Special Issue "Water Resource Management through the Lens of Planetary Health Approach"

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 (25 April 2022) | Viewed by 10126

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pankaj Kumar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa 2108-11, Japan
Interests: socio-hydrology; scenario based numerical simulation for water resources; global changes (climate change, urbanization, population burst) and its effect of water resources; integrated water resources management; water, food and energy interdependence or NEXUS; climate downscaling; science-policy interface for sustainable water resource management; surface water- groundwater interaction; coastal aquifers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since the beginning of time, water resources have been the key to inclusive social development and human wellbeing. However, spatiotemporal variation of this finite resource over various landscapes makes it prone to misuse and mismanagement. Rapid global changes such as urbanization, population growth, socioeconomic change, changes in lifestyle, evolving energy needs, and climate change have put unprecedented pressure on this finite freshwater resource. Keeping this in mind, it is argued that achieving water security throughout the world is the key to achieving sustainable development in a comprehensive manner. However, scientific studies with a holistic point of view, considering persistently changing dimensions, are still in their embryonic stage. Broadly, water security evolves from ensuring reliable access to enough safe water for every person (at an affordable price where market mechanisms are involved) to lead a healthy and productive life, including future generations. Additionally, there is a need to transition from water scarcity toward water security for a water-secure present and future. This transition requires a look at this complex issues and interdependencies between water, environment, human health, and governance/institutions, with more inclusive regulations at the forefront. Despite recent progress in developing new strategies, practices, and technologies for water resources management, their dissemination and implementation have been limited. The nexus approach encompasses these interdependencies.

Considering the abovementioned information gap, this Special Issue strives to capture the persistently changing dimensions and new paradigms of water security, providing a holistic view, including a wide range of sustainable solutions to address water security. It will discuss gaps, opportunities and challenges, and lessons learned from past experiences for achieving water security at any particular landscape. It will highlight how recent scientific innovations in research methodologies, including the planetary health approach, water–food–energy–health–biodiversity nexus, urban–rural nexus, regional–circular–ecological–sphere approach, etc. have contributed significantly to resolve this complex issue of water security. Finally, a topic to be discussed is what the way forward is for a better science–policy interface through the inclusion of every relevant stakeholder with codesign and codelivery of various adaptation and mitigation strategies needed to achieve global goals, e.g., SDGs at a local level in a timely manner.

We welcome contributions dealing with, but not limited to the following topics:

  • Scenario-based hydrological simulation;
  • Use of an integrated approach to assess water environment (remote sensing, GIS, statistical analysis, participatory approach, field analysis, etc.);
  •  Nexus approach to evaluate the interaction between human wellbeing and water systems.

Dr. Pankaj Kumar
Dr. Ram Avtar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • planetary health
  • water-food-energy-health nexus
  • transdisciplinary research
  • water resource management
  • water security
  • SDG 6.0
  • hydrological simulation
  • remote sensing and GIS
  • water quality

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Microplastics in Freshwater Environment in Asia: A Systematic Scientific Review
Water 2022, 14(11), 1737; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111737 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 552
Abstract
Microplastics (MPs) are an emerging pollutant in the aquatic environment, and this has gradually been recognized in the Asian region. This systematic review study, using the Scopus database, provides an insightful understanding of the spatial distribution of scientific studies on MPs in freshwater [...] Read more.
