ISSN / EISSN : 2073-4441 / 2073-4441
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 13,486
Latest articles in this journal
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202892
Quantitatively assessing the characteristics of river streamflow variation and conducting research on attribution identification are the basis for formulating climate-change response strategies and rational use of water resources. Based on the daily streamflow data of the Zhuangtou Hydrological Station in 1970–2018, this paper analyzes the streamflow changes in the Beiluo River Basin and studies the impact of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the streamflow in this basin. A non-parametric Mann–Kendall test and Pettitt’s test were used to determine the trend and detect abrupt changes of streamflow and baseflow. The method based on precipitation and potential evapotranspiration, as well as the double-mass curve of precipitation–streamflow, was established to evaluate the impact of climate change and non-climate factors on annual streamflow. The results reveal a statistically significant downward trend (p = 0.01) in both annual streamflow and baseflow, with the abrupt point year in 1994 and 1988, respectively. When comparing to a modest declining trend in annual average precipitation, we see that the temperature showed a significant upward trend (p = 0.01), whose abrupt point year was 1996. Under the policy of returning farmland to forest, land-use analysis shows that the area of farmland had decreased by 222.4 km2, of which 31.4% was mainly converted into the forestland. By the end of 2015, the area of forestland had increased by 123.4 km2, which has largely caused streamflow decrease. For the method based on precipitation and potential evapotranspiration, climate change contributed 43.7% of the annual streamflow change, and human activities (mainly refers to LUCC) contributed 56.3%. For the DMC of precipitation–streamflow, the precipitation contributed 9.4%, and non-precipitation factors (mainly refers to human activities) contributed 90.6%, and human activities played a more vital part in driving streamflow reduction in different decades, with a contribution rate of more than 70%. This study is of great practical significance to the planning, management, development and utilization of water resources in basins.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202897
Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is an approach that can be used to estimate COVID-19 prevalence in the population by detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in wastewater. As the WBE approach uses pooled samples from the study population, it is an inexpensive and non-invasive mass surveillance method compared to individual testing. Thus, it offers a good complement in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) facing high costs of testing or social stigmatization, and it has a huge potential to monitor SARS-CoV-2 and its variants to curb the global COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this review is to systematize the current evidence about the application of the WBE approach in mass surveillance of COVID-19 infection in LMICs, as well as its future potential. Among other parameters, population size contributing the fecal input to wastewater is an important parameter for COVID-19 prevalence estimation. It is easier to back-calculate COVID-19 prevalence in the community with centralized wastewater systems, because there can be more accurate estimates about the size of contributing population in the catchment. However, centralized wastewater management systems are often of low quality (or even non-existent) in LMICs, which raises a major concern about the ability to implement the WBE approach. However, it is possible to mobilize the WBE approach, if large areas are divided into sub-areas, corresponding to the existing wastewater management systems. In addition, a strong coordination between stakeholders is required for estimating population size respective to wastewater management systems. Nevertheless, further international efforts should be leveraged to strengthen the sanitation infrastructures in LMICs, using the lessons gathered from the current COVID-19 pandemic to be prepared for future pandemics.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202899
The spatial distributions of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in surface sediments are of great significance in studying the ecological process of nutrient cycling in intertidal flats. However, little is known about N and P’s spatial distribution in intertidal flats of the Yellow River Delta (YRD). We analyzed the N and P contents in surface sediments and Suaeda glauca density at the low-tidal level to identify the spatial distributions of nutrients and their influencing factors in coastal tidal flat sediments. The results showed that the total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in this study were both lower than the background values of China’s shallow sea sediments. The spatial distributions of N and P had significantly spatial heterogeneity, while those of the nutrients at different distances from the low-tidal level to the coastline showed no significant distance effects. The spatial distribution of S. glauca in coastal tidal flats had significant location characteristics and was closely related to the distribution of TN and pH. The TN in non-estuarine intertidal flats was less than that in estuaries; in contrast, the TP was higher in non-estuaries. There are some differences of N and P between estuary and non-estuary areas.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202902
