Special Issue "Watershed Protection and Management"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Joan M. Brehm
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Campus Box 4660, Schroeder Hall 332, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4660, USA
Tel. +1 309 438 7177
Interests: natural resource sociology; watershed social assessment; community; place attachment; natural resource management
Prof. Dr. Brian W. Eisenhauer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plymouth State University, 17 High Street, MSC #39, Plymouth, NH 03264, USA
Tel. +1 603 535 2497
Interests: environmental communications; watershed social assessment; sustainability; place attachment; natural resource management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Watersheds are gaining significant prominence as an important scale to address water quality and quantity issues for the future. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides funding for projects that utilize a watershed scale as a mechanism to address non-point source pollution and the adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs). Watersheds provide an important ecologically relevant scale for research, outreach, and other efforts to address issues of water quality and quantity, especially for growing populations. However, watershed-based management also presents many challenges, for example, watershed boundaries do not adhere to political boundaries or jurisdictions, and management in such settings often involves collaboration among competing interests and overlapping regulatory directives. For successful collaborations, an accurate understanding of the resource is essential, and using the geo-spatial framework of a watershed to frame research and analyses facilitates the development of analytical techniques that can more clearly address growing threats to water quality, such as non-point source pollution (NPS), within bounded systems. Similarly, a constituent’s attitudes towards water issues, attachment to place, and other important social factors affecting the management of water resources are well understood at a watershed scale. This Special Issue of Water is designed to contribute to the growing body of literature that focuses on the watershed scale as a mechanism to address threats to water quality, as well as serve as effective vectors for water stewardship and conservation. The information and analyses are intended to contribute to a better understanding of how we can utilize the watershed scale framework to protect our water resources around the globe and into the future.

Prof. Dr. Joan M. Brehm
Prof. Dr. Brian W. Eisenhauer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • watershed management
  • watershed protection
  • non-point source pollution
  • water quality
  • policy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Identifying Efficient Nitrate Reduction Strategies in the Upper Danube
Water 2016, 8(9), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8090371 - 30 Aug 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Nitrogen losses in the form of Nitrate (N-NO3) from point and diffuse sources of pollution are recognized to be the leading cause of water body impairment throughout Europe. Implementation of conservation programs is perceived as being crucial for restoring and protecting [...] Read more.
Nitrogen losses in the form of Nitrate (N-NO3) from point and diffuse sources of pollution are recognized to be the leading cause of water body impairment throughout Europe. Implementation of conservation programs is perceived as being crucial for restoring and protecting the good ecological status of freshwater bodies. The success of conservation programs depends on the efficient identification of management solutions with respect to the envisaged environmental and economic objectives. This is a complex task, especially considering that costs and effectiveness of conservation strategies depend on their locations. We applied a multi-objective, spatially explicit analysis tool, the R-SWAT-DM framework, to search for efficient, spatially-targeted solution of Nitrate abatement in the Upper Danube Basin. The Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model served as the nonpoint source pollution estimator for current conditions as well as for scenarios with modified agricultural practices and waste water treatment upgrading. A spatially explicit optimization analysis that considered point and diffuse sources of Nitrate was performed to search for strategies that could achieve largest pollution abatement at minimum cost. The set of optimal spatial conservation strategies identified in the Basin indicated that it could be possible to reduce Nitrate loads by more than 50% while simultaneously provide a higher income. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
“Like a Second Home”: Conceptualizing Experiences within the Fox River Watershed through a Framework of Emplacement
Water 2016, 8(8), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080352 - 18 Aug 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
We propose and implement a new emplacement framework through exploration of the socio-spatial landscape of the Fox River Watershed (FRW) in Northeastern Wisconsin from a particular cultural perspective. Based primarily upon interviews conducted with 16 Hmong people to better understand and learn from [...] Read more.
We propose and implement a new emplacement framework through exploration of the socio-spatial landscape of the Fox River Watershed (FRW) in Northeastern Wisconsin from a particular cultural perspective. Based primarily upon interviews conducted with 16 Hmong people to better understand and learn from the experiences of an important but overlooked FRW stakeholder group, we present our findings through the components of this framework: displacement, misplacement, replacement, and emplacement. Our research reveals that the strength of Hmong culture has persisted through tremendous loss and displacement, to survive and evolve in a new setting. The resettlement of Hmong people in the FRW has afforded relatively widespread access to landscapes that facilitate recreation, social interaction, and food production, enhancing physical and mental health and augmenting household incomes. It has also led to empowerment of women and the emergence of a generation of group members with formal ecological knowledge to add to their existing ethnobiological understanding and cultural foundation of ecological conscience. For such reasons, conservation organizations, policy makers, and departments of natural resources should look to build linking social capital between those in power and marginalized groups such as the Hmong. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Water Level Loggers as a Low-Cost Tool for Monitoring of Stormwater Control Measures
Water 2016, 8(8), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8080346 - 15 Aug 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
Stormwater control measures (SCMs) are a key component of watershed health in urbanized areas. SCMs are used to increase infiltration and reduce discharge to streams or storm sewer systems during rain events. Monitoring is important for the evaluation of design and causes of [...] Read more.