Microplastics (MPs) are an emerging pollutant in the aquatic environment, and this has gradually been recognized in the Asian region. This systematic review study, using the Scopus database, provides an insightful understanding of the spatial distribution of scientific studies on MPs in freshwater conducted across the Asian region, utilized sampling methods, and a detailed assessment of the effects of MPs on different biotic components in freshwater ecosystems, with special focus on its potential risks on human health. The results of this review indicate that research on microplastics in Asia has gained attention since 2014, with a significant increase in the number of studies in 2018, and the number of scientific studies quadrupled in 2021 compared to 2018. Results indicated that despite a significant amount of research has been conducted in many Asian countries, they were not distributed evenly, as multiple studies selected specific rivers and lakes. Additionally, around two-thirds of all the papers focused their studies in China, followed by India and South Korea. It was also found that most of the studies focused primarily on reporting the occurrence levels of MPs in freshwater systems, such as water and sediments, and aquatic organisms, with a lack of studies investigating the human intake of MPs and their potential risks to human health. Notably, comparing the results is a challenge because diverse sampling, separation, and identification methods were applied to estimate MPs. This review study suggests that further research on the dynamics and transport of microplastics in biota and humans is needed, as Asia is a major consumer of seafood products and contributes significantly to the generation of plastic litter in the marine environment. Moreover, this review study revealed that only a few studies extended their discussions to policies and governance aspects of MPs. This implies the need for further research on policy and governance frameworks to address this emerging water pollutant more holistically. Full article
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Article
Vulnerability and Risk Assessment to Climate Change in Sagar Island, India
Water 2022, 14(5), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14050823 - 06 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Inhabitants of low-lying islands face increased threats due to climate change as a result of their higher exposure and lesser adaptive capacity. Sagar Island, the largest inhabited estuarine island of Sundarbans, is experiencing severe coastal erosion, frequent cyclones, flooding, storm surges, and breaching [...] Read more.
Inhabitants of low-lying islands face increased threats due to climate change as a result of their higher exposure and lesser adaptive capacity. Sagar Island, the largest inhabited estuarine island of Sundarbans, is experiencing severe coastal erosion, frequent cyclones, flooding, storm surges, and breaching of embankments, resulting in land, livelihood, and property loss, and the displacement of people at a huge scale. The present study assessed climate change-induced vulnerability and risk for Sagar Island, India, using an integrated geostatistical and geoinformatics-based approach. Based on the IPCC AR5 framework, the proportion of variance of 26 exposure, hazard, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity parameters was measured and analyzed. The results showed that 19.5% of mouzas (administrative units of the island), with 15.33% of the population at the southern part of the island, i.e., Sibpur–Dhablat, Bankimnagar–Sumatinagar, and Beguakhali–Mahismari, are at high risk (0.70–0.80). It has been concluded that the island has undergone tremendous land system transformations and changes in climatic patterns. Therefore, there is a need to formulate comprehensive adaptation strategies at the policy- and decision-making levels to help the communities of this island deal with the adverse impacts of climate change. The findings of this study will help adaptation strategies based on site-specific information and sustainable management for the marginalized populations living in similar islands worldwide. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Groundwater Reserves of the Udaipur District, Aravalli Range, India, Using Geospatial Techniques
Water 2022, 14(4), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040648 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Population increase has placed ever-increasing demands on the available groundwater (GW) resources, particularly for intensive agricultural activities. In India, groundwater is the backbone of agriculture and drinking purposes. In the present study, an assessment of groundwater reserves was carried out in the Udaipur [...] Read more.
Population increase has placed ever-increasing demands on the available groundwater (GW) resources, particularly for intensive agricultural activities. In India, groundwater is the backbone of agriculture and drinking purposes. In the present study, an assessment of groundwater reserves was carried out in the Udaipur district, Aravalli range, India. It was observed that the principal aquifer for the availability of groundwater in the studied area is quartzite, phyllite, gneisses, schist, and dolomitic marble, which occur in unconfined to semi-confined zones. Furthermore, all primary chemical ingredients were found within the permissible limit, including granum. We also found that the average annual rainfall days in a year in the study area was 30 from 1957 to 2020, and it has been found that there are chances to receive surplus rainfall once in every five deficit rainfall years. Using integrated remote sensing, GIS, and a field-based spatial modeling approach, it was found that the dynamic GW reserves of the area are 637.42 mcm/annum, and the total groundwater draft is 639.67 mcm/annum. The deficit GW reserves are 2.25 mcm/annum from an average rainfall of 627 mm, hence the stage of groundwater development is 100.67% and categorized as over-exploited. However, as per the relationship between reserves and rainfall events, surplus reserves are available when rainfall exceeds 700 mm. We conclude that enough static GW reserves are available in the studied area to sustain the requirements of the drought period. For the long-term sustainability of groundwater use, controlling groundwater abstraction by optimizing its use, managing it properly through techniques such as sprinkler and drip irrigation, and achieving more crop-per-drop schemes, will go a long way to conserving this essential reserve, and create maximum groundwater recharge structures. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Groundwater Flow Dynamics Using MODFLOW in Shallow Aquifer System of Mahanadi Delta (East Coast), India
Water 2022, 14(4), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040611 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, the Mahanadi delta is facing groundwater salinization as one of the main environmental threats in the recent past. Hence, this study attempts to understand the dynamics of groundwater and its sustainable management options through numerical simulation in the [...] Read more.
Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, the Mahanadi delta is facing groundwater salinization as one of the main environmental threats in the recent past. Hence, this study attempts to understand the dynamics of groundwater and its sustainable management options through numerical simulation in the Jagatsinghpur deltaic region. The result shows that groundwater in the study area is extensively abstracted for agricultural activities, which also causes the depletion of groundwater levels. The hydraulic head value varies from 0.7 to 15 m above mean sea level (MSL) with an average head of 6 m in this low-lying coastal region. The horizontal hydraulic conductivity and the specific yield values in the area are found to vary from 40 to 45 m/day and 0.05 to 0.07, respectively. The study area has been calibrated for two years (2004–2005) by using these parameters, followed by the validation of four years (2006–2009). The calibrated numerical model is used to evaluate the net recharge and groundwater balance in this study area. The interaction between the river and coastal unconfined aquifer system responds differently in different seasons. The net groundwater recharge to the coastal aquifer has been estimated and varies from 247.89 to 262.63 million cubic meters (MCM) in the year 2006–2007. The model further indicates a net outflow of 8.92–9.64 MCM of groundwater into the Bay of Bengal. Further, the outflow to the sea is preventing the seawater ingress into the shallow coastal aquifer system. Full article
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Article
A Model-Based Approach for Improving Surface Water Quality Management in Aquaculture Using MIKE 11: A Case of the Long Xuyen Quadangle, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Water 2022, 14(3), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030412 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
This study utilized MIKE 11 to quantify the spatio-temporal dynamics of water quality parameters (Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and temperature) in the Long Xuyen Quadrangle area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. Calibrated for the year of 2019 and [...] Read more.
This study utilized MIKE 11 to quantify the spatio-temporal dynamics of water quality parameters (Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and temperature) in the Long Xuyen Quadrangle area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. Calibrated for the year of 2019 and validated for the year of 2020, the developed model showed a significant agreement between the observed and simulated values of water quality parameters. Locations near to cage culture areas exhibited higher BOD5 values than sites close to pond/lagoon culture areas due to the effects of numerous point sources of pollution, including upstream wastewater and out-fluxes from residential and tourism activities in the surrounding areas, all of which had a direct impact on the quality of the surface water used for aquaculture. Moreover, as aquacultural effluents have intensified and dispersed over time, water quality in the surrounding water bodies has degraded. The findings suggest that the effective planning, assessment and management of rapidly expanding aquaculture sites should be improved, including more rigorous water quality monitoring, to ensure the long-term sustainable expansion and development of the aquacultural sector in the Long Xuyen Quadrangle in particular, and the Vietnamese Mekong Delta as a whole. Full article
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Article
Recharge and Geochemical Evolution of Groundwater in Fractured Basement Aquifers (NW India): Insights from Environmental Isotopes (δ18O, δ2H, and 3H) and Hydrogeochemical Studies
Water 2022, 14(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030315 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
Considering water as a limiting factor for socio-economic development, especially in arid/semi-arid regions, both scientific communities and policymakers are interested in groundwater recharge-related data. India is fast moving toward a crisis of groundwater due to intense abstraction and contamination. There is a lack [...] Read more.
