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Special Issue "Sustainable Water Systems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Miklas Scholz

Division of Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental engineering; constructed wetland; sustainable drainage system; biofiltration technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most sustainable water systems comprise novel combinations of traditional and new system components that mimic and work with nature. These systems will both protect public health and safety and will restore natural and human landscapes. Examples of sustainable natural designs include the following:

Watershed restoration promoting natural watershed flows and functions through localized water retention with sustainable flood retention basins, water use and recycling into natural wetlands, groundwater and air. These large-scale systems will restore and preserve vegetation and wildlife, and minimize climate change and global warming.

Green cities that focus on restoration of natural cycles of water infiltration and evaporation, through localized treatment and groundwater recharge via sustainable drainage systems, trees, parks and roof gardens and stream restoration.

Smart growth promoting patterns of neighbourhood development that interconnect nature and the built environment, preserve open space and respect natural drainage flows.

Green infrastructure such as most sustainable drainage systems (or best management practices) that trap storm water and sustain trees and plants. These plants restore beauty and improve the air quality in cities, moderate energy flows and provide potential food sources.

Small-scale onsite and neighborhood treatment via small-scale technologies such as wetlands that mimic natural membranes and filters and that utilize soils and smart localized controls.

Onsite reuse such as closed-loop water systems in residential and commercial buildings, where storm water and wastewater are treated and reused for landscape irrigation, toilet flushing and cooling, and where minimal waste leaves the site.

Therefore, we would like to call for papers to disseminate and share findings on similar sustainable water systems in addressing problems and opportunities scientifically. Papers are selected by a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, development and application in the wider area of sustainable water systems. Original research paper or critical reviews are invited.

Prof. Dr. Miklas Scholz
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biofiltration
  • green cities
  • green infrastructure
  • integrated constructed wetland
  • local wastewater treatment
  • local water reuse
  • modeling of sustainable water systems
  • smart growth
  • sustainable drainage system
  • watershed restoration

