Special Issue "Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Y. Jun Xu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Tel. +1-225-578-4168; Fax: +1-225-578-4227
Interests: surface hydrology; water quality; hydrologic and biogeochemical processes and modeling; sediment and nutrient transport; land use and climate change effects on water resources and biogeochemical cycles; isotopic tracer techniques; and GIS/Remote Sensing applications in surface hydrology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Guangxin Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 4888 Shengbei Street, Changchun 130102, China
Tel. +86-431-85542210 | +86-13944813495; Fax: +86-431-85542298
Interests: wetland ecohydrology and water environment; integrated management of water resources; impact of climate changes on hydrology and water resources and groundwater-surface water interactions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Hongyan Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Environment and Resources, Jilin University, No. 2519 Jiefang Road, Changchun 130021, China
Tel. +86-431-8850-2850 | +86-13756257761; Fax: +86-431-8850-2606
Interests: Basin hydrological cycle and water resources evolution, Prediction and forecast of hydrology and water resources, Basin hydrological factors responses to climate change, Calculating theory and method of evapotranspiration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental changes have brought about significant changes and challenges to water resources and management in China. These include increasing climate variability, land use change, intensive agriculture, and rapid urbanization and industrial development, all of which greatly affect water quantity, water quality, and hydro-ecology. These effects have been found in many regions around the world. In China, water problems caused by human activities and environmental changes are becoming more and more serious and complicated, making water resources management more difficult. This Special Issue aims to assemble contributions on understanding of and solutions to the problems. We welcome contributions that use field observations, experimental data, and numeric modeling to analyze complexity and uncertainty of water resources in China, across land and waterscapes.

Prof. Dr. Yi Jun Xu
Prof. Dr. Guangxin Zhang
Prof. Dr. Hongyan Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Hydro-meteorological predictions in water resources planning and management
  • Environment changes and water resources adaptive management
  • Extreme hydrology events and impact
  • River diversions and environment effects
  • Assessment of groundwater potential
  • Surface water–groundwater interactions
  • Water quality and management
  • Optimal operation of water resource systems
  • Eco-hydrological processes and modeling
  • Application of remote sensing data in hydrology and water resources
  • Coastal water resources

Published Papers (38 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Hydrologic Simulation of a Winter Wheat–Summer Maize Cropping System in an Irrigation District of the Lower Yellow River Basin, China
Water 2017, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9010007 - 01 Jan 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Conflicts between water supply and water demand are intensifying in irrigation districts along the Lower Yellow River due to climate change and human activities. To ensure both adequate food supply and water resource sustainability in China, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) [...] Read more.
Conflicts between water supply and water demand are intensifying in irrigation districts along the Lower Yellow River due to climate change and human activities. To ensure both adequate food supply and water resource sustainability in China, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to simulate the water balance and water use of agro-ecosystems in an irrigation district of the lower Yellow River Basin, China. Simulated average annual irrigation requirements decreased from 1969 to 2010. Irrigation requirements during the winter wheat season decreased owing to reduced reference evapotranspiration and increased precipitation. Annual evapotranspiration (ET) increased with increasing irrigation volume, and differences among irrigation scenarios were mainly due to ET of winter wheat. Water deficit typically occurred during winter wheat seasons with less precipitation. Field seepage and surface runoff tended to occur in years with high precipitation, particularly during the summer maize season under full irrigation and scheduled irrigation scenarios. Frequent and heavy irrigation did not always lead to high water use efficiency. To cope with limited water resources in this region, it is necessary to properly irrigate crops based on soil water content and take full advantage of precipitation and surface runoff during the summer maize season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
A Provincial Initial Water Rights Incentive Allocation Model with Total Pollutant Discharge Control
Water 2016, 8(11), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110525 - 11 Nov 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
According to the newly introduced water resources management in China, which is the most stringent thus far, pollution limits of water functional zones should be enhanced. In response to this recent change, we propose a provincial initial water rights incentive allocation model with [...] Read more.
According to the newly introduced water resources management in China, which is the most stringent thus far, pollution limits of water functional zones should be enhanced. In response to this recent change, we propose a provincial initial water rights incentive allocation model with total pollutant discharge constraint. Firstly, three objective functions are set up, namely the maximum comprehensive economic benefits of basin, the optimal fairness and coordination of the provincial pollutant discharge rights, and the minimum losses of basin ecological environment. Based on the objective functions and constraint of total pollutant discharge, we put forward a multiple-objective provincial initial pollutant discharge rights allocation model with a self-adaptive chaotic optimization algorithm. Secondly, according to the incentive mechanism of rewarding excellence and punishing inferiority, we establish a provincial initial water rights allocation model with an incentive function which includes the amount of provincial initial pollutant discharge. Finally, we select the Taihu Basin as a case study to describe the methodology. Under water frequencies of 50%, 75%, and 90%, the empirical results of provincial initial water rights allocation of the Taihu Basin in 2030 show that Jiangsu Province will obtain the most initial water rights, followed by Zhejiang Province and Shanghai city. The incentive allocation model of the provincial initial water rights is effective and the algorithm is feasible. The model may help to assure the most stringent water resources management strategies that are effectively carried out in the Taihu Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Rapid Simplified Model for Urban Rainstorm Inundation with Low Data Requirements
Water 2016, 8(11), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110512 - 04 Nov 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper proposes a new rapid simplified inundation model (NRSIM) for flood inundation caused by rainstorms in an urban setting that can simulate the urban rainstorm inundation extent and depth in a data-scarce area. Drainage basins delineated from a floodplain map according to [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new rapid simplified inundation model (NRSIM) for flood inundation caused by rainstorms in an urban setting that can simulate the urban rainstorm inundation extent and depth in a data-scarce area. Drainage basins delineated from a floodplain map according to the distribution of the inundation sources serve as the calculation cells of NRSIM. To reduce data requirements and computational costs of the model, the internal topography of each calculation cell is simplified to a circular cone, and a mass conservation equation based on a volume spreading algorithm is established to simulate the interior water filling process. Moreover, an improved D8 algorithm is outlined for the simulation of water spilling between different cells. The performance of NRSIM is evaluated by comparing the simulated results with those from a traditional rapid flood spreading model (TRFSM) for various resolutions of digital elevation model (DEM) data. The results are as follows: (1) given high-resolution DEM data input, the TRFSM model has better performance in terms of precision than NRSIM; (2) the results from TRFSM are seriously affected by the decrease in DEM data resolution, whereas those from NRSIM are not; and (3) NRSIM always requires less computational time than TRFSM. Apparently, compared with the complex hydrodynamic or traditional rapid flood spreading model, NRSIM has much better applicability and cost-efficiency in real-time urban inundation forecasting for data-sparse areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Harmonious Development between Socio-Economy and River-Lake Water Systems in Xiangyang City, China
Water 2016, 8(11), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110509 - 04 Nov 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
River-lake water systems (RLS) are important carriers for matter transformation and energy transmission. Influenced by accelerated social and economic development, the structural, functional, and environmental states of RLS have been seriously damaged. It is an important problem for human beings to coordinate the [...] Read more.