Phosphorus is one of the main factors causing water eutrophication, and the traditional phosphorus removal process causes phosphorus-rich sludge pollution. The facultative MBR process uses phosphate-reducing bacteria to convert phosphate into directly recyclable gaseous phosphine to solve this malpractice and make sewage become a new phosphorus resource. In order to investigate the phosphorus removal efficiency and the mechanism under facultative conditions, run the facultative MBR reactor for 30 days. The COD value, phosphate concentration, and phosphine yield were measured, and the changes of sludge metabolic pathway abundance and community composition in different periods were detected. According to the measurement, the maximum phosphorus removal efficiency is 43.11% and the maximum yield of phosphine is 320 μg/m3 (measured by the volume of sewage). Combined with thermodynamic analysis, the microbial mechanism of the reactor was proposed, and the possible transformation pathway of phosphorus was analyzed. At last, changes the phosphorus removal process from the ‘removal type’ to the ‘recycling type’.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202890
Calibration of a water distribution system (WDS) hydraulic model requires adjusting several parameters including hourly or sub-hourly demand multipliers, pipe roughness and settings of various hydraulic components. The water usage patterns or demand patterns in a 24-h cycle varies with the customer types and can be related to many factors including spatial and temporal factors. The demand patterns can also vary on a daily basis. For an extended period of hydraulic simulation, the modelling tools allows modelling of the variable demand patterns using daily multiplication factors. In this study, a linear modelling approach was used to handle the variable demand patterns. The parameters of the linear model allow modelling of the variable demand patterns with respect to the baseline values, and they were optimised to maximise the association with the observed data. This procedure was applied to calibrate the hydraulic model developed in EPANET of a large drinking water distribution system in regional South Australia. Local and global optimisation techniques were used to find the optimal values of the linear modelling parameters. The result suggests that the approach has the potential to model the variable demand patterns in a WDS hydraulic model and it improves the objective function of calibration.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202895
High fertilizer application and over-irrigation in sugarcane systems can cause considerable N2O emissions. Optimized water-fertilization management which reduces N2O emissions, while maintaining sugarcane biomass, is crucial, but may affect nitrogen fixation by sugarcane. This study evaluated the combined effect of water-fertilization on sugarcane biomass and nitrogen fixation in field trials in southern China. Treatments included drip and spray irrigation, with three levels (0% (low), 50% (medium), 100% (high)) of irrigation and of fertilizer. A rain-fed crop (no irrigation or fertilizer) was included as the control. The results showed that (1) spray irrigation with medium water and high fertilization increased biomass. The optimum combination in sugarcane elongation stage was drip irrigation with medium water and high fertilization, while drip irrigation with high water and high fertilization was the best choice for maturity stage. (2) For sugarcane nitrogen (δ15N) content, spray irrigation with medium water and high fertilization was the best combination in seedling and tillering stages. The optimum combination in the elongation stage was drip irrigation with medium water and high fertilization, and in maturity stage was drip irrigation with high water and high fertilization. (3) For soil (δ15N content), drip irrigation with high water and high fertilization proved optimal for seedling, tillering, and maturity stages. (4) In seedling stage, sugarcane (δ15N content) was found to be strongly correlated with leaf area index, soil water, soil temperature, and soil electrical conductivity. Soil (δ15N content) was correlated with photosynthesis and soil temperature. In conclusion, drip irrigation appears most suitable for field planting, while the best treatment in seedling and tillering stages is medium water-high fertilization, and that the best in elongation stage is high water-medium fertilization. The optimum water-fertilizer combinations identified here can provide a scientific basis for optimization and management of irrigation and fertilization in China and other regions with similar environments.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202898
Urban sanitation is a major challenge during the rapid urbanization being experienced by developing countries, as a low sewerage infrastructure capacity and irregular onsite wastewater treatment raise the risk of surface water contamination. The application of specific sewage markers to characterize contaminant sources is therefore essential for managing urban sanitation issues. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of eight sewage markers (acetaminophen, caffeine, carbamazepine, cotinine, sulfamethoxazole, sulfapyridine, atenolol, and acesulfame) in various water sources within urban area of the Galle City, Sri Lanka. The total concentration of the eight markers was in the order of hospital discharge > sewage treatment plant (STP) influent > surface drainage system. Among the eight selected markers, acetaminophen was dominant in hospital discharge (70.2–123.6 µg/L) while caffeine was the largest contributor to STP influent (16.2–68.7 µg/L) and surface drainage (0.95–21.73 µg/L). We then proposed and tested a set of criteria for evaluating the applicability of markers, including removal efficiency, concentration magnitude, excretion rate, and wastewater burden. The labile markers caffeine and acetaminophen were suitable for characterizing domestic gray and black wastewater, respectively. These results imply that the city’s drainage system receives both domestic graywater and human excretion, likely due to insufficient on-site sanitation systems. The conservative marker carbamazepine was useful for tracking hospital residues over long distances; these results imply that hospital wastewater treatment was not working properly, accounting for pharmaceutical residues reaching surface water via a hidden discharges connected to the drainage system.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202900