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Sustainable Water Systems
Water 2013, 5(1), 239-242; doi:10.3390/w5010239
Received: 21 January 2013 / Revised: 1 February 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable water systems often comprise complex combinations of traditional and new system components that mimic natural processes. These green systems aim to protect public health and safety, and restore natural and human landscapes. Green infrastructure elements such as most sustainable drainage systems trap
[...] Read more.
Sustainable water systems often comprise complex combinations of traditional and new system components that mimic natural processes. These green systems aim to protect public health and safety, and restore natural and human landscapes. Green infrastructure elements such as most sustainable drainage systems trap storm water but may contaminate groundwater. There is a need to summarize recent trends in sustainable water systems management in a focused document. The aim of this special issue is therefore to disseminate and share scientific findings on novel sustainable water systems addressing recent problems and opportunities. This special issue focuses on the following key topics: climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessment of water resources systems; holistic water management; carbon credits; potable water savings; sustainable water technologies; nutrient management; holistic storm water reuse; water and wastewater infrastructure planning; ecological status of watercourses defined by the Water Framework Directive. The combined knowledge output advances the understanding of sustainable water, wastewater and storm water systems in the developed and developing world. The research highlights the need for integrated decision-support frameworks addressing the impact of climate change on local and national water resources management strategies involving all relevant stakeholders at all levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Ecological Status of Rivers and Streams in Saxony (Germany) According to the Water Framework Directive and Prospects of Improvement
Water 2012, 4(4), 887-904; doi:10.3390/w4040887
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 23 September 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 9 November 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Federal State of Saxony (Germany) transposed the EU Water Framework Directive into state law, identifying 617 surface water bodies (rivers and streams) for implementation of the water framework directive (WFD). Their ecological status was classified by biological quality elements (macrophytes and phytobenthos,
[...] Read more.
The Federal State of Saxony (Germany) transposed the EU Water Framework Directive into state law, identifying 617 surface water bodies (rivers and streams) for implementation of the water framework directive (WFD). Their ecological status was classified by biological quality elements (macrophytes and phytobenthos, benthic invertebrates and fish, and in large rivers, phytoplankton) and specific synthetic and non-synthetic pollutants. Hydromorphological and physico-chemical quality elements were used to identify significant anthropogenic pressures, which surface water bodies are susceptible to, and to assess the effect of these pressures on the status of surface water bodies. In 2009, the data for classification of the ecological status and the main pressures and impacts on water bodies were published in the river basin management plans (RBMP) of the Elbe and Oder rivers. To that date, only 23 (4%) streams achieved an ecological status of “good”, while the rest failed to achieve the environmental objective. The two main reasons for the failure were significant alterations to the stream morphology (81% of all streams) and nutrient enrichment (62%) caused by point (industrial and municipal waste water treatment plants) and non-point (surface run-off from arable fields, discharges from urban drainages and decentralized waste water treatment plants) sources. It was anticipated that a further 55 streams would achieve the environmental objective by 2015, but the remaining 539 need extended deadlines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle Scenario Planning to Address Critical Uncertainties for Robust and Resilient Water–Wastewater Infrastructures under Conditions of Water Scarcity and Rapid Development
Water 2012, 4(4), 848-868; doi:10.3390/w4040848
Received: 13 September 2012 / Revised: 9 October 2012 / Accepted: 29 October 2012 / Published: 5 November 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ensuring water availability for multiple needs represents a sustainable development challenge globally. Rigid planning for fixed water supply and reuse targets with estimated demand growth and static assumptions of water availability can prove inflexible in responding to changing conditions. Formal methods to adaptively
[...] Read more.
Ensuring water availability for multiple needs represents a sustainable development challenge globally. Rigid planning for fixed water supply and reuse targets with estimated demand growth and static assumptions of water availability can prove inflexible in responding to changing conditions. Formal methods to adaptively respond to these challenges are needed, particularly in regions with limited natural resources and/or where multiple uncertain forces can influence water-resource availability and supply reliability. This paper assesses the application of Scenario Planning in one such region—Tucson, Arizona, USA—over the coming 40 years, and highlights broader lessons for addressing complex interrelationships of water management, infrastructure development, and population growth. Planners from multiple jurisdictions and researchers identified ten key forces and prioritized three with the greatest uncertainty and the greatest impact for water and development planning: (1) changing demands based on potential future density, layout, and per capita water use/reuse; (2) adequacy of current water supplies to meet future demands; and (3) evolving public perceptions of water reuse including potential options to supplement potable water supplies. Detailed scenario modeling using GIS and infrastructure cost optimization is under development and is now beginning to produce results, to be discussed in future publications. The process has clearly demonstrated the value of Scenario Planning as a tool for bringing stakeholders into agreement over highly complex and historically divisive problems, and for prioritizing amongst diverse uncertainties. The paper concludes by characterizing possible outcomes for this case and draws lessons for other water scarce regions experiencing rapid development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle Issues Affecting Community Attitudes and Intended Behaviours in Stormwater Reuse: A Case Study of Salisbury, South Australia
Water 2012, 4(4), 835-847; doi:10.3390/w4040835
Received: 17 September 2012 / Revised: 19 October 2012 / Accepted: 19 October 2012 / Published: 25 October 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stormwater has been recognised as one of the additional/alternative sources of water to augment freshwater supply and address the growing needs of humankind. South Australia has been a leader in the development of large-scale urban stormwater harvesting schemes in Australia for nearly 50