River-lake water systems (RLS) are important carriers for matter transformation and energy transmission. Influenced by accelerated social and economic development, the structural, functional, and environmental states of RLS have been seriously damaged. It is an important problem for human beings to coordinate the contradiction between socio-economic development and the protection of RLS. In order to quantitatively study the harmonious relationship between socio-economic development and the state of RLS, the harmony theory method was used to analyze the degree of harmonious development between socio-economy and RLS in this study taking Xiangyang City as an example, and formulating corresponding harmonious optimization schemes. The results indicate that: (1) the state of RLS had a relatively small change during 2009–2014, and its spatial distribution shows a decreasing trend with the Han River as the central axis decreases on both of its sides; (2) before 2011, the driving force of socio-economic development in Xiang yang City mainly originated in the peripheral regions such as Laohekou City, Zaoyang City, and Gucheng County, but after 2011, it migrated rapidly towards Downtown, and reached the maximum in 2014; (3) when the influence of regional socio-economic development on RLS is small, socio-economic development is the main factor driving the change of the overall harmonious development degree of socio-economy and RLS. However when the influence is big, it is combined, driven by socio-economic development and the state of RLS; (4) the main factors affecting the overall harmonious degree of socio-economy and RLS in Xiangyang City include: river length, standard ratio of water quality, water consumption per capita, reservoir regulation capability, farmland irrigation water consumption per Mu (Mu is an area unit in China, 1 Mu approximately equals to 666.67 m2), and sewage treatment rate. This study can provide a reference for the future analysis of the harmonious development between socio-economy and RLS, as well as in formulating corresponding harmonious optimization schemes in China and other countries in a similar situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Latest GPM-Era High-Resolution Satellite Precipitation Products by Comparison with Observation Gauge Data over the Chinese Mainland
Water 2016, 8(11), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8110481 - 26 Oct 2016
Cited by 29
Abstract
The Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Core Observatory that was launched on 27 February 2014 ushered in a new era for estimating precipitation from satellites. Based on their high spatial–temporal resolution and near global coverage, satellite-based precipitation products have been applied in many research [...] Read more.
The Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Core Observatory that was launched on 27 February 2014 ushered in a new era for estimating precipitation from satellites. Based on their high spatial–temporal resolution and near global coverage, satellite-based precipitation products have been applied in many research fields. The goal of this study was to quantitatively compare two of the latest GPM-era satellite precipitation products (GPM IMERG and GSMap-Gauge Ver. 6) with a network of 840 precipitation gauges over the Chinese mainland. Direct comparisons of satellite-based precipitation products with rain gauge observations over a 20 month period from April 2014 to November 2015 at 0.1° and daily/monthly resolutions showed the following results: Both of the products were capable of capturing the overall spatial pattern of the 20 month mean daily precipitation, which was characterized by a decreasing trend from the southeast to the northwest. GPM IMERG overestimated precipitation by approximately 0.09 mm/day while GSMap-Gauge Ver. 6 underestimated precipitation by −0.04 mm/day. The two satellite-based precipitation products performed better over wet southern regions than over dry northern regions. They also showed better performance in summer than in winter. In terms of mean error, root mean square error, correlation coefficient, and probability of detection, GSMap-Gauge was better able to estimate precipitation and had more stable quality results than GPM IMERG on both daily and monthly scales. GPM IMERG was more sensitive to conditions of no rain or light rainfall and demonstrated good capability of capturing the behavior of extreme precipitation events. Overall, the results revealed some limitations of these two latest satellite-based precipitation products when used over the Chinese mainland, helping to characterize some of the error features in these datasets for potential users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Shallow Groundwater Recharge from Extreme Rainfalls in the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China
Water 2016, 8(10), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100440 - 10 Oct 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Groundwater recharge from rainstorms can be vital for regional water resources. With the expansion of the need for more water in some specific regions under global climate change, groundwater is being pumped at a far greater rate than it can be naturally replenished. [...] Read more.
Groundwater recharge from rainstorms can be vital for regional water resources. With the expansion of the need for more water in some specific regions under global climate change, groundwater is being pumped at a far greater rate than it can be naturally replenished. Considering that excess rainstorms could be utilized for groundwater recharge to lessen the declining tendency of regional groundwater level in the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China, we analyzed groundwater changes in the quantity of a regional shallow aquifer in the region following extreme rainfall in 2013. The results show that shallow groundwater table in the north and central Sanjiang Plain increased following the 2013 extreme rainfall. Most of the annual maximal change of groundwater depth (MCGD) was in the range of 1 m to 3 m, occupying 72.1% of the study area. The average MCGD was 1.73 m in 2013, about 0.4 m higher than the mean value during the last five years (1.33 m). Spatially, the overall average groundwater depth showed an increasing trend from the southeast to the midwest and northeast. We estimated a total recharge of approximately 41.14 × 108 m3 from the 2013 extreme rainfall across the north and central Sanjiang Plain. This large quantity of recharge demonstrates the important role that large rainstorms can play in regional shallow groundwater resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Using the RESC Model and Diversity Indexes to Assess the Cross-Scale Water Resource Vulnerability and Spatial Heterogeneity in the Huai River Basin, China
Water 2016, 8(10), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100431 - 30 Sep 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
Performing a multiscale assessment of water resource vulnerability on the basis of political boundaries and watersheds is necessary for adaptive water resources management. Using the Risk-Exposure-Sensitivity-Adaptability model (RESC model), the water resource vulnerability of the Huai River Basin was assessed using four scales, [...] Read more.
Performing a multiscale assessment of water resource vulnerability on the basis of political boundaries and watersheds is necessary for adaptive water resources management. Using the Risk-Exposure-Sensitivity-Adaptability model (RESC model), the water resource vulnerability of the Huai River Basin was assessed using four scales, namely, Class II, Class III, Province-Class II, and Municipality-Class III WRR (Water Resources Region). Following this, the spatial heterogeneity of the vulnerability of the above four scales was evaluated with the Theil and the Shannon-Weaver index. The results demonstrate that, instead of moving towards convergence, water resource vulnerability presents different grades which change together with the change in scale, and in turn, tend to weaken from east to west. Of the four scales, the scale of Municipality-Class III WRR shows the most significant spatial diversity, whereas that of Class II WRR shows the least diversity. With spatial downscaling, the vulnerability demonstrates high spatial heterogeneity and diversity. Herein, an innovative cross-scales vulnerability assessment is proposed and the RESC model characteristics and uncertainties as well as the employment of cross-scale water resource vulnerability are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in the Songhua River Basin
Water 2016, 8(10), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100420 - 25 Sep 2016
Cited by 19
Abstract
The Songhua River Basin (SRB) in Northeast China is one of the areas most sensitive to global climate change because of its high-latitude location. In this study, we conducted a modeling assessment on the potential change of water resources in this region for [...] Read more.
The Songhua River Basin (SRB) in Northeast China is one of the areas most sensitive to global climate change because of its high-latitude location. In this study, we conducted a modeling assessment on the potential change of water resources in this region for the coming three decades using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). First, we calibrated and validated the model with historical streamflow records in this basin. Then, we applied the calibrated model for the period from 2020 to 2049 with the projected and downscaled climatic data under two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). The study results show: (1) The SWAT model performed very well for both the calibration and validation periods in the SRB; (2) The projected temperatures showed a steady, significant increase across the SRB under both scenarios, especially in two sub-basins, the Nenjiang River Basin (NRB) and the Lower SRB (LSRB). With regard to precipitation, both scenarios showed a decreasing trend in the NRB and LSRB but an increasing trend in the Upper Songhua River Basin (USRB); and (3), generally, the hydrologic modeling suggested a decreasing trend of streamflow for 2020–2049. Compared to baseline conditions (1980–2009), the streamflow in the NRB and LSRB would decrease by 20.3%–37.8%, while streamflow in the USRB would experience an increase of 9.68%–17.7%. These findings provide relevant insights into future surface water resources, and such information can be helpful for resource managers and policymakers to develop effective eco-environment management plans and strategies in the face of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Method for Evaluating Riverside Well Locations Based on Allowable Withdrawal
Water 2016, 8(9), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090412 - 21 Sep 2016
Abstract
This study aims to derive the optimal solution for well locations based on the allowable withdrawal. To demonstrate the proposed technique, a numerical model of a typical well field at the Qinbei Power Plant was constructed and 20 possible drawdown scenarios were simulated [...] Read more.
