Special Issue "Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Manoj K. Jha
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University
Interests: surface and subsurface hydrology; urban water systems; watershed modeling; water resources engineering and management; climate change and land use change impacts on water resources (hydrology and water quality)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In order to manage our valuable water resources, it is imperative to understand the degree of vulnerabilities and resiliency to changes in landscape. Continuous changes in land use and land cover can have many drivers, including population growth, urbanization, demand for food, evolution of socio-economic structure, policy regulations, and climate variability. Potential impacts due to these changes could range from changes in water availability (due to changes in losses of water to evapotranspiration and recharge) to degradation in water quality (increased erosion, salinity, chemical loadings, and pathogens). Fields studies are conducted to understand this complexity at local scales, while analyses at regional or watershed scales adopt modeling and simulation strategies. A range of tools, including hydrological, biophysical, ecosystem models are used (stand alone or in combination) to investigate important questions regarding impacts in order to inform the decision making process. These decision analysis tools identify landscape-change impacts, risks, and uncertainties to provide guidance to make key management decisions. In this Special Issue, we will include research and discussion topics from field investigations, as well as analytical and modeling studies to better understand the connection between landscape change and water resources at various scales.

Prof. Dr. Manoj K. Jha
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • land use change
  • water resources
  • water availability
  • water quality
  • modeling tools
  • impact assessment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Scaling-Up Conservation Agriculture Production System with Drip Irrigation by Integrating MCE Technique and the APEX Model
Water 2019, 11(10), 2007; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102007 - 27 Sep 2019
Abstract
The conservation agriculture production system (CAPS) approach with drip irrigation has proven to have the potential to improve water management and food production in Ethiopia. A method of scaling-up crop yield under CAPS with drip irrigation is developed by integrating a biophysical model: [...] Read more.
The conservation agriculture production system (CAPS) approach with drip irrigation has proven to have the potential to improve water management and food production in Ethiopia. A method of scaling-up crop yield under CAPS with drip irrigation is developed by integrating a biophysical model: APEX (agricultural policy environmental eXtender), and a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) technique. Topography, land use, proximity to road networks, and population density were considered in identifying potentially irrigable land. Weather and soil texture data were used to delineate unique climate zones with similar soil properties for crop yield simulation using well-calibrated crop model parameters. Crops water demand for the cropping periods was used to determine groundwater potential for irrigation. The calibrated APEX crop model was then used to predict crop yield across the different climatic and soil zones. The MCE technique identified about 18.7 Mha of land (16.7% of the total landmass) as irrigable land in Ethiopia. Oromia has the highest irrigable land in the nation (35.4% of the irrigable land) when compared to other regional states. Groundwater could supply a significant amount of the irrigable land for dry season production under CAPS with drip irrigation for the various vegetables tested at the experimental sites with about 2.3 Mha, 3.5 Mha, 1.6 Mha, and 1.4 Mha of the irrigable land available to produce garlic, onion, cabbage, and tomato, respectively. When comparing regional states, Oromia had the highest groundwater potential (40.9% of total potential) followed by Amhara (20%) and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (16%). CAPS with drip irrigation significantly increased groundwater potential for irrigation when compared to CTPS (conventional tillage production system) with traditional irrigation practice (i.e., 0.6 Mha under CTPS versus 2.2 Mha under CAPS on average). Similarly, CAPS with drip irrigation depicted significant improvement in crop productivity when compared to CTPS. APEX simulation of the average fresh vegetable yield on the irrigable land under CAPS with drip irrigation ranged from 1.8–2.8 t/ha, 1.4–2.2 t/ha, 5.5–15.7 t/ha, and 8.3–12.9 t/ha for garlic, onion, tomato, and cabbage, respectively. CAPS with drip irrigation technology could improve groundwater potential for irrigation up to five folds and intensify crop productivity by up to three to four folds across the nation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Spatially Reconfiguring Erosion Hot Spots to Reduce Stream Sediment Load in an Upland Agricultural Catchment of South Korea
Water 2019, 11(5), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050957 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Upland agricultural expansion and intensification cause soil erosion, which has a negative impact on the environment and socioeconomic factors by degrading the quality of both nutrient-rich surface soil and water. The Haean catchment is a well-known upland agricultural area in South Korea, which [...] Read more.
Upland agricultural expansion and intensification cause soil erosion, which has a negative impact on the environment and socioeconomic factors by degrading the quality of both nutrient-rich surface soil and water. The Haean catchment is a well-known upland agricultural area in South Korea, which generates a large amount of sediment from its cropland. The transportation of nutrient-rich sediment to the stream adversely affects the water quality of the Han River watershed, which supports over twenty million people. In this paper, we suggest a spatially explicit mitigation method to reduce the amount of sediment yield to the stream of the catchment by converting soil erosion hot spots into forest. To evaluate the effectiveness of this reconfiguration, we estimated the sediment redistribution rate and assessed the soil erosion risk in the Haean catchment using the daily based Morgan–Morgan–Finney (DMMF) model. We found that dry crop fields located in the steep hill-slope suffer from severe soil erosion, and the rice paddy, orchard, and urban area, which are located in a comparatively lower and flatter