[...] Read more.
Stormwater has been recognised as one of the additional/alternative sources of water to augment freshwater supply and address the growing needs of humankind. South Australia has been a leader in the development of large-scale urban stormwater harvesting schemes in Australia for nearly 50 years and the Salisbury Local Government Area (LGA), in particular, is at the forefront of urban stormwater management and recycling, not only in the state of South Australia, but worldwide. This is mainly due to its pioneering achievements in stormwater capture and treatment through the managed aquifer recharge (MAR) process. However, there are many challenges in implementing water reuse strategies and past studies have identified public health concerns and public acceptance as major challenges. In line with this, our team conducted an internet survey to gauge the attitude and intentions of Salisbury LGA residents to use stormwater treated through the MAR process for non-potable uses. We found that respondents’ emotions and perceptions of health risk, regarding the use of treated stormwater, were closely related to the proximity of the end use to human contact. In terms of quality indicators, colour, odour, and salt levels were all seen as being important. Quality preferences were also closely related to the proximity of the end use to human contact, and reflected the use of water for indoor/outdoor purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle The Recovery of Two Polluted Subarctic Lakes—Towards Nutrient Management or a Pristine State?
Water 2012, 4(4), 793-814; doi:10.3390/w4040793
Received: 6 August 2012 / Revised: 20 September 2012 / Accepted: 27 September 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two small subarctic lakes were eutrophicated due to wastewater discharge from 1964. In 1975, a wastewater treatment plant was built and a recovery process started. This paper will: (1) compile the 1972–1974, 1978–1980 and 1985–1988 investigation data regarding phosphorous and microalgae for one
[...] Read more.
Two small subarctic lakes were eutrophicated due to wastewater discharge from 1964. In 1975, a wastewater treatment plant was built and a recovery process started. This paper will: (1) compile the 1972–1974, 1978–1980 and 1985–1988 investigation data regarding phosphorous and microalgae for one of the lakes; (2) complement with unpublished data from 1985 and 2003; and (3) introduce a discussion regarding three alternatives for future development of the lakes in their last phase of recovery. In the latest investigation, 2003, the lakes were assessed as almost recovered. They had returned to an oligotrophic state, but not fully to a pre-sewage situation. In the upper lake, more heavily polluted, the total phosphorous levels had decreased from an average of 168 µg P/L in 1972–1974 to an average of 12 µg P/L in 2003. The phytoplankton biomass had decreased twentyfold during the same period, from 11.2 mg/L to 0.6 mg/L. The Secchi depth had increased from 1.3 m to 2.8 m. The low oxygen level in late winter was still not recovered, thereby profoundly affecting residential organisms in the lakes. The low winter oxygen is assumed to remain so for a long time due to phosphorus release from sediments in the lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Discussion on Sustainable Water Technologies for Peri-Urban Areas of Mexico City: Balancing Urbanization and Environmental Conservation
Water 2012, 4(3), 739-758; doi:10.3390/w4030739
Received: 2 July 2012 / Revised: 14 August 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 24 September 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Often centralized water supply, sanitation and solid waste services struggle to keep up with the rapid expansion of urban areas. The peri-urban areas are at the forefront of this expansion and it is here where decentralized technologies are increasingly being implemented. The introduction
[...] Read more.
Often centralized water supply, sanitation and solid waste services struggle to keep up with the rapid expansion of urban areas. The peri-urban areas are at the forefront of this expansion and it is here where decentralized technologies are increasingly being implemented. The introduction of decentralized technologies allows for the development of new opportunities that enable the recovery and reuse of resources in the form of water, nutrients and energy. This resource-oriented management of water, nutrients and energy requires a sustainable system aimed at low resource use and high recovery and reuse rates. Instead of investigating each sector separately, as has been traditionally done, this article proposes and discusses a concept that seeks to combine the in- and outflows of the different sectors, reusing water and other liberated resources where possible. This paper shows and demonstrates examples of different types of sustainable technologies that can be implemented in the peri-urban areas of Mexico City [rainwater harvesting, EcoSan and biofiltros (small constructed wetlands), and (vermi-)composting]. An innovative participatory planning method, combining scenario development with a participatory planning workshop with key stakeholders, was applied and resulted in three concept scenarios. Specific technologies were then selected for each concept scenario that the technical feasibility and applicability was assessed. Following this, the resulting resource flows (nutrients, water and energy) were determined and analyzed. The results show that decentralized technologies not only have the potential to deliver adequate water supply, sanitation and solid waste services in peri-urban areas and lessen environmental pollution, but also can recover significant amounts of resources thereby saving costs and providing valuable inputs in, for instance, the agricultural sector. Social acceptance of the technologies and institutional cooperation, however, is key for successful implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle Potable Water Savings by Using Rainwater for Non-Potable Uses in Houses
Water 2012, 4(3), 607-628; doi:10.3390/w4030607
Received: 9 July 2012 / Revised: 14 August 2012 / Accepted: 17 August 2012 / Published: 29 August 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study is to assess the potential for potable water savings by using rainwater as well as the sizing of rainwater tanks in houses in some cities in the world. Daily rainfall data for thirteen cities located in different countries
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to assess the potential for potable water savings by using rainwater as well as the sizing of rainwater tanks in houses in some cities in the world. Daily rainfall data for thirteen cities located in different countries were used. Different catchment areas, number of residents, potable and rainwater demands were considered in order to assess their impact on the potential for potable water savings and sizing of rainwater tanks. The analysis was performed using the Netuno computer program. The results showed that the greatest potential for potable water savings is obtained in cities where there is constant rainfall, which does not always mean high annual average rainfall. Cities with well-defined periods of drought require larger tank capacities. Overall, it was observed that all parameters (catchment area, number of residents, potable and rainwater demands, and rainfall) influence the sizing of the tank for rainwater storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle Creation of Carbon Credits by Water Saving