This study aims to derive the optimal solution for well locations based on the allowable withdrawal. To demonstrate the proposed technique, a numerical model of a typical well field at the Qinbei Power Plant was constructed and 20 possible drawdown scenarios were simulated for each of three different arrangements of pumping wells. The concept of the Unit Increased Drawdown Value (UIDV) was used as a basis to select the location of pumping wells, where the UIDV is defined as the increase in drawdown associated with the addition of a unit of extraction. Results showed that for modeled well fields with the same number of wells and rates of exploitation, drawdown will reach the maximum and minimum when the well field is located in the recharge zone and discharge zone, respectively, because of the specific relationships between groundwater and surface water. This paper considered a pumping program with maximum exploitation and minimum costs corresponding to allowable withdrawals of 2.44 m3/s and 1.07 m3/s, respectively, and the relationship between groundwater and surface water was elucidated. The study results provide a theoretical basis for the layout of wells. The solution takes economic factors into consideration and describes the best solution for well locations to meet drawdown limitations during pumping applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiple Changes in the Hydrologic Regime of the Yangtze River and the Possible Impact of Reservoirs
Water 2016, 8(9), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090408 - 20 Sep 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper investigates hydrologic changes in the Yangtze River using long-term daily stream flow records (1955–2013) collected from four flow gauging stations located from the upper to the lower reaches of the river. The hydrologic regime is quantified using the Indicators of Hydrologic [...] Read more.
This paper investigates hydrologic changes in the Yangtze River using long-term daily stream flow records (1955–2013) collected from four flow gauging stations located from the upper to the lower reaches of the river. The hydrologic regime is quantified using the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration, which statistically characterize hydrologic variation within each year. Scanning t-test is applied to analyze multiple changes in the hydrologic regime at different time scales. Then, coherency analysis is applied to identify common changes among different hydrologic indicators and across different reaches of the Yangtze River. The results point to various change patterns in the five components of hydrologic regime, including the magnitude of monthly water conditions, magnitude and duration of annual extreme water conditions, timing of annual extreme water conditions, frequency and duration of high and low pulses, and rate and frequency of water condition changes. The 32 hydrologic indicators feature multiple temporal-scale changes. Spatial variations can be observed in the hydrologic changes of the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the river. Common changes in different reaches consist of hydrologic indicators including the monthly flow in October and the low-flow indicators. The monthly flow in October is dominated by decreasing trends, while the monthly flows between January and March, the annual minimum 1/3/7/30/90-day flows, and the base flow index are characterized by increasing trends. Low pulse duration and total days of low pulses feature downward trends. The coherency analysis reveals significant relationships between the monthly flow in October and the low-flow indicators, indicating that reservoir regulation is an important factor behind the hydrologic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Land Use on Frequency of Floods in Yongding River Basin, China
Water 2016, 8(9), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090401 - 14 Sep 2016
Cited by 5
Abstract
As the debates surrounding the negative influences of flood control using dams or reservoirs on the eco-environment become fierce, non-structural flood control measures like land use change gain more attention. This study researched the effect of integrated and single land use changes on [...] Read more.
As the debates surrounding the negative influences of flood control using dams or reservoirs on the eco-environment become fierce, non-structural flood control measures like land use change gain more attention. This study researched the effect of integrated and single land use changes on three floods at small, medium and large scales, respectively, in Yongding River basin. A SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model was used to simulate the effect of integrated and single land use changes on floods of different scales. The single land uses were set as S1, S2, S3 to represent the agricultural, grass and construction land changes. The results showed that: (1) the integrated land use changes reduced the small flood, the medium flood and the large flood by 14%, 13% and 5%; (2) the land use management functioned most effectively on medium-scale floods and least effectively on large-scale floods; (3) S1 decreased the medium floods optimally by 24% with a 7-day maximum runoff volume as the indicator and by 29% with a 1-day maximum flood discharge; (4) S2 reduced the medium floods optimally by 21% with runoff depth volume as the indicator; (5) S3 increased the medium floods optimally by 15% with a 1-day maximum flood discharge as the indicator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Groundwater and Surface Water Availability via a Joint Simulation with a Double Control of Water Quantity and Ecologically Ideal Shallow Groundwater Depth: A Case Study on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China
Water 2016, 8(9), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090396 - 13 Sep 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
Joint assessment of groundwater-surface water resources can help develop sustainable regional water management plans for intensive agriculture. In this study, we estimated allowable groundwater and surface water quantities using a water balance model, WetSpass-GMS, for the Sanjiang Plain (10.9 × 104 km [...] Read more.
Joint assessment of groundwater-surface water resources can help develop sustainable regional water management plans for intensive agriculture. In this study, we estimated allowable groundwater and surface water quantities using a water balance model, WetSpass-GMS, for the Sanjiang Plain (10.9 × 104 km2), one of the most important grain production bases in China. We then applied a double control based on the groundwater availability and the concept of an ecologically ideal shallow groundwater depth (EISGD) to three different water use scenarios: (A) continuation of the current water use management; (B) maximal use of water resources under a double control; and (C) irrigation of 266.7 × 104 hectares that are suitable for rice cultivation. We found an annual allowable surface water quantity of 4.71 billion cubic meters for the region and an annual exploitable groundwater quantity of 4.65 billion cubic meters under full consideration of water requirements, i.e., sustaining river base flow, necessary riverine sediment transport, and ecological water supplies for wetlands and reservoirs. Our simulation results showed that for Scenario A, groundwater level in the region would continue falling, and that the groundwater levels in wet, normal and dry years would drop below the EISGD level in 2028, 2023 and 2019, respectively. For Scenario B, groundwater and surface water would be able to support rice paddies of 219.7 × 104 hectares, 212.7 × 104 hectares, and 209.3 × 104 hectares during wet, normal and dry years, respectively. For Scenario C, future demands on groundwater and surface water under wet, dry and normal years would all exceed their allowable supplies. Overall, this study indicates that integrated management plans promoting an increase of surface water use and a reduction in irrigation with groundwater should be developed for sustainable agriculture and ecological preservation on the Sanjiang Plain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Soil CO2 Uptake in Deserts and Its Implications to the Groundwater Environment
Water 2016, 8(9), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090379 - 05 Sep 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
Recent studies of soil carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid ecosystems demonstrated that there exists an abiotic CO2 absorption by saline-alkali soils (Aa) at desert ecosystems and suggested potential contributions of CO2 dissolution beneath deserts to the terrestrial ecosystems [...] Read more.
Recent studies of soil carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid ecosystems demonstrated that there exists an abiotic CO2 absorption by saline-alkali soils (Aa) at desert ecosystems and suggested potential contributions of CO2 dissolution beneath deserts to the terrestrial ecosystems carbon balance. However, the overall importance of such soil CO2 uptake is still undetermined and its implications to the groundwater environment remain unaddressed. In this manuscript, a simple method is proposed for the direct computation of Aa from the total soil CO2 flux (Fa) as well as for the evaluation of Aa importance to Fa. An artificial soil-groundwater system was employed to investigate the implications to groundwater environment and it was found that soil CO2 uptake in deserts can contribute a possible influence on the evolution of the groundwater environment, providing that the absorbed CO2 largely remained in the soil-groundwater system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
SPI Based Meteorological Drought Assessment over a Humid Basin: Effects of Processing Schemes
Water 2016, 8(9), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090373 - 31 Aug 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
Meteorological drought monitoring is important for drought early warning and disaster prevention. Regional meteorological drought can be evaluated and analyzed with standardized precipitation index (SPI). Two main processing schemes are frequently adopted: (1) mean of all SPI calculated from precipitation at individual stations [...] Read more.
