Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection

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: closed (20 October 2022) | Viewed by 17439

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Meteorology and Water Management National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB), Warszawa, Poland
Interests: water management; hydromorphology; water resources; environmental development; eco-engineering; hydrology; climate resilience and adaptation; blue-green infrastructure; environmental protection; environmental monitoring
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poznań, Poland
Interests: rivers; macrophytes; ecological status assessment; biodiversity; hydromorphology; water quality; artificial neural networks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water resources management is a conscious human activity concerned with the adaptation of natural resources to the needs of human existence. In the year 2000, with the adoption of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), we were faced with a new challenge to consider the environmental aspects of comprehensive water management. Previously, water management mainly focused on resources management to provide good-quality water for end users. Currently, one of the most important users is the natural environment, which also requires water in the right quantity and quality. Consequently, it is crucial to manage water resources sustainably, reconcile the interests of water users, and protect and not deteriorate the state of the natural environment. To meet these requirements, water resources should be considered in terms of quantity, quality, spatial variability, and the current and projected temporal variability (e.g., considering climate changes). Water management is one of the sectors of the national economy which, in the long term, affects not only the production capacity but also determines the biological existence of living organisms. Furthermore, the ongoing climate changes will cause a significant increase in uncertainty, which in the future may make it much more difficult to find compromise solutions and make decisions. Therefore, the introduction of numerous restrictions and appropriate solutions resulting from the adopted environmental protection requirements is very important.

Currently, more than 20 years after the adoption of the WFD, we can point out the effects of the functioning of the new approach to water management and define further challenges. For this Special Issue, studies concerning the latest knowledge in the field of water conditions, protection, and sustainable management, with special consideration of environmental aspects, will be especially welcomed. The topics will include:

  • Sustainable management of water resources;
  • Evaluation of the ecological status of waters;
  • Environmental services of aquatic ecosystems;
  • The influence of climate changes on water management;
  • Innovative solutions in water management considering environmental needs;
  • Water resources modelling;
  • Methods of water management optimization.

Dr. Mariusz Adynkiewicz-Piragas
Dr. Daniel Gebler
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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

  • water management
  • water policies
  • integrated modeling
  • climate changes
  • water resources
  • ecological status of waters
  • bio-monitoring
  • aquatic ecosystems