Stormwater control measures (SCMs) are a key component of watershed health in urbanized areas. SCMs are used to increase infiltration and reduce discharge to streams or storm sewer systems during rain events. Monitoring is important for the evaluation of design and causes of failure in SCMs. However, the expense of monitoring means it is not always included in stormwater control planning. This study shows how low-cost water level loggers can be used to answer certain questions about SCM performance. Five case studies are presented that use water level loggers to evaluate the overflow of basins, compare a traditional stormpipe trench with an infiltration trench, monitor timing of blue roof storage, show the effects of retrofitting a basin, and provide long term performance data. Water level loggers can be used to answer questions about the timing and location of stormwater overflows, which helps to evaluate the effectiveness of SCMs. More expensive monitoring and modeling can be used as a follow up if needed to more thoroughly assess a site. Nonetheless, low-cost monitoring can be a first step in identifying sites that need improvement or additional monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Probability of Surface Artificialization in Zêzere Watershed (Portugal) Using Environmental Data
Water 2016, 8(7), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8070289 - 13 Jul 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
The land use and land cover (LUC) of the Zêzere watershed (Portugal) have undergone major changes in recent decades, with the increase of artificial surfaces. This trend is quantified in some studies, but the probability of the increase of this type of LUC, [...] Read more.
The land use and land cover (LUC) of the Zêzere watershed (Portugal) have undergone major changes in recent decades, with the increase of artificial surfaces. This trend is quantified in some studies, but the probability of the increase of this type of LUC, nor the places where the next transitions or land use/cover changes (LUCC) for artificial surfaces will have high probability of occurrence has not yet been assessed. This research presents an evaluation of these two aspects, by means of bivariate statistical models (fuzzy logic and information value) and environmental data. The artificialization probability by sectors within the same watershed is also evaluated, to further understand which areas will require greater attention, taking into account the environmental conditions favorable to the occurrence of this process and bearing in mind the conditions under which this process took place in the past. The results obtained using these models were assessed independently, through curves of success, noting that the modeling through the fuzzy gamma presents slightly better efficiency in determining the probability of artificialization surfaces in the study area. The area with the highest probability of artificialization is mostly located in the SW of this watershed, but high probabilities are also present in the upstream sector, being those areas that require further preventive measures once they have influence on the water quality and quantity in the main reservoirs of this watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Salinity on Saint-Augustin Lake, Canada: Remediation Measures at Watershed Scale
Water 2016, 8(7), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8070285 - 11 Jul 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
Winter road network management is a source of anthropogenic salinity in the Saint-Augustin Lake watershed (Quebec City, QC, Canada). To prevent the potential impact caused by road runoff involving de-icing salts (NaCl) and trace metals (Cd and Pb) on the watershed, a full-scale [...] Read more.
Winter road network management is a source of anthropogenic salinity in the Saint-Augustin Lake watershed (Quebec City, QC, Canada). To prevent the potential impact caused by road runoff involving de-icing salts (NaCl) and trace metals (Cd and Pb) on the watershed, a full-scale treatment chain system (including a detention basin, a filtering bed, and a constructed wetland) was built. Average Cl and Na concentrations in groundwater were higher in wells affected by road network (125 mg/L Cl and 64 mg/L Na) than in control wells (13 mg/L Cl and 33 mg/L Na) suggesting a contamination by de-icing salts. The monitoring of influent and effluent surface water in the treatment system has shown a seasonal dependence in NaCl concentrations and electrical conductivity values, being the highest in summer, linked with the lower precipitation and higher temperature. Concentration ranges were as follows: 114–846 mg/L Na and 158–1757 mg/L Cl (summer) > 61–559 mg/L Na and 63–799 mg/L Cl (spring and autumn). The treatment system removal efficiency was significant, however with seasonal variations: 16%–20% Cl, 3%–25% Na, 7%–10% Cd and 7%–36% Pb. The treatment system has shown an interesting potential to mitigate the impact of anthropogenic salinity at watershed scale with higher expected performances in the subsequent years of operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Prioritization of Watersheds across Mali Using Remote Sensing Data and GIS Techniques for Agricultural Development Planning
Water 2016, 8(6), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060260 - 18 Jun 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Implementing agricultural water management programs over appropriate spatial extents can have positive effects on water access and erosion management. Lack of access to water for domestic and agricultural uses represents a major constraint on agricultural productivity and perpetuates poverty and hunger in sub-Saharan [...] Read more.