Meteorological drought monitoring is important for drought early warning and disaster prevention. Regional meteorological drought can be evaluated and analyzed with standardized precipitation index (SPI). Two main processing schemes are frequently adopted: (1) mean of all SPI calculated from precipitation at individual stations (SPI-mean); and (2) SPI calculated from all-station averaged precipitation (precipitation-mean). It yet remains unclear if two processing schemes could make difference in drought assessment, which is of significance to reliable drought monitoring. Taking the Poyang Lake Basin with monthly precipitation recorded by 13 national stations for 1957–2014, this study examined two processing schemes. The precipitation mean and SPI mean were respectively calculated with the Thiessen Polygon weighting approach. Our results showed that the two SPI series individually constructed from two schemes had similar features and monitoring trends of regional meteorological droughts. Both SPI series had a significantly positive correlation (p < 0.005) with the number of precipitation stations. The precipitation-mean scheme reduced the extent of precipitation extremes and made the precipitation data more clustered in some certain, it made less precipitation deviate from the precipitation-mean series farther when less precipitation occurred universally, which would probably change the drought levels. Alternatively, the SPI-mean scheme accurately highlighted the extremes especially for those with wide spatial distribution over the region. Therefore, for regional meteorological drought monitoring, the SPI-mean scheme is recommended for its more suitable assessment of historical droughts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Water Age Responses to Weather Conditions in a Hyper-Eutrophic Channel Reservoir in Southern China
Water 2016, 8(9), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090372 - 30 Aug 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Channel reservoirs have the characteristics of both rivers and lakes, in which hydrodynamic conditions and the factors affecting the eutrophication process are complex and highly affected by weather conditions. Water age at any location in the reservoir is used as an indicator for [...] Read more.
Channel reservoirs have the characteristics of both rivers and lakes, in which hydrodynamic conditions and the factors affecting the eutrophication process are complex and highly affected by weather conditions. Water age at any location in the reservoir is used as an indicator for describing the spatial and temporal variations of water exchange and nutrient transport. The hyper-eutrophic Changtan Reservoir (CTR) in Southern China was investigated. Three weather conditions including wet, normal, and dry years were considered for assessing the response of water age by using the coupled watershed model Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the three-dimensional hydrodynamic model Environmental Fluid Hydrodynamic Code (EFDC). The results showed that the water age in CTR varied tremendously under different weather conditions. The averaged water ages at the downstream of CTR were 3 d, 60 d, and 110 d, respectively in the three typical wet, normal, and dry years. The highest water ages at the main tributary were >70 d, >100 d, and >200 d, respectively. The spatial distribution of water ages in the tributaries and the reservoir were mainly affected by precipitation. This paper provides useful information on water exchange and transport pathways in channel reservoir, which will be helpful in understanding nutrient dynamics for controlling algal blooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Hybrid Forecasting Approach Applied to Hydrological Data: A Case Study on Precipitation in Northwestern China
Water 2016, 8(9), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090367 - 25 Aug 2016
Cited by 13
Abstract
Hydrogeological disasters occur frequently. Proposing an effective prediction method for hydrology data can play a guiding role in disaster prevention; however, due to the complexity and instability of hydrological data, this is difficult. This paper proposes a new hybrid forecasting model based on [...] Read more.
Hydrogeological disasters occur frequently. Proposing an effective prediction method for hydrology data can play a guiding role in disaster prevention; however, due to the complexity and instability of hydrological data, this is difficult. This paper proposes a new hybrid forecasting model based on ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), radial basis function neural networks (RBFN), and support vector machine (SVM), this is the EEMD–RBFN–SVM method, which has achieved effective results in forecasting hydrologic data. The data were collected from the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Region of the Qinghai Province. To validate the method, the proposed hybrid model was compared to the RBFN, EEMD–RBFN, and SAM–ESM–RBFN models, and the results show that the proposed hybrid model had a better generalization ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Evaluating Water Supply Risk in the Middle and Lower Reaches of Hanjiang River Basin Based on an Integrated Optimal Water Resources Allocation Model
Water 2016, 8(9), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090364 - 24 Aug 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
The rapid socio-economic development and expanding human-induced hydrological alteration have strengthened the interactions between the social and hydrologic systems. To assess regional water supply security under changing water supply and demand condition in strongly human-impacted area, an integrated water resources management model that [...] Read more.
The rapid socio-economic development and expanding human-induced hydrological alteration have strengthened the interactions between the social and hydrologic systems. To assess regional water supply security under changing water supply and demand condition in strongly human-impacted area, an integrated water resources management model that fully incorporates water demand prediction, optimal water resources allocation and water supply risk analysis is proposed and applied in the mid-lower reach of Hanjiang River basin. The model is run under three scenarios considering increasing water demand and expanding water diversion projects, and then spatial and temporal distributions of water supply reliability and vulnerability are evaluated. Results show that water supply risk in the mid-lower reach of Hanjiang River basin, especially units that take water directly from the mainstream, will be gradually enlarged in the future due to the expansions of both water demand and inter-basin water diversion capacity. The proposed method provides a practical approach towards more robust decision-making of long-term water resources planning and management under changing environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Analysis of Groundwater Recharge in an Arid Area, Northwest China
Water 2016, 8(8), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080354 - 19 Aug 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Mixing Cell Model (MCM) is a useful tool that can be applied to areas with limited hydrogeological data, such as arid areas in northwest China, to transform available groundwater hydrochemical data into quantitative information about an aquifer. In this study, we used [...] Read more.
The Mixing Cell Model (MCM) is a useful tool that can be applied to areas with limited hydrogeological data, such as arid areas in northwest China, to transform available groundwater hydrochemical data into quantitative information about an aquifer. In this study, we used the MCM to quantify water circulation in the study area and to analyze information such as the supply source composition and proportion of the confined aquifer, the main supply aquifer for local drinking water. The MCM simulation results showed that the confined aquifer in the study area is mainly recharged by leakage of water from the upper unconfined aquifer and lateral flow from the eastern and southern tablelands. Unconfined groundwater and lateral flow contributed to 67.69% and 32.31% of the recharge, respectively. The groundwater circulation model of the study area provided quantitative information about water circulation in different parts of the study area, represented by different cells known as A–F. The information from this model provides a scientific basis for the sustainable use and development of water resources in different parts of the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Groundwater Recharge Using Tracers and Numerical Modeling in the North China Plain
Water 2016, 8(8), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080353 - 18 Aug 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
Water resource shortage has been a serious problem since the 1980s in the North China Plain (NCP), resulting in plenty of environmental problems. Estimating the groundwater recharge rate accurately is vital for managing groundwater effectively. This study applied several methods, including chloride mass-balance, [...] Read more.