Considering water as a limiting factor for socio-economic development, especially in arid/semi-arid regions, both scientific communities and policymakers are interested in groundwater recharge-related data. India is fast moving toward a crisis of groundwater due to intense abstraction and contamination. There is a lack of understanding regarding the occurrence, movement, and behaviors of groundwater in a fractured basement terrane. Therefore, integrated environmental isotopes (δ18O, δ2H, and 3H) and hydrogeochemical studies have been used to understand the recharge processes and geochemical evolution of groundwater in the fractured basement terranes of Gujarat, NW India. Our results show that the relative abundance of major cations and anions in the study basin are Ca2+ > Na+ > Mg2+ > K+ and HCO3 > Cl > SO42− > NO3, respectively. This suggests that the chemical weathering of silicate minerals influences the groundwater chemistry in the aquifer system. A change in hydrochemical facies from Ca-HCO3 to Na-Mg-Ca-Cl. HCO3 has been identified from the recharge to discharge areas. Along the groundwater flow direction, the presence of chemical constituents with different concentrations demonstrates that the various geochemical mechanisms are responsible for this geochemical evolution. Furthermore, the chemical composition of groundwater also reflects that the groundwater has interacted with distinct rock types (granites/granulites). The stable isotopes (δ18O and δ2H) of groundwater reveal that the local precipitation is the main source of recharge. However, the groundwater recharge is affected by the evaporation process due to different geological conditions irrespective of topographical differences in the study area. The tritium (3H) content of groundwater suggests that the aquifer is mainly recharged by modern rainfall events. Thus, in semi-arid regions, the geology, weathering, and geologic structures have a significant role in bringing chemical changes in groundwater and smoothening the recharge process. The findings of this study will prove vital for the decision-makers or policymakers to take appropriate measures to design water budgets as well as water management plans more sustainably. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Ecological Risk from Heavy Metals in the Surface Sediment of River Surma, Bangladesh: Coupled Approach of Monte Carlo Simulation and Multi-Component Statistical Analysis
Water 2022, 14(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020180 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
River sediment can be used to measure the pollution level in natural water, as it serves as one of the vital environmental indicators. This study aims to assess heavy metal pollution namely Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Nickel (Ni), Lead [...] Read more.
River sediment can be used to measure the pollution level in natural water, as it serves as one of the vital environmental indicators. This study aims to assess heavy metal pollution namely Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), and Cadmium (Cd) in Surma River. Further, it compares potential ecological risk index values using Hakanson Risk Index (RI) and Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) approach to evaluate the environmental risks caused by these heavy metals. in the study area. With obtained results, enrichment of individual heavy metals in the study area was found in the order of Ni > Pb > Cd > Mn > Cu > Zn. Also, variance in MCS index contributed by studied metals was in the order of Cd > Pb > Ni > Zn > Cu. None of the heavy metals, except Ni, showed moderate contamination of the sediment. Risk index values from RI and MCS provide valuable insights in the contamination profile of the river, indicating the studied river is currently under low ecological risk for the studied heavy metals. This study can be utilized to assess the susceptibility of the river sediment to heavy metal pollution near an urban core, and to have a better understanding of the contamination profile of a river. Full article
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Article
Integrated Approach to Quantify the Impact of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on Water Quality of Surma River, Sylhet, Bangladesh
Water 2022, 14(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010017 - 22 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
This study aims to assess the impacts of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on the water quality of the Surma river in Bangladesh. For this, seasonal water quality changes were assessed in comparison to the LULC changes recorded from 2010 to [...] Read more.
