watershed. However, there was no definite increase in simulation accuracy in monthly water flow and nutrient loadings with high spatial and temporal management inputs, though monthly nutrient loading simulations were sensitive to management configuration. The annual examination also showed comparable simulation accuracy on water flow and nutrient loadings between the two models. These results indicate that SWAT, although set up with limited land use and management information, is able to provide comparable simulations of water quantity and quality at the watershed outlet, as long as the estimated land use and management practice data can reasonably represent the average land use and management condition of the watershed over the target simulation period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on Water Resources)
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17 pages, 2945 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Land Use Land Cover Changes and Future Predictions Using CA-ANN Simulation for Selangor, Malaysia
by Mohammed Feras Baig, Muhammad Raza Ul Mustafa, Imran Baig, Husna Binti Takaijudin and Muhammad Talha Zeshan
Water 2022, 14(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030402 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 84 | Viewed by 13445
Abstract
Land use land cover (LULC) has altered dramatically because of anthropogenic activities, particularly in places where climate change and population growth are severe. The geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing are widely used techniques for monitoring LULC changes. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Land use land cover (LULC) has altered dramatically because of anthropogenic activities, particularly in places where climate change and population growth are severe. The geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing are widely used techniques for monitoring LULC changes. This study aimed to assess the LULC changes and predict future trends in Selangor, Malaysia. The satellite images from 1991–2021 were classified to develop LULC maps using support vector machine (SVM) classification in ArcGIS. The image classification was based on six different LULC classes, i.e., (i) water, (ii) developed, (iii) barren, (iv) forest, (v) agriculture, and (vi) wetlands. The resulting LULC maps illustrated the area changes from 1991 to 2021 in different classes, where developed, barren, and water lands increased by 15.54%, 1.95%, and 0.53%, respectively. However, agricultural, forest, and wetlands decreased by 3.07%, 14.01%, and 0.94%, respectively. The cellular automata-artificial neural network (CA-ANN) technique was used to predict the LULC changes from 2031–2051. The percentage of correctness for the simulation was 82.43%, and overall kappa value was 0.72. The prediction maps from 2031–2051 illustrated decreasing trends in (i) agricultural by 3.73%, (ii) forest by 1.09%, (iii) barren by 0.21%, (iv) wetlands by 0.06%, and (v) water by 0.04% and increasing trends in (vi) developed by 5.12%. The outcomes of this study provide crucial knowledge that may help in developing future sustainable planning and management, as well as assist authorities in making informed decisions to improve environmental and ecological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on Water Resources)
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19 pages, 8507 KiB  
Article
Spatial Pattern Analysis of a Water-Related Ecosystem Service and Evaluation of the Grassland-Carrying Capacity of the Heihe River Basin under Land Use Change
by Rui Luo, Shiliang Yang, Yang Zhou, Pengqun Gao and Tianming Zhang
Water 2021, 13(19), 2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13192658 - 26 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2468
Abstract
A key challenge to the sustainability and security of grassland capacity is the protection of water-related ecosystem services (WESs). With the change of land use, the supply of aquatic ecosystem services has changed, and the grassland-carrying capacity has been affected. However, the correlation [...] Read more.
A key challenge to the sustainability and security of grassland capacity is the protection of water-related ecosystem services (WESs). With the change of land use, the supply of aquatic ecosystem services has changed, and the grassland-carrying capacity has been affected. However, the correlation mechanism between WESs and the grassland-carrying capacity is not clear. In this study, we used the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) model to evaluate the impact of land-use change on WESs, and made a tradeoff analysis between WESs and grassland-carrying capacity. Considering that the Heihe River Basin (HRB) was an important grassland vegetation zone, which was a milestone for the development of animal husbandry in China, HRB was taken as a case. The main findings are as follows: (1) the spatial distribution of WESs shows the dissimilation rule, the upper reaches are the main water yield area, the soil retention is weakening in the middle and lower reaches, and the pollution has further increased in the middle and upper reaches. (2) The carrying capacity of animal husbandry decreased in the upper reaches, increased in Shandan County and Zhangye City in the middle reaches, and decreased sharply in other regions. (3) There was a positive correlation between the livestock-carrying capacity and nitrogen export in 2018, which was increasing. As the change of land use has changed the evapotranspiration structure, WESs have undergone irreversible changes. Meanwhile, the development of large-scale irrigated farmland and human activities would be the source of a further intensification of regional soil erosion and water pollution. Therefore, it is necessary to trade off the WESs and animal husbandry under land-use change. This paper revealed how WESs changed from 2000 to 2018, the characteristics of the changes in the spatial and temporal distribution, and the carrying capacity. It aims to provide a scientific basis for coordinating the contradiction between grassland and livestock resources, improving the regional ecological security situation, and carrying out ecosystem management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on Water Resources)
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16 pages, 3906 KiB  
Article
Effects of Vegetation Restoration on Regional Soil Moisture Content in the Humid Karst Areas—A Case Study of Southwest China
by Xiaocha Wei, Qiuwen Zhou, Mingyong Cai and Yujuan Wang
Water 2021, 13(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030321 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2716
Abstract
Soil moisture is one of the restricting factors in the humid karst areas, which feature strong spatial heterogeneity. However, current research about the effects of vegetation restoration on soil moisture content have mainly focused on plot scale and slope scale, while these effects [...] Read more.
Soil moisture is one of the restricting factors in the humid karst areas, which feature strong spatial heterogeneity. However, current research about the effects of vegetation restoration on soil moisture content have mainly focused on plot scale and slope scale, while these effects still remain unclear at regional scale in this area. Taking Southwest China as a case study and based on the land parameter data record (LPDR) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) data set during 2002–2018, this study analyzed the spatiotemporal variation characteristics of vegetation and soil moisture content, and evaluated the effects of vegetation restoration on regional soil moisture content dynamics in paired years with similar precipitation conditions. The results showed that the EVI generally increased at a rate of 0.035/10a during 2002–2018, while the soil moisture was dominated by a drying trend at a variation rate of −0.0006 (cm3/cm3)/10a. The increasing trend of EVI accounted for 90.90% across the study area, whereas the decreasing trend of soil moisture accounted for 51.66%, and the increasing trend of soil moisture accounted for 48.34%. In addition, the decreasing trend of soil moisture coupled with an increasing trend of EVI distributed in most of the study area, especially in the homogenous limestone area. Our results demonstrate that there were remarkable vegetation restoration efforts in a series of ecological restoration projects, which resulted in a drying trend of the regional soil moisture content in the humid karst areas. The results suggest that it is necessary to consider reasonable vegetation planting density and suitable revegetation types to balance the relationship between vegetation water consumption and soil moisture supplementation in vegetation restoration practice in the humid karst areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on Water Resources)
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