Water resource shortage has been a serious problem since the 1980s in the North China Plain (NCP), resulting in plenty of environmental problems. Estimating the groundwater recharge rate accurately is vital for managing groundwater effectively. This study applied several methods, including chloride mass-balance, tracers (bromide and tritium) and numerical modeling (Hydrus-1D), to estimate groundwater recharge at three representative sites of the NCP: Zhengding (ZD), Luancheng (LC) and Hengshui (HS). The chloride concentration of the soil profile in the ZD site showed that the mean recharge was 3.84 mm/year with the residence time of 105 years for soil water transferring through the vadose area of 45.0 m in depth in the preferential flow model mainly. Considering the influence of preferential flow on the soil water movement in the field scale, the traditional methods (e.g., peak method of bromide and tritium tracers based on piston flow described in the literature) could be unsuitable to estimate groundwater recharge in the LC and HS sites, especially in areas with low recharge rates. Therefore, multi-region and mass balance methods were applied in this study. The results of this investigation showed that the mean values of recharge were 124.3 and 18.0 mm/year in the LC and HS sites, respectively, in 2010. Owing to complexity and uncertainty on the surface resulting from the measuring of evapotranspiration, the upper boundary of 1.4 m (under the ground where most of the plant roots did not reach) was chosen for the numerical modeling of Hydrus-1D, and the result showed that the mean recharge was 225 mm/year from 2003 to 2007, consistent with the result of tracers in the previous literature. The result also showed that the positive relation of groundwater recharge and the sum of irrigation and rainfall was presented in the spatial and temporal scale. Additionally, human activities promoted the recharge rate, and recharge rates increased with greater depths in the LC site generally. However, both cases did not appear clearly in the HS site, showing that the low penetrability of soil controlled the recharge rate in this site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
EMD-RBFNN Coupling Prediction Model of Complex Regional Groundwater Depth Series: A Case Study of the Jiansanjiang Administration of Heilongjiang Land Reclamation in China
Water 2016, 8(8), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080340 - 10 Aug 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
The accurate and reliable prediction of groundwater depth is the basis of the sustainable utilization of regional groundwater resources. However, the complexity of the prediction has been ignored in previous studies of regional groundwater depth system analysis and prediction, making it difficult to [...] Read more.
The accurate and reliable prediction of groundwater depth is the basis of the sustainable utilization of regional groundwater resources. However, the complexity of the prediction has been ignored in previous studies of regional groundwater depth system analysis and prediction, making it difficult to realize the scientific management of groundwater resources. To address this defect, taking complexity diagnosis as the research foundation, this paper proposes a new coupling forecast strategy for evaluating groundwater depth based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and a radial basis function neural network (RBFNN). The data used for complexity analysis and modelling are the monthly groundwater depth series monitoring data from 15 long-term monitoring wells from 1997 to 2007, which were collected from the Jiansanjiang Administration of Heilongjiang Agricultural Reclamation in China. The calculation results of the comprehensive complexity index for each groundwater depth series obtained are based on wavelet theory, fractal theory, and the approximate entropy method. The monthly groundwater depth sequence of District 8 of Farm Nongjiang, which has the highest complexity among the five farms in the Jiansanjiang Administration midland, was chosen as the modelling sample series. The groundwater depth series of District 8 of Farm Nongjiang was separated into five intrinsic mode function (IMF) sequences and a remainder sequence by applying the EMD method, which revealed that local groundwater depth has a significant one-year periodic character and an increasing trend. The RBFNN was then used to forecast and stack each EMD separation sequence. The results suggest that the future groundwater depth will remain at approximately 10 m if the past pattern of water use continues, exceeding the ideal depth of groundwater. Thus, local departments should take appropriate countermeasures to conserve groundwater resources effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Detection and Attribution of Runoff Variations in the Aksu River Basin
Water 2016, 8(8), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080338 - 09 Aug 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
Since the flow variations of Aksu River are strongly influenced by climate change and human activities which threat the local ecosystem and sustainable development, it is necessary to quantify the impact degree of the driving factors. Therefore, this study aims to quantify the [...] Read more.
Since the flow variations of Aksu River are strongly influenced by climate change and human activities which threat the local ecosystem and sustainable development, it is necessary to quantify the impact degree of the driving factors. Therefore, this study aims to quantify the impacts of climate change and human activities on the variability of runoff in the Aksu River Basin. The Mann-Kendall trend test and accumulative anomaly method were used to detect the break points of the flow difference value (FDV) between the upstream and downstream flume stations. The improved slope change ratio of cumulative quantity (SCRCQ) method and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model were applied to decouple the contribution of each driving factor to the FDV variations. Furthermore, a Pearson Correlation Analysis was performed to show the relationships among the driving factors and the FDV. The time series prior to the year (1988) of break point was considered as the baseline period. Based on the annual precipitation and the potential evapotranspiration (PET), the relative impacts of precipitation, PET and human activities on FDV variations as determined by the SCRCQ method were 77.35%, −0.98% and 23.63%, respectively. In addition, the SWAT model indicated that climate factors and human activities were responsible for 92.28% and 7.72% of the variability, respectively. Thus, climate change and human activities showed a similar scale of impact on FDV changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Sediment-Water Exchange, Spatial Variations, and Ecological Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Songhua River, China
Water 2016, 8(8), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080334 - 05 Aug 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
The sediment-water exchange, spatial variations, and ecological risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the water and sediment of the Songhua River, China, were investigated and assessed in this paper. The fugacity fraction (ff) was used to evaluate the sediment–water exchange [...] Read more.
The sediment-water exchange, spatial variations, and ecological risk of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the water and sediment of the Songhua River, China, were investigated and assessed in this paper. The fugacity fraction (ff) was used to evaluate the sediment–water exchange of PAHs between the water and sediment. The results suggest that the values of ff decreased with an increasing number of PAH rings. The sediment acts as a secondary emission source for three- and four-ring PAHs, whereas five-ring PAHs were deposited in the sediment from the water. The high ff values of PAHs found in autumn suggest large releases of PAHs after abundant deposition in summer, and the lowest ff values of PAHs occurred in summer. The values were especially low for five- and six-ring PAHs, which exhibited considerable deposition from the water to the sediment. PAHs with low molecular weights showed strong variations, which were potentially caused by their active physical-chemical properties. Additionally, high molecular weight BaP displayed weak variations, increasing the potential risk in the sediment. The simplified qualitative method of Cwater/Csediment is useful for assessing variations in the sediment–water exchange. The relationships between Cwater/Csediment and ff were investigated by determining the Pearson correlation coefficients (R). The results exhibited a significant negative correlation, with R = −1.000 and P = 0.000 for Flu, R = −0.993 and P = 0.007 for Phe, R = −0.998 and P = 0.002 for FlA, and R = −0.971 and P = 0.029 for BaP. The coefficients of variation indicated that five-ring PAHs were more sensitive than three- and four-ring PAHs. Thus, these low-ring PAHs can be easily exchanged between the sediment and the water. Additionally, the ecological risk of PAHs to aquatic organisms in the Songhua River is relatively low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Water Rights and Irrigation Pricing Reforms in Heihe River Basin in China
Water 2016, 8(8), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080333 - 05 Aug 2016
Cited by 13
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to understand the progress of water rights and irrigation pricing reform in Heihe River Basin (HRB) and their influence on irrigation application. The data came from a village and household level survey conducted in 2009 and 2014 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to understand the progress of water rights and irrigation pricing reform in Heihe River Basin (HRB) and their influence on irrigation application. The data came from a village and household level survey conducted in 2009 and 2014 in five counties in Zhangye City, HRB. The main component of reforming water rights was issuing water certificates to individual farmers. However, the share of villages that have done so dropped from 70% in 2004 to 28% in 2014. Water pricing reform raised the price of water. For the pricing of surface water, which consists of an area-based fee and a volumetric price, the volumetric price was increased. Econometric results show that amending water rights substantially reduced irrigation application in the early stage of reform (by 2009) but not in the later phase (by 2014). In contrast, higher water prices lowered irrigation applications significantly at both the early and later stages. Further analysis indicates that due to ineffective implementation, high cost of implementation due to large number of farmers, variations in water supply from year to year, and small farm sizes, little benefit is gained from trading. All of these factors played a role in the failure of water rights reforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Deep Tunnel for Regulating Combined Sewer Overflow Pollution and Flood Disaster: A Case Study in Guangzhou City, China
Water 2016, 8(8), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080329 - 05 Aug 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
The DongHaoChong (DHC) basin is located in the central city zone of Guangzhou City, China. Owing to the high density of buildings and low quality of the drainage pipe network in the city, diversion of rain and sewage is difficult. Waterlogging occurs frequently [...] Read more.