area, suffer less from erosion. Although located in the steep hill-slope, the forest exhibits high sediment trapping capabilities in this model. When the erosion-prone crop lands were managed by sequentially reconfiguring their land use and land cover (LULC) to the forest from the area with the most severe erosion to the area with the least severe erosion, the result showed a strong reduction in sediment yield flowing to the stream. A change of 3% of the catchment’s crop lands of the catchment into forest reduced the sediment yield entering into the stream by approximately 10% and a change of 10% of crop lands potentially resulted in a sediment yield reduction by approximately 50%. According to these results, identifying erosion hot spots and managing them by reconfiguring their LULC is effective in reducing terrestrial sediment yield entering into the stream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Different Spatial Configuration Units for the Spatial Optimization of Watershed Best Management Practice Scenarios
Water 2019, 11(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020262 - 02 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Different spatial configurations (or scenarios) of multiple best management practices (BMPs) at the watershed scale may have significantly different environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, and practicality for integrated watershed management. Several types of spatial configuration units, which have resulted from the spatial discretization of [...] Read more.
Different spatial configurations (or scenarios) of multiple best management practices (BMPs) at the watershed scale may have significantly different environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, and practicality for integrated watershed management. Several types of spatial configuration units, which have resulted from the spatial discretization of a watershed at different levels and used to allocate BMPs spatially to form an individual BMP scenario, have been proposed for BMP scenarios optimization, such as the hydrologic response unit (HRU) etc. However, a comparison among the main types of spatial configuration units for BMP scenarios optimization based on the same one watershed model for an area is still lacking. This paper investigated and compared the effects of four main types of spatial configuration units for BMP scenarios optimization, i.e., HRUs, spatially explicit HRUs, hydrologically connected fields, and slope position units (i.e., landform positions at hillslope scale). The BMP scenarios optimization was conducted based on a fully distributed watershed modeling framework named the Spatially Explicit Integrated Modeling System (SEIMS) and an intelligent optimization algorithm (i.e., NSGA-II, short for Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II). Different kinds of expert knowledge were considered during the BMP scenarios optimization, including without any knowledge used, using knowledge on suitable landuse types/slope positions of individual BMPs, knowledge of upstream–downstream relationships, and knowledge on the spatial relationships between BMPs and spatial positions along the hillslope. The results showed that the more expert knowledge considered, the better the comprehensive cost-effectiveness and practicality of the optimized BMP scenarios, and the better the optimizing efficiency. Thus, the spatial configuration units that support the representation of expert knowledge on the spatial relationships between BMPs and spatial positions (i.e., hydrologically connected fields and slope position units) are considered to be the most effective spatial configuration units for BMP scenarios optimization, especially when slope position units are adopted together with knowledge on the spatial relationships between BMPs and slope positions along a hillslope. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Issues of Meander Development: Land Degradation or Ecological Value? The Example of the Sajó River, Hungary
Water 2018, 10(11), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111613 - 09 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The extensive destruction of arable lands by the process of lateral bank erosion is a major issue for the alluvial meandering type of rivers all around the world. Nowadays, land managers, stakeholders, and scientists are discussing how this process affects the surrounding landscapes. [...] Read more.
The extensive destruction of arable lands by the process of lateral bank erosion is a major issue for the alluvial meandering type of rivers all around the world. Nowadays, land managers, stakeholders, and scientists are discussing how this process affects the surrounding landscapes. Usually, due to a land mismanagement of agroforestry activities or urbanization plans, river regulations are designed to reduce anthropogenic impacts such as bank erosion, but many of these regulations resulted in a degradation of habitat diversity. Regardless, there is a lack of information about the possible positive effects of meandering from the ecological point of view. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate a 2.12 km long meandering sub-reach of Sajó River, Hungary, in order to evaluate whether the process of meander development can be evaluated as a land degradation processes or whether it can enhance ecological conservation and sustainability. To achieve this goal, an archive of aerial imagery and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)-surveys was used to provide a consistent database for a landscape metrics-based analysis to reveal changes in landscape ecological dynamics. Moreover, an ornithological survey was also carried out to assess the composition and diversity of the avifauna. The forest cover was developed in a remarkable pattern, finding a linear relationship between its rate and channel sinuosity. An increase in forest areas did not enhance the rate of landscape diversity since only its distribution became more compact. Eroding riverbanks provided important nesting sites for colonies of protected and regionally declining migratory bird species such as the sand martin. We revealed that almost 70 years were enough to gain a new habitat system along the river as the linear channel formed to a meandering and more natural state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Soil Temperature Modeling Using Spatially Explicit Solar Energy Drivers
Water 2018, 10(10), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101398 - 09 Oct 2018
Abstract
Modeling the spatial and temporal dynamics of soil temperature is deterministically complex due to the wide variability of several influential environmental variables, including soil column composition, soil moisture, air temperature, and solar energy. Landscape incident solar radiation is a significant environmental driver that [...] Read more.