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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30 pages, 8969 KiB  
Article
The Drought of 2018–2019 in the Lusatian Neisse River Catchment in Relation to the Multiannual Conditions
Water 2023, 15(9), 1647; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091647 - 23 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
The drought event of 2018–2019 significantly affected most of Central Europe. In this study, the development and intensity of drought in the Lusatian Neisse river catchment were evaluated, based on the indices of SPI, SPEI, and low flow periods related to hydrological drought. [...] Read more.
The drought event of 2018–2019 significantly affected most of Central Europe. In this study, the development and intensity of drought in the Lusatian Neisse river catchment were evaluated, based on the indices of SPI, SPEI, and low flow periods related to hydrological drought. Furthermore, multiannual variability in the drought indices, as well as the trends for air temperature and precipitation totals, were examined for 1981–2020. In the catchment, deficit of precipitation was noticed from autumn 2017 to spring 2020, additionally accompanied by a high thermal anomaly. In the summer seasons, heat waves occurred, which intensified evaporation and increased water deficit. The meteorological drought already appeared in spring 2018, developed in the following months, and became more intensive. The frequency of days with discharges >Q70% exceeded 55%. According to SPI12 and SPEI12, the episode of 2018–2019 can be assessed as the longest period of severe drought in the whole of 1981–2020. The drought caused various consequences in the region. The deterioration of water quality and selected biological indices was one of the effects. In the sector of agriculture, yield reduction in corn and wheat amounted to 33% and 18% in 2018 and 22% and 9% in 2019. In addition, decrease in hydropower generation by more than 30% was noticed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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12 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
Response of Aquatic Plants to Extreme Alterations in River Morphology
Water 2022, 14(22), 3746; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223746 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1939
Abstract
In this study, we aimed to identify the macrophyte pattern and diversity under exposure to substantial hydromorphological degradation in rivers, taking into account the water quality factor. The study was based on 190 small and medium lowland rivers in Poland that had experienced [...] Read more.
In this study, we aimed to identify the macrophyte pattern and diversity under exposure to substantial hydromorphological degradation in rivers, taking into account the water quality factor. The study was based on 190 small and medium lowland rivers in Poland that had experienced channel alterations. The number of taxa identified (153 species) was consistent with natural/seminatural rivers, and the average species richness for the survey site was 16. Nevertheless, nearly 25% of the survey sites were poor in species for which ten or fewer taxa were noted. The most common species were emergent Phalaris arundinacea; free-floating Lemna minor; heterophyllous Sparganium emersum; filamentous algae Cladophora sp.; and some amphibious species, including Agrostis stolonifera. The surveyed sites represented a wide diversity gradient, from sites poor in species and with low diversity based on relative abundance to highly diverse river sites in less transformed rivers. Our results revealed that macrophyte species were mostly determined by hydromorphological degradation, as well as other distinguished environmental factors, such as water trophy (e.g., Lemna gibba, Bidens tripartita, and Ceratophylum demersum) and channel dimensions (e.g., Nuphar lutea, Sagittaria sagittifolia, and Typha latiflolia). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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27 pages, 1076 KiB  
Article
Policy Implementation for Water Resources Protection: Assessing Spatio-Temporal Trends of Results from Process-Based Outcomes of Resource-Directed Measures Projects in South Africa
Water 2022, 14(20), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14203322 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3006
Abstract
Governments are continuously developing strategies for policy implementation toward water resource protection. However, little is known about the practical application of such plans to test their effectiveness in policy practice. This study focused on resource-directed measures (RDMs) in South Africa to assess progress [...] Read more.
Governments are continuously developing strategies for policy implementation toward water resource protection. However, little is known about the practical application of such plans to test their effectiveness in policy practice. This study focused on resource-directed measures (RDMs) in South Africa to assess progress made on policy implementation for water resource protection. The study included document surveys and content analysis of the publicly available reports and documents sourced from state departments and government websites. The findings of the study indicated that water resource-directed measures are used as policy implementation strategies for water resource protection in the country. Furthermore, the study revealed that significant progress has been made in this regard, when a multi-sectorial policy implementation practice approach through public-private partnerships ensured that 69% of the catchments have process-based RDM projects completed, while 18% are in progress, and only 13% are outstanding. In addition, it was found that water resource classes (WRC), numerical limits and ecological conditions for water resource reserve, and numerical limits and narrative statements for resource quality objectives (RQOs) are intermediate outputs originating from RDMs projects. The study recommends that outputs derived from process-based policy implementation plans must be applied at the water resource level and monitored to assess the effectiveness of policies for their effects on the status of water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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17 pages, 3129 KiB  
Article
Ecological–Economic Assessment and Managerial Significance of Water Conservation in the Headwaters of the Yellow River
Water 2022, 14(16), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162553 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
The water conservation function plays a vital role in the land–water cycle. As the “Chinese water tower”, the headwaters of the Yellow River are of great significance to the safety of the Yellow River basin and even the global ecosystem. Taking the grassland [...] Read more.
The water conservation function plays a vital role in the land–water cycle. As the “Chinese water tower”, the headwaters of the Yellow River are of great significance to the safety of the Yellow River basin and even the global ecosystem. Taking the grassland ecosystem in the Yellow River source area as the research object, the InVEST water yield model with modified parameters and the ecological value evaluation of the modified equivalent factor method were used to explore the simulated spatio-temporal changes and the value of grassland water conservation from 2001 to 2020. The results show that: (1) the average total amount of water conservation in the source area is 549 × 108 m3, which is 16% of the runoff in the Yellow River basin, with a growth rate of 7.5 mm/year 1 and a contribution rate of 30%; (2) the total ecological value of grassland water conservation in 2020 is USD 340.03 × 108. The proportion of improved grassland in ecological restoration and management is only 0.51%, while the proportion of original alpine meadow reaches 67% and its ecological function and value are irreplaceable; (3) based on the comprehensive indicators of water conservation capacity, value and importance, Qumalai, Chengduo and Maduo counties are ranked as priority areas for the ecological protection of water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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16 pages, 1677 KiB  
Article
Generation of Tequila Vinasses, Characterization, Current Disposal Practices and Study Cases of Disposal Methods
Water 2022, 14(9), 1395; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091395 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2887
Abstract
Tequila vinasse is a liquid waste generated during the production of tequila, an emblematic alcoholic beverage in Mexico. The objective of this study was to carry out an investigation on the tequila factories located in the state of Jalisco in order to know [...] Read more.
Tequila vinasse is a liquid waste generated during the production of tequila, an emblematic alcoholic beverage in Mexico. The objective of this study was to carry out an investigation on the tequila factories located in the state of Jalisco in order to know the location of the factories in the state, the characterization of the vinasses including factories of different sizes, the current treatment methods, and disposal practices as well as the impacts of common practices of vinasse disposal. Part of the information was collected by applying a questionnaire to the tequila factories previously contacted (and physically located). For the vinasse characterization, 24 tequila factories provided a composite sample of vinasse. To assess the impact of common vinasse disposal practices, a stream running through tequila factories, soil that has been used for vinasse discharge for 14 years, and a well located near the soil were evaluated. In two main regions (Valle and Altos Sur), 110 tequila factories distributed in 10 municipalities, were identified. Vinasse disposal and treatment problems are mainly related to micro-factories that do not treat their vinasse at all. The most common method of disposal is discharging on soils. Only in the Valle region is disposal in surface waters a common practice, as well as discharges into sewage systems. The monitored stream is totally degraded with low pH, high concentrations of organic matter, suspended solids, etc. Soil fertility has not been affected due to a method of vinasse discharge-soil rest. The texture of the soils (high content of clay and silt) has been decisive in protecting groundwater from the infiltration of vinasse. The results obtained in this study could help the authorities to develop adequate strategies for the management of vinasses (treatment and disposal), mainly in micro and small tequila factories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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Review