The DongHaoChong (DHC) basin is located in the central city zone of Guangzhou City, China. Owing to the high density of buildings and low quality of the drainage pipe network in the city, diversion of rain and sewage is difficult. Waterlogging occurs frequently and combined sewer overflow (CSO) pollution is a serious problem during the rainy season. Therefore, a deep tunnel for the DongHaoChong basin has been planned and its construction is currently underway. An urban rainstorm model for the DongHaoChong basin was developed on the basis of the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM), and both the interception effect of CSO pollution and the degree of mitigation of flood were analyzed. Reasonable scenarios for the deep tunnel in terms of rainstorms with different design recurrence periods were evaluated. From the viewpoints of preventing rainstorm waterlogging disasters and protecting water quality in the region downstream of DongHaoChong River, the river flood control and drainage capacities of the region were improved to a 2-year rainstorm design recurrence period by the construction of the deep tunnel. Furthermore, the main pollutant load of the CSO is expected to be reduced by about 30%–40%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrate Pollution and Preliminary Source Identification of Surface Water in a Semi-Arid River Basin, Using Isotopic and Hydrochemical Approaches
Water 2016, 8(8), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080328 - 03 Aug 2016
Cited by 19
Abstract
Nitrate contamination in rivers has raised widespread concern in the world, particularly in arid/semi-arid river basins lacking qualified water. Understanding the nitrate pollution levels and sources is critical to control the nitrogen input and promote a more sustainable water management in those basins. [...] Read more.
Nitrate contamination in rivers has raised widespread concern in the world, particularly in arid/semi-arid river basins lacking qualified water. Understanding the nitrate pollution levels and sources is critical to control the nitrogen input and promote a more sustainable water management in those basins. Water samples were collected from a typical semi-arid river basin, the Weihe River watershed, China, in October 2014. Hydrochemical assessment and nitrogen isotopic measurement were used to determine the level of nitrogen compounds and identify the sources of nitrate contamination. Approximately 32.4% of the water samples exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water standard for NO3-N. Nitrate pollution in the main stream of the Weihe River was obviously much more serious than in the tributaries. The δ15N-NO3 of water samples ranged from +8.3‰ to +27.0‰. No significant effect of denitrification on the shift in nitrogen isotopic values in surface water was observed by high dissolved oxygen (DO) values and linear relationship diagram between NO3-N and δ15N-NO3, except in the Weihe River in Huayin County and Shitou River. Analyses of hydrochemistry and isotopic compositions indicate that domestic sewage and agricultural activities are the main sources of nitrate in the river. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Changing Characteristics of the Water Consumption Structure in Nanjing City, Southern China
Water 2016, 8(8), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080314 - 25 Jul 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Understanding the changes in water consumption structure in order to take measures for demand control is very important for sustainable water resources management. In this study, using the Southern China area of Nanjing as an example, we employed the information entropy method to [...] Read more.
Understanding the changes in water consumption structure in order to take measures for demand control is very important for sustainable water resources management. In this study, using the Southern China area of Nanjing as an example, we employed the information entropy method to analyze the water consumption structure, as well as the grey incidence analysis to analyze synthetic incidence degree of the factors associated with agricultural, industrial, domestic, and ecological water consumption. The results show that the degree of balance among water consumption sectors has increased from 0.755 to 0.825 between 1993 and 2014. Gradual decrease of the relative proportion of a single water user structure in a water consumption system has made the utilization of water resources in Nanjing rational and diversified. The study identifies three stages of transformation of water structure in Nanjing, namely, a growth period from 1993 to 2002, an adjustment period from 2003 to 2010, and another growth period from 2011 to 2014. The synthetic incidence degree analysis indicates that adjustments of the agricultural and industrial water consumption as well as water saving measures are the main factors that affected water consumption structure in Nanjing. It is expected that the results obtained from this study will provide references to optimize the utilization of urban water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Ecosystem Services Valuation of Lakeside Wetland Park beside Chaohu Lake in China
Water 2016, 8(7), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8070301 - 19 Jul 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Wetland ecosystems are one of the three great ecosystems on Earth. With a deepening of research on wetland ecosystems, researchers have paid more and more attention to wetland ecosystem services such as flood mitigation, climate control, pollution prevention, soil-erosion prevention, biodiversity maintenance, and [...] Read more.
Wetland ecosystems are one of the three great ecosystems on Earth. With a deepening of research on wetland ecosystems, researchers have paid more and more attention to wetland ecosystem services such as flood mitigation, climate control, pollution prevention, soil-erosion prevention, biodiversity maintenance, and bio-productivity protection. This study focuses on a lakeside wetland ecosystem in Hefei, a city in central China, and estimates the value of ecosystem services such as material production, air purification, water conservation, biodiversity, recreation, species conservation, education and scientific research. We adopted the market value method, carbon tax method, afforestation cost method, shadow engineering method and contingent value method (CVM) using questionnaire survey data during the study period. The results show that the total value of the ecosystem services of Lakeside Wetland Park was 144 million CNY in 2015. Among these services, the value of society service is the maximum at 91.73 million CNY, followed by ecological service and material production service (42.23 million CNY and 10.43 billion CNY in 2015 respectively). When considering wetland ecosystems for economic development, other services must be considered in addition to material production to obtain a longer-term economic value. This research reveals that there is scope for more comprehensive and integrated model development, including multiple wetland ecosystem services and appropriate handling of wetland ecosystem management impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Attribution of Runoff Change for the Xinshui River Catchment on the Loess Plateau of China in a Changing Environment
Water 2016, 8(6), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060267 - 22 Jun 2016
Cited by 13
Abstract
Stream flow plays a crucial role in the environment, society, and the economy, and identifying the causes of changes in runoff is important to understanding the impact of climate change and human activity. This study examines the variation trends in recorded runoff for [...] Read more.
Stream flow plays a crucial role in the environment, society, and the economy, and identifying the causes of changes in runoff is important to understanding the impact of climate change and human activity. This study examines the variation trends in recorded runoff for the Xinshui River, a tributary of the Yellow River on the Loess Plateau, and uses hydrological simulations to investigate how climate change and human activity have contributed to those trends. Results show that the recorded runoff at the Daning station on the Xinshui River declined significantly from 1955–2008 with an abrupt change occurring in 1973. The Simplified Water Balance Model (SWBM) simulates monthly discharge well with a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficient of 78% and a relative error of volumetric fit (RE) of 0.32%. Runoff depth over the catchment in 1973–2008 fell by 25.5 mm relative to the previous period, with human activity and climate change contributing 60.6% and 39.4% of the total runoff reduction, respectively. However, the impacts induced by climate change and human activities are both tending to increase. Therefore, efforts to improve the ecology of the Loess Plateau should give sufficient attention to the impacts of climate change and human activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Allocation of Water Resources Based on Water Supply Security
Water 2016, 8(6), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060237 - 02 Jun 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Under the combined impacts of climate change and human activities, a series of water issues, such as water shortages, have arisen all over the world. According to current studies in Science and Nature, water security has become a frontier critical topic. Water [...] Read more.