Implementing agricultural water management programs over appropriate spatial extents can have positive effects on water access and erosion management. Lack of access to water for domestic and agricultural uses represents a major constraint on agricultural productivity and perpetuates poverty and hunger in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This lack of access is the result of erratic precipitation, poor water management, limited knowledge of hydrological systems, and inadequate investment in water infrastructure. Water management programs should be made by multi-disciplinary teams that consider the interrelationship between hydraulic and anthropogenic factors. This paper proposes a method to prioritize watersheds for water management and agricultural development across Mali (Western Africa) using remote sensing data and GIS tools. The method involves deriving a set of relevant thematic layers from satellite imagery. Satellite images from Landsat ETM+ were used to generate thematic layers such as land use/land cover. Slope and drainage density maps were derived from Shuttle RADAR Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) at 90 m spatial resolution. Population grids were available from the Global rural-urban mapping project (GRUMP) database for the year 2000 and mean rainfall maps were extracted from Tropical rainfall measuring mission (TRMM) grids for each year between 1988 and 2014. Each thematic layer was divided into classes that were assigned a rank for agriculture and livelihoods development provided by experts in the relevant field (e.g., Soil scientist ranking the soil classes) and published literature on those themes. Zones of priority were delineated based on the combination of high scoring ranks from each thematic layer. Five categories of priority zones ranging from “very high” to “very low” were determined based on total score percentages. Field verification was then undertaken in selected categories to check the priority assigned to each class using a random sampling method. Watershed boundaries were prepared at 1000 ha scale and overlaid on the priority map to identify watersheds that were in a very high priority zone. The importance and efficiency of using remote sensing to prioritize watershed interventions across countries is critical due to the limited technical and financial resources available in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Risk Due to Chemicals Transferred in a Watershed: A Case of an Aquifer Storage Transfer and Recovery Site
Water 2016, 8(6), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060242 - 04 Jun 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
This paper presents an analysis of the potential risks of chemicals that can affect an aquifer storage transfer and recovery (ASTR) site. ASTR is a water supply system that injects surface water into an aquifer and then extracts naturally filtered groundwater. The pilot [...] Read more.
This paper presents an analysis of the potential risks of chemicals that can affect an aquifer storage transfer and recovery (ASTR) site. ASTR is a water supply system that injects surface water into an aquifer and then extracts naturally filtered groundwater. The pilot site of the ASTR supplying drinking water is located downstream of the Nakdong River in South Korea. Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) was adopted to ensure suitable water quality in response to the deteriorated water quality of the Nakdong River. HACCP is a proactive management system for ensuring consistent confidence in food (or water). Hazard analysis, the first of the seven principles of HACCP, assesses physical, microbial, chemical, and radioactive hazards. This study focuses on the chemicals that are most likely to be involved in major hazardous events. Pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR) data were used to analyze potential risks of chemicals. A PRTR is a national environmental database of potentially hazardous chemicals. Potential risk analysis considers the total amount of chemicals transferred off-site for treatment or disposal. Fifty-five cities and the top 10 chemicals released in the Nakdong River basin were investigated. Potential risk was defined as a function of total transfers, the relative distance, and toxicity. The top 10 cities with high potential risks were identified, and the city with the highest potential risk turned out to be Ulju. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Water-Quality Loads to the Reservoirs of the Upper Trinity River Basin, Texas, USA
Water 2015, 7(10), 5689-5704; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7105689 - 20 Oct 2015
Cited by 4
Abstract
The Upper Trinity River Basin (TRB) is the most populated river basin and one of the largest water suppliers in Texas. However, sediment and nutrient loads are reducing the capacity of reservoirs and degrading water quality. The objectives of this study are to [...] Read more.
The Upper Trinity River Basin (TRB) is the most populated river basin and one of the largest water suppliers in Texas. However, sediment and nutrient loads are reducing the capacity of reservoirs and degrading water quality. The objectives of this study are to calibrate and validate the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model for ten study watersheds within the Upper TRB in order to assess nutrient loads into major reservoirs in the basin and to predict the effects of point source elimination and urbanization on nutrient loads through scenario analyses. SWAT performed reasonably well for the current condition except for two out of five tributaries in the Eagle Mountain watershed and total phosphorous OPEN ACCESS Water 2015, 7 5690 in Richland-Chambers. The impacts of simulated scenarios varied within watersheds. Point-source elimination achieved reductions ranging from 0.3% to 24% in total phosphorus and 1% to 56% in total nitrogen received by the reservoirs. Population and development projections were used to examine the impacts of urbanization on each watershed. Projected urbanization in 2030 had large effects on simulated total phosphorus loads in some watersheds, ranging from a reduction of 1% to an increase of 111%. Projected urbanization also affected simulated total nitrogen loads, from a reduction of 3% to an increase of 24%. One limitation of this study is the lack of long-term, up-to-date water quality data due to discontinued water-quality monitoring stations. Although careful considerations were given to the adjustment of parameter values reflecting various aspects of the nutrient processes, further data collection will enhance modeling study for assessment of these watersheds’ water resources and environmental problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Protection and Management)
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