Water 2012, 4(3), 533-544; doi:10.3390/w4030533
Received: 13 June 2012 / Revised: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 28 June 2012 / Published: 9 July 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Until now, as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Japanese homes, the emphasis has been on reduction of energy consumption for air-conditioning and lighting. In recent years, there has been progress in CO2 emission reduction through research into the water-saving
[...] Read more.
Until now, as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Japanese homes, the emphasis has been on reduction of energy consumption for air-conditioning and lighting. In recent years, there has been progress in CO2 emission reduction through research into the water-saving performance of bathroom fixtures such as toilets and showers. Simulations have shown that CO2 emissions associated with water consumption in Japanese homes can be reduced by 25% (1% of Japan’s total CO2 emissions) by 2020 through the adoption of the use of water-saving fixtures. In response to this finding, a program to promote the replacement of current fixtures with water-saving toilet bowls and thermally insulated bathtubs has been added to the Government of Japan’s energy-saving policy. Furthermore, CO2 emission reduction through widespread use of water-saving fixtures has been adopted by the domestic credit system promoted by the Government of Japan as a way of achieving CO2 emission-reduction targets; application of this credit system has also begun. As part of a bilateral offset credit mechanism promoted by the Government of Japan, research to evaluate the CO2 reduction potential of the adoption of water-saving fixtures has been done in the city of Dalian, in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle Protecting People, Infrastructure, Economies, and Ecosystem Assets: Water Management in the Face of Climate Change
Water 2012, 4(2), 367-388; doi:10.3390/w4020367
Received: 22 February 2012 / Revised: 16 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 11 April 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (842 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent literature outlines significant impacts from climate change on many areas of the world, with much focus on causes and impacts. However the long-term trends demand adaptation strategies. While a variety of solutions have been suggested, some politically viable, others not, perhaps the
[...] Read more.
Recent literature outlines significant impacts from climate change on many areas of the world, with much focus on causes and impacts. However the long-term trends demand adaptation strategies. While a variety of solutions have been suggested, some politically viable, others not, perhaps the most significant barrier to a cohesive approach to climate adaptation is the failure from the public and policy-makers to realize that different areas will be affected differently and that “one-size-fits-all” policy solutions will not be successful. In addition, as one area may identify and respond to challenges in their location, others should be supportive of those efforts, realizing that while such actions may be neither desirable nor appropriate for them, they may need support for solutions in the future in their areas. This project was designed as a framework to identify solutions and demonstrate differences between small regions and locales based on field conditions. The State of Florida was used as a case example to outline these differences because Florida is faced with significant challenges in the coming years related to water resources, the use of funds and political capital, and the potential for economic disruption. The intent is that the results of this project will lead to a series of recommendations and action steps for policy makers to conserve the state’s assets. A similar approach can be used in other states and countries to assess the likely policy and infrastructure needs for different locales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change Adaptation and Vulnerability Assessment of Water Resources Systems in Developing Countries: A Generalized Framework and a Feasibility Study in Bangladesh
Water 2012, 4(2), 345-366; doi:10.3390/w4020345
Received: 15 February 2012 / Revised: 12 March 2012 / Accepted: 29 March 2012 / Published: 10 April 2012
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Water is the primary medium through which climate change influences the Earth’s ecosystems and therefore people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. Besides climatic change, current demographic trends, economic development and related land use changes have direct impact on increasing demand for freshwater resources. Taken together,
[...] Read more.
Water is the primary medium through which climate change influences the Earth’s ecosystems and therefore people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. Besides climatic change, current demographic trends, economic development and related land use changes have direct impact on increasing demand for freshwater resources. Taken together, the net effect of these supply and demand changes is affecting the vulnerability of water resources. The concept of ‘vulnerability’ is not straightforward as there is no universally accepted approach for assessing vulnerability. In this study, we review the evolution of approaches to vulnerability assessment related to water resources. From the current practices, we identify research gaps, and approaches to overcome these gaps a generalized assessment framework is developed. A feasibility study is then presented in the context of the Lower Brahmaputra River Basin (LBRB). The results of the feasibility study identify the current main constraints (e.g., lack of institutional coordination) and opportunities (e.g., adaptation) of LBRB. The results of this study can be helpful for innovative research and management initiatives and the described framework can be widely used as a guideline for the vulnerability assessment of water resources systems, particularly in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessCorrection Nanninga, T.A., et al. Discussion on Sustainable Water Technologies for Peri-Urban Areas of Mexico City: Balancing Urbanization and Environmental Conservation. Water 2012, 4, 739–758
Water 2013, 5(4), 2037; doi:10.3390/w5042037
Received: 6 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract There is one mistake in this article [1]. On page 753, line 12, the phrase “(application load of 80 tons/ha)” should be “(application load of 80 kg/ha)”. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Systems)

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