Under the combined impacts of climate change and human activities, a series of water issues, such as water shortages, have arisen all over the world. According to current studies in Science and Nature, water security has become a frontier critical topic. Water supply security (WSS), which is the state of water resources and their capacity and their capacity to meet the demand of water users by water supply systems, is an important part of water security. Currently, WSS is affected by the amount of water resources, water supply projects, water quality and water management. Water shortages have also led to water supply insecurity. WSS is now evaluated based on the balance of the supply and demand under a single water resources condition without considering the dynamics of the varying conditions of water resources each year. This paper developed an optimal allocation model for water resources that can realize the optimal allocation of regional water resources and comprehensively evaluate WSS. The objective of this model is to minimize the duration of water shortages in the long term, as characterized by the Water Supply Security Index (WSSI), which is the assessment value of WSS, a larger WSSI value indicates better results. In addition, the simulation results of the model can determine the change process and dynamic evolution of the WSS. Quanzhou, a city in China with serious water shortage problems, was selected as a case study. The allocation results of the current year and target year of planning demonstrated that the level of regional comprehensive WSS was significantly influenced by the capacity of water supply projects and the conditions of the natural water resources. The varying conditions of the water resources allocation results in the same year demonstrated that the allocation results and WSSI were significantly affected by reductions in precipitation, decreases in the water yield coefficient, and changes in the underlying surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Variations on Soil Salinity and Sodicity and Its Driving Factors Analysis under Microtopography in Different Hydrological Conditions
Water 2016, 8(6), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060227 - 27 May 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
Over three million hectares of salt-affected soils characterized with high salinity and sodicity caused serious land degradation in Songnen Plain, northeast China. Soil salinity–sodicity heterogeneous distribution under microtopography is usually influenced by several environmental factors. The side direction movement of soil water driven [...] Read more.
Over three million hectares of salt-affected soils characterized with high salinity and sodicity caused serious land degradation in Songnen Plain, northeast China. Soil salinity–sodicity heterogeneous distribution under microtopography is usually influenced by several environmental factors. The side direction movement of soil water driven by water from depression is the key factor that aggravates the soil salinization under microtopography in dry condition. In this study, the differences in surface soil salinity–sodicity (0–10 cm) between dry year and wet year were compared, and the relationship between soil salinity–sodicity and environment factors such as ground elevation, surface ponding time, surface ponding depth, and soil moisture at four soil layers (0–10, 10–30, 30–60, and 60–100 cm) were analyzed using redundancy analysis (RDA) and simple correlation analysis (Pearson analysis) for two different hydrological years. Analyzed soil salinity–sodicity parameters include soluble ions (Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, CO32−, HCO3, Cl and SO42−), salt content (SC), electrical conductivity (EC), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), and pH. Results showed that values of SAR, Cl, and SO42− were significantly higher in dry year than in wet year, while Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, and HCO3 showed the opposite results. Values of Na+, CO32−, and EC were significantly higher at higher ground elevation gradient (20–40 cm) in dry year than wet year. Redundancy analysis indicated that spatial distributions and variations of salinity and sodicity in surface soil layer were related with environmental factors of ponding depth, ponding time and ground elevation in wet year, and they were related with ground elevation, ponding depth, ponding time, and soil moisture at 30–60 and 60–100 cm soil layer in dry year. Ponding depth and ground elevation rank first and second as the influential factors of the spatial distribution and variation of soil salinity–sodicity in wet year. However in dry year, primary and secondary influential factors are ground elevation and soil moisture at 60–100 cm soil layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Variations in the Runoff-Sediment Relationship of the Weihe River Basin Based on the Copula Function
Water 2016, 8(6), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060223 - 25 May 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study investigates the runoff-sediment relationship (RSR) of the Weihe River, a sandy waterway originating from the Loess Plateau, and considers the potential variations in RSR under an evolving environment. The double mass curve method was used to investigate RSR inflection points at [...] Read more.
This study investigates the runoff-sediment relationship (RSR) of the Weihe River, a sandy waterway originating from the Loess Plateau, and considers the potential variations in RSR under an evolving environment. The double mass curve method was used to investigate RSR inflection points at six hydrologic stations located in the Weihe River basin (WRB) spanning the period from 1956 to 2010. Because of its ability to accurately define nonlinear and asymmetric correlations between variables, the Copula function provided the joint probability distributions and revealed the joint probabilities of annual runoff and sediment yield through different periods. The results indicated: (1) The sediment yield and runoff exhibit decreasing trends, which was principally related to human activity such as soil and water conservation measures, water projects and industrial and domestic water use, (2) the RSR inflection points principally occurred around 1983 at the Weijiabu, Xianyang, Huaxian and Zhuangtou stations, whereas they were non-significant at the Linjiacun and Zhangjiashan stations. Changes in RSR are attributed to the irregular effect of human activity reducing the runoff and sediment output; and (3) the joint probability distributions of annual runoff and sediment yield varied under an evolving environment and were characterized by spatial variability, which is more evident in the mainstream areas of the Weihe River than in the tributary regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Impacts of Climate, Land Cover Change and Direct Human Activities on Runoff Variations in the Wei River Basin, China
Water 2016, 8(6), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060220 - 25 May 2016
Cited by 19
Abstract
Previous studies that quantified variations in runoff have mainly focused on the combined impacts of climate and human activities or climate and land cover change. Few have separated land cover change from human activities, which is critical for effective management of water resources. [...] Read more.
Previous studies that quantified variations in runoff have mainly focused on the combined impacts of climate and human activities or climate and land cover change. Few have separated land cover change from human activities, which is critical for effective management of water resources. This study aims to investigate the impact of changing environmental conditions on runoff using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model; we examined three categories: climate, land cover change and direct human activities. The study area was the Wei River Basin, a typical arid to semi-arid basin that was divided into five sub-zones (UZ, MZ, DZ, JZ and BZ). Our results showed the following: (1) the calibrated SWAT model produced satisfactory monthly flow processes over the baseline period from 1978 to 1986; (2) compared to the baseline period, the impact of climatic variations decreased and the impact of direct human activities increased from the 1990s to the 2000s, while the impact of land cover change was generally stable; and (3) climatic variations were the main cause of runoff declines over the entire basin during the 1990s and in the UZ, MZ and JZ areas during the 2000s, while direct human activities were most important in the DZ and BZ areas during the 2000s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Cascaded Reservoirs Group on Flow Regime in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River
Water 2016, 8(6), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060218 - 24 May 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
A large number of reservoirs have been built in the Yangtze River basin in the last few decades, the operation of which inevitably impacts on natural runoff. It is important to quantify the impacts of a cascade reservoir group operation on the hydrological [...] Read more.
A large number of reservoirs have been built in the Yangtze River basin in the last few decades, the operation of which inevitably impacts on natural runoff. It is important to quantify the impacts of a cascade reservoir group operation on the hydrological regime in the downstream Yangtze River. The indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA), range of variability approach (RVA), and Dundee hydrological regime assessment (DHRA) methods, which are based on five essential characteristics, i.e., magnitude, time, frequency, retardation, and rates of change, have been widely used to quantitatively analyze variation in the hydrological regime before and after the dam construction. The observed flow series at Yichang and Datong hydrological stations, located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, respectively, are divided into pre- and post-dam construction periods by the Mann-Kendall (MK) rank correlation method. The results of the MK test reveal that the annual minimum discharge at Yichang Station has significantly changed since 2000. The analysis results of the IHA, RVA, and DHAR methods show that the hydrologic regime changed moderately after 1999 and is close to severe change after 2008 at Yichang station; and changed slightly after 1999 (the post-dam construction period) and moderately after 2008 at Datong station. A new typical year assessment method that can avoid the requirement for a long data series was proposed and compared with the RVA and DHAR methods. The results indicate that the hydrologic regime severely changed at Yichang station and moderately changed at Datong in 2014, which is consistent with the results of the above methods. This study further demonstrates that the changes are mainly reflected in the factors related to low flow such as mean discharge from January to March, minimum discharge, frequency and duration of low pulse, and so on. It is expected that further hydrological alterations will occur as the number of large cascade reservoirs constructed and operated in the Yangtze River basin increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Frequency Analysis of High Flow Extremes in the Yingluoxia Watershed in Northwest China
Water 2016, 8(5), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050215 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Statistical modeling of hydrological extremes is significant to the construction of hydraulic engineering. This paper, taking the Yingluoxia watershed as the study area, compares the annual maximum (AM) series and the peaks over a threshold (POT) series in order to study the hydrological [...] Read more.