Modeling the spatial and temporal dynamics of soil temperature is deterministically complex due to the wide variability of several influential environmental variables, including soil column composition, soil moisture, air temperature, and solar energy. Landscape incident solar radiation is a significant environmental driver that affects both air temperature and ground-level soil energy loading; therefore, inclusion of solar energy is important for generating accurate representations of soil temperature. We used the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Oregon Crest-to-Coast (O’CCMoN) Environmental Monitoring Transect dataset to develop and test the inclusion of ground-level solar energy driver data within an existing soil temperature model currently utilized within an ecohydrology model called Visualizing Ecosystem Land Management Assessments (VELMA). The O’CCMoN site data elucidate how localized ground-level solar energy between open and forested landscapes greatly influence the resulting soil temperature. We demonstrate how the inclusion of local ground-level solar energy significantly improves the ability to deterministically model soil temperature at two depths. These results suggest that landscape and watershed-scale models should incorporate spatially distributed solar energy to improve spatial and temporal simulations of soil temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Landscape Change Effects on Stream Temperature Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool
Water 2018, 10(9), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091143 - 27 Aug 2018
Abstract
Stream temperature is one of the most important factors for regulating fish behavior and habitat. Therefore, models that seek to characterize stream temperatures, and predict their changes due to landscape and climatic changes, are extremely important. In this study, we extend a mechanistic [...] Read more.
Stream temperature is one of the most important factors for regulating fish behavior and habitat. Therefore, models that seek to characterize stream temperatures, and predict their changes due to landscape and climatic changes, are extremely important. In this study, we extend a mechanistic stream temperature model within the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) by explicitly incorporating radiative flux components to more realistically account for radiative heat exchange. The extended stream temperature model is particularly useful for simulating the impacts of landscape and land use change on stream temperatures using SWAT. The extended model is tested for the Marys River, a western tributary of the Willamette River in Oregon. The results are compared with observed stream temperatures, as well as previous model estimates (without radiative components), for different spatial locations within the Marys River watershed. The results show that the radiative stream temperature model is able to simulate increased stream temperatures in agricultural sub-basins compared with forested sub-basins, reflecting observed data. However, the effect is overestimated, and more noise is generated in the radiative model due to the inclusion of highly variable radiative forcing components. The model works at a daily time step, and further research should investigate modeling at hourly timesteps to further improve the temporal resolution of the model. In addition, other watersheds should be tested to improve and validate the model in different climates, landscapes, and land use regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Cumulative Effects of Low Impact Development on Watershed Hydrology in a Mixed Land-Cover System
Water 2018, 10(8), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10080991 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Low Impact Development (LID) is an alternative to conventional urban stormwater management practices, which aims at mitigating the impacts of urbanization on water quantity and quality. Plot and local scale studies provide evidence of LID effectiveness; however, little is known about the overall [...] Read more.
Low Impact Development (LID) is an alternative to conventional urban stormwater management practices, which aims at mitigating the impacts of urbanization on water quantity and quality. Plot and local scale studies provide evidence of LID effectiveness; however, little is known about the overall watershed scale influence of LID practices. This is particularly true in watersheds with a land cover that is more diverse than that of urban or suburban classifications alone. We address this watershed-scale gap by assessing the effects of three common LID practices (rain gardens, permeable pavement, and riparian buffers) on the hydrology of a 0.94 km2 mixed land cover watershed. We used a spatially-explicit ecohydrological model, called Visualizing Ecosystems for Land Management Assessments (VELMA), to compare changes in watershed hydrologic responses before and after the implementation of LID practices. For the LID scenarios, we examined different spatial configurations, using 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% implementation extents, to convert sidewalks into rain gardens, and parking lots and driveways into permeable pavement. We further applied 20 m and 40 m riparian buffers along streams that were adjacent to agricultural land cover. The results showed overall increases in shallow subsurface runoff and infiltration, as well as evapotranspiration, and decreases in peak flows and surface runoff across all types and configurations of LID. Among individual LID practices, rain gardens had the greatest influence on each component of the overall watershed water balance. As anticipated, the combination of LID practices at the highest implementation level resulted in the most substantial changes to the overall watershed hydrology. It is notable that all hydrological changes from the LID implementation, ranging from 0.01 to 0.06 km2 across the study watershed, were modest, which suggests a potentially limited efficacy of LID practices in mixed land cover watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Landscape Change on Water Resources)
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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.

Prof. Manoj K Jha from North Carolina A&T State University will prepare a paper

Dr. Tewodros Assefa from Bahir Dar University will submit the paper around 15 July

Dr. Mukand Singh Babel from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) will prepare a paper

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