Special Issue "Nature-Based Solutions to Improve the Permeability of the Urban Landscape and Water Quality in Cities"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Giorgio Baiamonte
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences (SAAF), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Bldg. 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Interests: water resources management; hydrological modeling; hydrology; soil science; rainfall; irrigation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Simone Di Prima
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universite´ Claude Bernard Lyon 1, CNRS, ENTPE, UMR5023, Ecologie des Hydrosyste`mes Naturels et Anthropise´s ,University of Lyon, Vaulx-en-Velin, France
Interests: soil physics; vadose zone hydrology; water infiltration; hydraulic conductivity; hydrological modeling.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Laurent Lassabatere
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ENTPE, LEHNA, 3 rue Maurice Audin, 69518 Vaulx-en-Velin Cedex, France
Interests: water infiltration; soil physics; soil hydraulic properties; soil water and contaminant modeling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Massimo Iovino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali (SAAF), Università degli Studi di Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy
Interests: soil science; hydrological processes; soil water infiltration; soil-water-plant continuum modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers focused on nature-based solutions to improve the permeability of the urban landscape and water quality in cities. Urban sprawl leads to the sealing of urban soils, leading to both less groundwater recharge and more discharge of contaminated runoff and stormwaters to the environment. Infiltration basins and green roofs and trenches are increasingly being used in urban areas as nature-based solutions for mitigating such impacts and for water cycle regulation, flood risk protection, and climate change adaptation. This Special Issue is open to advanced research on nature-based solutions, such as water retention ponds and green and permeable surfaces in cities, with the purpose of assessing the infiltration and filtration functions of urban soils in stormwater management. Practical, as well as process-based, research is welcome in this Special Issue, including short technical notes and review papers.

The specific topics we would like to address in this Special Issue include:

  • improving groundwater recharge and water quality in urban areas;
  • developing solutions aimed at reducing the sealing of urban soils;
  • improving water infiltration measurements and related modeling approaches in urban soils;
  • developing and testing innovative methods and tools for characterizing complex heterogeneous soils in urban areas; and
  • developing innovative strategies for investigating pollutant filtration.

Prof. Dr. Giorgio Baiamonte
Dr. Simone Di Prima
Dr. Laurent Lassabatere
Prof. Dr. Massimo Iovino
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

  • sustainable development
  • stormwater management
  • urban soils
  • water infiltration
  • pollutant transfer
  • soil sealing