Statistical modeling of hydrological extremes is significant to the construction of hydraulic engineering. This paper, taking the Yingluoxia watershed as the study area, compares the annual maximum (AM) series and the peaks over a threshold (POT) series in order to study the hydrological extremes, examines the stationarity and independence assumptions for the two series, and discusses the estimations and uncertainties of return levels from the two series using the Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) and Generalized Pareto distribution (GPD) models. For comparison, the return levels from all threshold excesses with considering the extremal index are also estimated. For the POT series, the threshold is selected by examining the mean excess plot and the stability of the parameter estimates and by using common-sense. The serial correlation is reduced by filtering out a set of dependent threshold excesses. Results show that both series are approximately stationary and independent. The GEV model fits the AM series well and the GPD model fits the POT series well. The estimated return levels are fairly comparable for the AM series, the POT series, and all threshold excesses with considering the extremal index, with the difference being less than 10% for return periods longer than 10 years. The uncertainties of the estimated return levels are the highest for the AM series, and next for the POT series and then for all threshold excesses series in turn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Discussion on the Choice of Decomposition Level for Wavelet Based Hydrological Time Series Modeling
Water 2016, 8(5), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050197 - 12 May 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
The combination of wavelet analysis methods with data-driven models is a prevalent approach to conducting hydrological time series forecasting, but the results are affected by the accuracy of the wavelet decomposition of the series. The choice of decomposition level is one of the [...] Read more.
The combination of wavelet analysis methods with data-driven models is a prevalent approach to conducting hydrological time series forecasting, but the results are affected by the accuracy of the wavelet decomposition of the series. The choice of decomposition level is one of the key factors for the wavelet decomposition. In this paper, the data of daily precipitation and streamflow time series measured in the upper reach of the Heihe River Basin in Northwest China were used as an example, and the influence of the decomposition level on wavelet-based hydrological time series forecasting was investigated. The true components of the precipitation series were identified, and the modeling results using 10 decomposition levels and two decomposition types were compared. The results affirmed that the wavelet-based modeling performance is sensitive to the choice of decomposition level, which is determined by the time series analyzed, but has no relation with the decomposition type used. The essence of the choice of decomposition level is to reveal the complex variability of hydrological time series under multi-temporal scales, and first knowing the true components of series could guide the choice of decomposition level. Through this study, the relationship among original series’ characteristics, the choice of decomposition level, and the accuracy of wavelet-based hydrological time series forecasting can be more clearly understood, and it can be an improvement for wavelet-based data-driven modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Climate and Land Use/Cover Change on Streamflow Using SWAT and a Separation Method for the Xiying River Basin in Northwestern China
Water 2016, 8(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050192 - 07 May 2016
Cited by 12
Abstract
A better understanding of the effects of climate change and land use/cover change (LUCC) on streamflow promotes the long-term water planning and management in the arid regions of northwestern China. In this paper, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a separation [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the effects of climate change and land use/cover change (LUCC) on streamflow promotes the long-term water planning and management in the arid regions of northwestern China. In this paper, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a separation approach were used to evaluate and separate the effects of climate change and LUCC on streamflow in the Xiying River basin. The SWAT model was calibrated by the hydro-meteorological data from 1980–1989 to obtain the optimum parameters, which were validated by the subsequent application to the period between 1990–2008. Moreover, streamflow under several scenarios with different climate change and land use conditions in 1990–2008 and 2010–2069 were further investigated. Results indicate that, in the period of 1990–2008, the streamflow was dominated by climate change (i.e., changes in precipitation and temperature), which led to a 102.8% increase in the mean annual streamflow, whereas LUCC produced a decrease of 2.8%. Furthermore, in the future period of 2010–2039, the mean annual streamflow will decrease by 5.4% and 4.5% compared with the data of 1961–1990 under scenarios A2 and B2, respectively, while it will decrease by 21.2% and 16.9% in the period of 2040–2069, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Suitability Evaluation of River Bank Filtration along the Second Songhua River, China
Water 2016, 8(5), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050176 - 30 Apr 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
The Second Songhua River is the biggest river system in Jilin Province, China. In recent years, the rapid economic development in this area has increased the prominence of water resources and water-related environmental problems; these include surface water pollution and the overexploitation of [...] Read more.
The Second Songhua River is the biggest river system in Jilin Province, China. In recent years, the rapid economic development in this area has increased the prominence of water resources and water-related environmental problems; these include surface water pollution and the overexploitation of groundwater resources. Bank infiltration on the floodplains of the Second Songhua River is an important process of groundwater-surface water exchange under exploitation conditions. Understanding this process can help in the development of water resource management plans and strategies for the region. In this research, a multi-criteria evaluation index system was developed with which to evaluate the suitability of bank filtration along the Second Songhua River. The system was comprised of main suitability indexes for water quantity, water quality, the interaction intensity between surface water and groundwater, and the exploitation condition of groundwater resources. The index system was integrated into GIS (Geographic Information System) to complete the evaluation of the various indicators. According to the weighted sum of each index, the suitability of river bank filtration (RBF) in the study area was divided into five grades. Although the evaluation index system and evaluation method are applicable only to the Second Songhua River basin, the underlying principle and techniques it embodies can be applied elsewhere. For future generalization of the evaluation index system, the specific evaluation index and its scoring criteria should be modified appropriately based on local conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Drought and Carbon Cycling of Grassland Ecosystems under Global Change: A Review
Water 2016, 8(10), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100460 - 17 Oct 2016
Cited by 18
Abstract
In recent years, the increased intensity and duration of droughts have dramatically altered the structure and function of grassland ecosystems, which have been forced to adapt to this change in climate. Combinations of global change drivers such as elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, [...] Read more.
In recent years, the increased intensity and duration of droughts have dramatically altered the structure and function of grassland ecosystems, which have been forced to adapt to this change in climate. Combinations of global change drivers such as elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, warming, nitrogen (N) deposition, grazing, and land-use change have influenced the impact that droughts have on grassland C cycling. This influence, to some extent, can modify the relationship between droughts and grassland carbon (C) cycling in the multi-factor world. Unfortunately, prior reviews have been primarily anecdotal from the 1930s to the 2010s. We investigated the current state of the study on the interactive impacts of multiple factors under drought scenarios in grassland C cycling and provided scientific advice for dealing with droughts and managing grassland C cycling in a multi-factor world. Currently, adequate information is not available on the interaction between droughts and global change drivers, which would advance our understanding of grassland C cycling responses. It was determined that future experiments and models should specifically test how droughts regulate grassland C cycling under global changes. Previous multi-factor experiments of current and future global change conditions have studied various drought scenarios poorly, including changes in precipitation frequency and amplitude, timing, and interactions with other global change drivers. Multi-factor experiments have contributed to quantifying these potential changes and have provided important information on how water affects ecosystem processes under global change. There is an urgent need to establish a systematic framework that can assess ecosystem dynamic responses to droughts under current and future global change and human activity, with a focus on the combined effects of droughts, global change drivers, and the corresponding hierarchical responses of an ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
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