Special Issue "Modelling Microbial Water Quality and Health Risk"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nynke Hofstra
Guest Editor
Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: health-related water microbiology; modeling; scenario analysis; systems analysis; water quality
Dr. Heather Murphy
Guest Editor
College of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA
Interests: water quality; water microbiology; water treatment; environmental health; water, sanitation and hygiene
Dr. Matthew Verbyla
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-1324, USA
Interests: water, sanitation, and hygiene; health-related microbiology; quantitative microbial risk assessment; environmental justice

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pathogens in water continue to cause health problems worldwide. In developing countries, diarrhoea remains a leading cause of death and regular problems also occur and emerge in developed countries. Across the world, pathogenic water quality and disease burden data are sparse. We simply cannot measure every water body for all pathogens. There is, therefore, a strong need for a systems approach to quantitatively understand the pathogen fate and transport in the environment and the ability of pathogens to infect populations at risk through a variety of exposure routes. Global change, including population growth, urbanization and climate change, influences the fate, transport, exposure routes and infection rates. A systems approach would, therefore, also aid our understanding of potential future change.

This Special Issue collects a series of papers that contribute to a systems approach. Any studies that focus on modelling the environmental loading, microbiological water quality or health risk are very welcome, as well as studies that evaluate the influence of global change on the microbial water quality and public health. This type of research strongly contributes to our understanding of the reality and potential trade-offs needed for achieving global development challenges, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Nynke Hofstra
Dr. Heather Murphy
Dr. Matthew Verbyla
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 monthly 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 1800 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.


  • modeling
  • scenario analysis
  • health related water microbiology
  • systems approach
  • water and health
  • water and sanitation
  • One Health
  • water quality
  • quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA)

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Numerical Modeling of Microbial Fate and Transport in Natural Waters: Review and Implications for Normal and Extreme Storm Events
Water 2020, 12(7), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071876 - 30 Jun 2020
Degradation of water quality in recreational areas can be a substantial public health concern. Models can help beach managers make contemporaneous decisions to protect public health at recreational areas, via the use of microbial fate and transport simulation. Approaches to modeling microbial fate [...] Read more.
Degradation of water quality in recreational areas can be a substantial public health concern. Models can help beach managers make contemporaneous decisions to protect public health at recreational areas, via the use of microbial fate and transport simulation. Approaches to modeling microbial fate and transport vary widely in response to local hydrometeorological contexts, but many parameterizations include terms for base mortality, solar inactivation, and sedimentation of microbial contaminants. Models using these parameterizations can predict up to 87% of variation in observed microbial concentrations in nearshore water, with root mean squared errors ranging from 0.41 to 5.37 log10 Colony Forming Units (CFU) 100 mL−1. This indicates that some models predict microbial fate and transport more reliably than others and that there remains room for model improvement across the board. Model refinement will be integral to microbial fate and transport simulation in the face of less readily observable processes affecting water quality in nearshore areas. Management of contamination phenomena such as the release of storm-associated river plumes and the exchange of contaminants between water and sand at the beach can benefit greatly from optimized fate and transport modeling in the absence of directly observable data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Microbial Water Quality and Health Risk)
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