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Verification of IRRILAB Software Application for the Hydraulic Design of a Micro-Irrigation System by Using IRRIPRO for an Apple Farm in Sicily
Water 2021, 13(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050694 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
In recent years, many studies have been performed to develop simple and accurate methods to design micro-irrigation systems. However, most of these studies are based on numerical solutions that require a high number of iterations and attempts, without ensuring to maximize water use [...] Read more.
In recent years, many studies have been performed to develop simple and accurate methods to design micro-irrigation systems. However, most of these studies are based on numerical solutions that require a high number of iterations and attempts, without ensuring to maximize water use efficiency and energy-saving. Recently, the IRRILAB software, which is based on an analytical approach to optimally design rectangular micro-irrigation units, has been developed, providing the solution corresponding to the maximum energy-saving condition, for any slope of the laterals and of the manifold. One IRRILAB limitation is that, according to its theoretical basis, the rectangular planform geometry and uniform slope of the laterals and of the manifold are required. On the contrary, IRRIPRO software, which is based on the traditional numerical solution, does not have the aforementioned limitations, but requires an important number of attempts, especially when common emitters are used. In this study, the results of a joint use of IRRILAB and IRRIPRO software applications are illustrated, towards the aim to verify the IRRILAB performance in a large number of micro-irrigation sectors belonging to a Sicilian apple farm, which is characterized by a high irregular topography, thus it is suitable for the purpose of this study. First, only five irrigation sectors, for the actual subdivisions of the farm, were considered, showing limited reasonable IRRILAB results. Dividing the farm into a higher number of sectors so as to provide a better uniformity in planform geometry and slope revealed that IRRILAB results improved in terms of emission uniformity and energy consumption, as verified by IRRIPRO applications. The energy-saving provided by IRRILAB (in one step) with respect to that by IRRIPRO (by attempts) resulted higher for common emitters (CEs) (−15% for five sectors and −9% for nine sectors) than for pressure compensating emitters (PCEs) (−7% for five sectors and −6% for nine sectors). In absolute terms, the energy is greater for five-sector subdivision than for nine-sector subdivision. For both software, the use of PCEs always required less energy than CEs, because of the higher range of pressure compensating of PCEs than CEs. However, PCEs are characterized by less durability and by a higher manufacturing variation coefficient, thus they should not be the first choice. In conclusion, IRRILAB software could be recommended because it is easy to use, making it possible to save energy, especially when sectors are almost rectangular and uniform in slopes. Full article
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Article
Hydrological Behaviour of Extensive Green Roofs with Native Plants in the Humid Subtropical Climate Context
Water 2021, 13(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010044 - 28 Dec 2020
Viewed by 767
Abstract
Different mitigation measures with vegetation have been proposed to sustainably manage rainwater, among which green roofs have demonstrated to be a valid solution in urbanized areas. Green roofs have gained interest also in Italy, but their spreading is generally based on application of [...] Read more.
Different mitigation measures with vegetation have been proposed to sustainably manage rainwater, among which green roofs have demonstrated to be a valid solution in urbanized areas. Green roofs have gained interest also in Italy, but their spreading is generally based on application of ready-to-use packages, poorly tested in the specific climate conditions. A study was carried out to evaluate the green roof solution most suitable in the humid, subtropical climate context of Veneto Plain (north-eastern Italy) to reduce outflow volumes from building roofs into the urban drainage systems. Twelve different microcosm combinations of extensive green roof (three plant mixtures × two substrates × two storage/drainage layers) were tested and compared with gravel (considered as a conventional flat roof with gravel ballast). The tested drainage/storage layers were a preformed layer in recycled HDPE (PL) and an expanded perlite mineral layer (ML), and the growth medium layers were recycled brick substrate (RS) and volcanic substrate (VS). Three different mixtures of native plant species were transplanted: Sedum (SE), herbaceous perennial (HE), and suffruticose (SF). Results showed that all the green roof systems have a good ability to manage rainwater, with a retention ranging on average from 46.2% (SE-RS-PL microcosms) to 62.9% (SF-RS-ML microcosms) of the precipitation in the two-year period (September 2014–August 2016), against 15.4%, retained by gravel. Over the two-year period, the retained rainfall volumes were about 100% for all the light rainy events (<10 mm) and varied within a range of 48–95% for medium rainy events (≥10 and <25 mm) and 20–88% for heavy rainy events (≥25 mm), depending on rainfall depth and the antecedent weather period. The layer that gave the highest relative contribution to the stormwater retention was the vegetation layer, followed by the drainage/storage layers and then the substrate layer. In particular, SF plants decreased the outflows by 15.2% on average compared to SE, and ML layer retained more than 10% of precipitation compared to PL layer. At last, the analysis of variance showed that, within each layer, the more effective in water retention, able to generate less outflow volumes, was similarly suffruticose and herbaceous mixtures, the crushed bricks substrate, and the mineral drainage/storage layer. Full article
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Article
Water Retention in Nature-Based Solutions—Assessment of Potential Economic Effects for Local Social Groups
Water 2020, 12(12), 3347; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123347 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 498
Abstract
The upcoming trends related to climate change are increasing the level of interest of social groups in solutions for the implementation and the realization of activities that will ensure the change of these trends and can reduce the impact on the environment, including [...] Read more.
The upcoming trends related to climate change are increasing the level of interest of social groups in solutions for the implementation and the realization of activities that will ensure the change of these trends and can reduce the impact on the environment, including the health of the community exposed to these impacts. The implementation of solutions aimed at improving the quality of the environment requires taking into account not only the environmental aspects but also the economic aspect. Taking into account the analysis of solutions changing the current state of climate change, the article focuses on the analysis of the potential economic effect caused by the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBSs) in terms of reducing the operating costs related to water retention for local social groups. The analysis is based on a case study, one of the research projects studying nature-based solutions, created as part of the Grow Green project (H2020) in Wrocław in 2017–2022. The results of the analysis are an observed potential positive change in economic effects, i.e., approximately 85.90% of the operating costs related to water retention have been reduced for local social groups by NBSs. Full article
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Article
Hydrologic Performance of an Extensive Green Roof in Syracuse, NY
Water 2020, 12(6), 1535; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061535 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
Green roof performance reported in literature varies widely—the result of differences in green roof design and climate, as well as limitations in study design and duration. The need exists for full-scale studies under real climate conditions to inform the design, modeling, and planning [...] Read more.
Green roof performance reported in literature varies widely—the result of differences in green roof design and climate, as well as limitations in study design and duration. The need exists for full-scale studies under real climate conditions to inform the design, modeling, and planning of new green roof installations. The purpose of this study is to quantify hydrologic performance of a large green roof and characterize its dominant physical processes. To achieve this, a 5550 m2 extensive green roof in Syracuse, New York, designed to hold a 25.4 mm rain event, is monitored for 21 months. Over the monitoring period, the roof retains 56% of the 1062 mm of rainfall recorded. Peak runoff is reduced by an average of 65%. Eleven events exceed 20 mm and are responsible for 38% of the rainfall and 24% of the annual retention. Retention in the summer is lower than that in the fall or spring, as a result of greater rainfall intensity during the period sampled. Soil moisture during winter months remains high, reducing the ability of the roof to retain rainfall volume from new events. Comparison of seasonal data demonstrates the strong influence of rainfall intensity on runoff and the effect of initial soil moisture on event retention. Full article
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