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17 pages, 1821 KiB  
Review
Wastewater Management in Agriculture
Water 2022, 14(21), 3351; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14213351 - 22 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4686
Abstract
Considering the global climate changes that have disrupted the availability of fresh water and led to the emergence of drought, an effective management strategy for water quality must be implemented. In this work, we analyzed the possibility of used and treated water being [...] Read more.
Considering the global climate changes that have disrupted the availability of fresh water and led to the emergence of drought, an effective management strategy for water quality must be implemented. In this work, we analyzed the possibility of used and treated water being reused and the effect of its use on soil on the development of plants. In the case of irrigation with treated wastewater, the following parameters increased: calcium carbonate equivalent, organic matter, content of phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, nitrogen, biochemical oxygen consumption; chemical oxygen demand (COD), decreased sodium absorption rate, soil electrical conductivity, pH, magnesium content, and soil bulk density. Due to the micronutrients it contains, the use of treated wastewater in irrigation can be an organic fertilizer for the soil. Wastewater is a source of soil water supply. Untreated wastewater may contain, depending on the source (industry, pharmacies, medicine, households), toxic compounds, bacteria, viruses, and helminths, which, if used for long periods of time in irrigation, can have a negative impact on health and the environment, reaching the soil, the roots of the crops, and then the underground water. Therefore, these waters must be used after adequate treatment. Global climate change disrupts the availability of fresh water and negatively influences the occurrence of floods, droughts, and water quality, which is why any water source must be managed correctly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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Other

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22 pages, 4305 KiB  
Hypothesis
Water Oriented City—A ‘5 Scales’ System of Blue and Green Infrastructure in Sponge Cities Supporting the Retention of the Urban Fabric
Water 2022, 14(24), 4070; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244070 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2932
Abstract
The article presented methods of urban development in terms of the application of the ‘sponge city’ concept, as well as the possibility of introducing different hydro-engineering solutions into the urban fabric that allow infiltration and retention at various scales of spatial planning. The [...] Read more.
The article presented methods of urban development in terms of the application of the ‘sponge city’ concept, as well as the possibility of introducing different hydro-engineering solutions into the urban fabric that allow infiltration and retention at various scales of spatial planning. The aim of the paper was to indicate which specific solutions can be used in the city in multi-dimensional and multi-functional systems. As a result of the research, the concept of a ‘5-scales’ diffusion of blue-green infrastructure elements was presented. Elements of this system are based on multi-scale blue-green infrastructure, creating a patchwork of ‘blue connections’ that fit into the city ‘green’ natural system and have a connection with urban rainwater drainage. These five elements together allow for the infiltration and retention of rainwater, and can be used in the design of ecologically sustainable water-oriented cities in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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14 pages, 3327 KiB  
Hypothesis
Sewage Irrigation Fields—From Relict Landscape to Blue-Green Urban Infrastructure
Water 2022, 14(16), 2505; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162505 - 14 Aug 2022
Viewed by 2256
Abstract
In this study, we examined the fate and future of sewage irrigation fields; historic urban wetlands that served as sewer drainage before modern sewage treatment plants were built. Our aim in this study was to reappraise sewage irrigation fields in the urban fabric [...] Read more.
In this study, we examined the fate and future of sewage irrigation fields; historic urban wetlands that served as sewer drainage before modern sewage treatment plants were built. Our aim in this study was to reappraise sewage irrigation fields in the urban fabric of modern cities and to analyse the possibility of re-integrating them into the ecosystem services system, as well as into green and blue infrastructure, providing leisure and recreational opportunities, stabilising the city’s biodiversity and microclimate, and increasing water retention in these areas. The research was based on the identification of the location of sewage irrigation fields in green and blue infrastructure systems, determination of the scale and extent of their connections to the urban fabric and an analysis of their multi-functionality including: ecological, climatic, hydrological, landscape, spatial, environmental, cultural and social, educational, and tourist and recreational functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water ​Management and ​Environmental Protection)
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