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Special Issue "Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Athanasios Loukas (Website)

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Thessaly, 38334 Volos, Greece
Phone: +30-2421074168
Fax: +30-2421074169
Interests: surface hydrology; water resources management and engineering; climate change impacts on hydrology and water resources; extreme hydrological events (floods and droughts)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays anthropogenic climate change and its socioeconomic impacts are major concerns of mankind. Global surface temperature has been increased significantly during the last century and will continue to rise unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced (IPCC, 2001; 2007). Despite uncertainties in future climates, there is considerable evidence that there will be substantial impacts on the environment and human interests. The effects of climate change on hydrological, ecological and socioeconomic regimes have become a priority area, both for process research and for water management strategies. Climate change effects are manifold and vary regionally, even locally, in their intensity, duration and areal extent. However, immediate damages to humans and their properties are not obviously caused by gradual changes in temperature or precipitation but mainly by so-called extreme events such as floods and droughts. The purpose of this Special Issue of Water is to present innovative studies on the effects of climate change on: a) the hydrologic processes and response of both rain-fed and snowmelt watersheds and river basins, b) the frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events such as droughts and floods, c) the water availability and water demand in a range of geographical and climate areas of the world, and d) the management, development and planning of water resources.

Dr. Athanasios Loukas

Guest Editor

Keywords

  • climate change
  • hydrological modeling and analysis
  • hydrological processes
  • extreme hydrological events
  • water resources planning, development, management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Integrating the Carbon and Water Footprints’ Costs in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC Full Water Cost Recovery Concept: Basic Principles Towards Their Reliable Calculation and Socially Just Allocation
Water 2012, 4(1), 45-62; doi:10.3390/w4010045
Received: 27 October 2011 / Revised: 14 December 2011 / Accepted: 29 December 2011 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the basic principles for the integration of the water and carbon footprints cost into the resource and environmental costs respectively, taking the suggestions set by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC one step forward. WFD states that full water [...] Read more.
This paper presents the basic principles for the integration of the water and carbon footprints cost into the resource and environmental costs respectively, taking the suggestions set by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC one step forward. WFD states that full water cost recovery (FWCR) should be based on the estimation of the three sub-costs related: direct; environmental; and resource cost. It also strongly suggests the EU Member States develop and apply effective water pricing policies to achieve FWCR. These policies must be socially just to avoid any social injustice phenomena. This is a very delicate task to handle, especially within the fragile economic conditions that the EU is facing today. Water losses play a crucial role for the FWC estimation. Water losses should not be neglected since they are one of the major “water uses” in any water supply network. A methodology is suggested to reduce water losses and the related Non Revenue Water (NRW) index. An Expert Decision Support System is proposed to assess the FWC incorporating the Water and Carbon Footprint costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)
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Open AccessArticle Climate Change Impacts on Water Availability and Use in the Limpopo River Basin
Water 2012, 4(1), 63-84; doi:10.3390/w4010063
Received: 30 November 2011 / Revised: 8 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes the effects of climate change on water availability and use in the Limpopo River Basin of Southern Africa, using a linked modeling system consisting of a semi-distributed global hydrological model and the Water Simulation Module (WSM) of the International [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the effects of climate change on water availability and use in the Limpopo River Basin of Southern Africa, using a linked modeling system consisting of a semi-distributed global hydrological model and the Water Simulation Module (WSM) of the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT). Although the WSM simulates all major water use sectors, the focus of this study is to evaluate the implications of climate change on irrigation water supply in the catchments of the Limpopo River Basin within the four riparian countries: Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The analysis found that water resources of the Limpopo River Basin are already stressed under today’s climate conditions. Projected water infrastructure and management interventions are expected to improve the situation by 2050 if current climate conditions continue into the future. However, under the climate change scenarios studied here, water supply availability is expected to worsen considerably by 2050. Assessing hydrological impacts of climate change is crucial given that expansion of irrigated areas has been postulated as a key adaptation strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. Such expansion will need to take into account future changes in water availability in African river basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)
Open AccessArticle Application of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) in Greece
Water 2011, 3(3), 787-805; doi:10.3390/w3030787