Water level fluctuation (WLF) has a significant effect on aquatic macrophytes, but few experimental studies have examined the effect of WLF on submerged community succession, especially from a large-scale perspective. In this study, field monitoring of WLF and submerged macrophytes was conducted in Yilong Lake (SE China) over two years, and the impacts of WLF on the growth characteristics and the community structure of submerged macrophytes were determined. The results show that the biomass of submerged macrophytes decreased significantly after the water level increased and submerged macrophytes could cope with the adverse environment by adjusting their growth posture, for example, increasing plant length and reducing branch number. However, different submerged plants have different regulatory abilities, which leads to a change in the community structure. Myriophyllum spicatum, Stuckeniapectinata, and Najas marina had better adaptation abilities to WLF than Najas minor and Utricularia vulgaris. Changes in water depth, dissolved oxygen, and transparency significantly contribute to the effect of WLF on submerged plant communities. Therefore, when determining the range of WLF, the above three critical factors and submerged plant species should be considered. WLF changed the spatial distribution of the aquatic plant community. When water levels rose, the density of the submerged macrophyte community in the original growth region reduced as the emergent plants migrated to shallower water, and the seed bank germination was aided by transparent water produced among emergent plants. This can be used as a pioneering measure to restore submerged plants in eutrophic lakes with low transparency. In addition, a suitable water depth created by WLF was conducive to activating the seed bank and improving the diversity of aquatic plants. Finally, a distribution map of aquatic plants in Yilong Lake is drawn.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202901
Rivers as the link between terrestrial ecosystems and oceans have been demonstrated to transport a large amount of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to downstream ecosystems. In the source region of the Yellow River (SRYR), climate warming has resulted in the rapid retreat of glaciers and permafrost, which has raised discussion on whether DOC production will increase significantly. Here, we present three-year data of DOC concentrations in river water and precipitation, explore the deposition and transport processes of DOC from SRYR. Results show that annual mean concentrations of riverine DOC ranged from 2.03 to 2.34 mg/L, with an average of 2.21 mg/L. Its seasonal variation is characterized by the highest concentration in spring and summer (2.65 mg/L and 2.62 mg/L, respectively), followed by autumn (1.95 mg/L), and the lowest in winter (1.44 mg/L), which is closely related to changes in river runoff under the influence of precipitation and temperature. The average concentration of DOC in precipitation (2.18 mg/L) is comparable with riverine DOC, while the value is inversely related to precipitation amount and is considered to be the result of precipitation dilution. DOC deposition flux in precipitation that is affected by both precipitation amount and DOC concentration roughly was 86,080, 105,804, and 73,072 tons/yr from 2013 to 2015, respectively. DOC flux delivered by the river ranged from 24,629 to 37,539 tons/yr and was dominated by river discharge. Although permafrost degradation in SRYR is increasing, DOC yield is not as significant as previously assumed and is much less than other large rivers in the world.
Water, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202887
Terrorism is a crucial danger to the world, especially the Middle East. As Jordan is amidst countries with armed conflicts, its natural resources (in particularly, water resources) are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. In this paper, possible biological and chemical weapons that can be used as intimidation, along with their threats, vulnerabilities, and inactivation methods, concerning water treatment processes in the municipality of Irbid, are studied. Irbid is the second largest city in terms of population in Jordan, after the capital city of Amman, and it is the nearest governorate to Syria borders that is considered a war zone. After conducting risk assessment that takes into consideration criticality, threats, and vulnerability, it appears that only one of the eight units, which is the Makhraba pumping station, along with the Bushra water tank, were identified as medium risk. The other units have treatment processes and proper precautions that are able to inactivate or prevent any possible contamination. A response plan should be set by developing a telemetry system with specific sensors that can detect any sudden and unacceptable threats to the water quality and that has the ability to shut down the concerned units automatically.