This study aims to assess the impacts of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on the water quality of the Surma river in Bangladesh. For this, seasonal water quality changes were assessed in comparison to the LULC changes recorded from 2010 to 2019. Obtained results from this study indicated that pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations were higher during the dry season, while dissolved oxygen (DO), 5-day biological oxygen demand (BOD5), temperature, total suspended solids (TSS), and total solids (TS) concentrations also changed with the season. The analysis of LULC changes within 1000-m buffer zones around the sampling stations revealed that agricultural and vegetation classes decreased; while built-up, waterbody and barren lands increased. Correlation analyses showed that BOD5, temperature, EC, TDS, and TSS had a significant relationship (5% level) with LULC types. The regression result indicated that BOD5 was sensitive to changing waterbody (predictors, R2 = 0.645), temperature was sensitive to changing waterbodies and agricultural land (R2 = 0.889); and EC was sensitive to built-up, vegetation, and barren land (R2 = 0.833). Waterbody, built-up, and agricultural LULC were predictors for TDS (R2 = 0.993); and waterbody, built-up, and barren LULC were predictors for TSS (R2 = 0.922). Built-up areas and waterbodies appeared to have the strongest effect on different water quality parameters. Scientific finding from this study will be vital for decision makers in developing more robust land use management plan at the local level. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Factors Influencing the Trophic State of Drinking Water Reservoirs in Taiwan
Water 2021, 13(22), 3228; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223228 - 14 Nov 2021
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Eutrophication is an environmental pollution problem that occurs in natural water bodies. Regression analyses with interaction terms are carried out to identify the factors influencing the Shimen, Mingde, and Fongshan Reservoirs in Taiwan. The results indicate that the main factor influencing these reservoirs [...] Read more.
Eutrophication is an environmental pollution problem that occurs in natural water bodies. Regression analyses with interaction terms are carried out to identify the factors influencing the Shimen, Mingde, and Fongshan Reservoirs in Taiwan. The results indicate that the main factor influencing these reservoirs is total phosphorus. In the Shimen and Mingde Reservoirs, the influence of total phosphorus, when interacting with other factors, on water quality trophic state is more serious than that of total phosphorus per se. This implies that the actual influence of total phosphorus on the eutrophic condition could be underestimated. Furthermore, there was no deterministic causality between climate and water quality variables. In addition, time lagged effects, or the influence of their interaction with other variables, were considered separately in this study to further determine the actual relationships between water trophic state and influencing factors. The influencing patterns for three reservoirs are different, because the type, size, and background environment of each reservoir are different. This is as expected, since it is difficult to predict eutrophication in reservoirs with a universal index or equation. However, the multiple linear regression model used in this study could be a suitable quick-to-use, case-by-case model option for this problem. Full article
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Article
Enhancing Water Supply Resilience in a Tropical Island via a Socio-Hydrological Approach: A Case Study in Con Dao Island, Vietnam
Water 2021, 13(18), 2573; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182573 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1045
Abstract
Socio-hydrological approaches are gaining momentum due to the importance of understanding the dynamics and co-evolution of water and human systems. Various socio-hydrological approaches have been developed to improve the adaptive capacity of local people to deal with water-related issues. In this study, a [...] Read more.
Socio-hydrological approaches are gaining momentum due to the importance of understanding the dynamics and co-evolution of water and human systems. Various socio-hydrological approaches have been developed to improve the adaptive capacity of local people to deal with water-related issues. In this study, a social-hydrological approach was developed to enhance the water supply resilience in Con Dao Island, Vietnam. We used a water-balance model, involving the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) tool, to conduct a scenario-based evaluation of water demands. In doing so, we assessed the impacts of socio-economic development, such as population growth and climate change, on increasing water demand. The modelling results showed that the existing reservoirs—the main sources to recharge the groundwater (accounting for 56.92% in 2018 and 65.59% in 2030)—play a critical role in enhancing water supply resilience in the island, particularly during the dry season. In addition, future water shortages can be solved by investment in water supply infrastructures in combination with the use of alternative water sources, such as rainwater and desalinated seawater. The findings further indicate that while the local actors have a high awareness of the role of natural resources, they seem to neglect climate change. To meet the future water demands, we argue that upgrading and constructing new reservoirs, mobilizing resources for freshwater alternatives and investing in water supply facilities are among the most suitable roadmaps for the island. In addition, strengthening adaptive capacity, raising awareness and building professional capacity for both local people and officials are strongly recommended. The research concludes with a roadmap that envisages the integration of social capacity to address the complex interaction and co-evolution of the human–water system to foster water-supply resilience in the study area. Full article
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