Received: 15 May 2011 / Revised: 13 June 2011 / Accepted: 20 June 2011 / Published: 16 August 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2893 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main premise of the current effort is that the use of a drought index, such as Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), may lead to a more appropriate understanding of drought duration, magnitude and spatial extent in semi-arid areas like Greece. The importance [...] Read more.
The main premise of the current effort is that the use of a drought index, such as Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), may lead to a more appropriate understanding of drought duration, magnitude and spatial extent in semi-arid areas like Greece. The importance of the Index may be marked in its simplicity and its ability to identify the beginning and end of a drought event. Thus, it may point towards drought contingency planning and through it to drought alert mechanisms. In this context, Greece, as it very often faces the hazardous impacts of droughts, presents an almost ideal case for the SPI application. The present approach examines the SPI drought index application for all of Greece and it is evaluated accordingly by historical precipitation data. Different time series of data from 46 precipitation stations, covering the period 1947–2004, and for time scales of 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months, were used. The computation of the index was achieved by the appropriate usage of a pertinent software tool. Then, spatial representation of the SPI values was carried out with geo-statistical methods using the SURFER 9 software package. The results underline the potential that the SPI usage exhibits in a drought alert and forecasting effort as part of a drought contingency planning posture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)
Open AccessArticle Trade Liberalization and Climate Change: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of the Impacts on Global Agriculture
Water 2011, 3(2), 526-550; doi:10.3390/w3020526
Received: 30 March 2011 / Revised: 18 April 2011 / Accepted: 20 April 2011 / Published: 6 May 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on predicted changes in the magnitude and distribution of global precipitation, temperature and river flow under the A1B and A2 scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (IPCC SRES), this study assesses the potential impacts [...] Read more.
Based on predicted changes in the magnitude and distribution of global precipitation, temperature and river flow under the A1B and A2 scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (IPCC SRES), this study assesses the potential impacts of climate change and CO2 fertilization on global agriculture, and its interactions with trade liberalization, as proposed for the Doha Development Round. The analysis uses the new version of the GTAP-W model, which distinguishes between rainfed and irrigated agriculture and implements water as an explicit factor of production for irrigated agriculture. Significant reductions in agricultural tariffs lead to modest changes in regional water use. Patterns are non-linear. On the regional level, water use may go up for partial liberalization, and down for more complete liberalization. This is because different crops respond differently to tariff reductions, and because trade and competition matter too. Moreover, trade liberalization tends to reduce water use in water scarce regions, and increase water use in water abundant regions, even though water markets do not exist in most countries. Considering impacts of climate change, the results show that global food production, welfare and GDP fall over time while food prices increase. Larger changes are observed under the SRES A2 scenario for the medium term (2020) and under the SRES A1B scenario for the long term (2050). Combining scenarios of future climate change with trade liberalization, countries are affected differently. However, the overall effect on welfare does not change much. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change and Classic Maya Water Management
Water 2011, 3(2), 479-494; doi:10.3390/w3020479
Received: 8 February 2011 / Revised: 27 February 2011 / Accepted: 23 March 2011 / Published: 1 April 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1122 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The critical importance of water is undeniable. It is particularly vital in semitropical regions with noticeable wet and dry seasons, such as the southern Maya lowlands. Not enough rain results in decreasing water supply and quality, failed crops, and famine. Too much [...] Read more.
The critical importance of water is undeniable. It is particularly vital in semitropical regions with noticeable wet and dry seasons, such as the southern Maya lowlands. Not enough rain results in decreasing water supply and quality, failed crops, and famine. Too much water results in flooding, destruction, poor water quality, and famine. We show not only how Classic Maya (ca. A.D. 250–950) society dealt with the annual seasonal extremes, but also how kings and farmers responded differently in the face of a series of droughts in the Terminal Classic period (ca. A.D. 800–950). Maya farmers are still around today; kings, however, disappeared over 1,000 years ago. There is a lesson here on how people and water managers responded to long-term climate change, something our own society faces at present. The basis for royal power rested in what kings provided their subjects materially—that is, water during annual drought via massive artificial reservoirs, and spiritually—that is, public ceremonies, games, festivals, feasts, and other integrative activities. In the face of rulers losing their powers due to drought, people left. Without their labor, support and services, the foundation of royal power crumbled; it was too inflexible and little suited to adapting to change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)
Open AccessArticle Atmospheric Rivers, Floods and the Water Resources of California
Water 2011, 3(2), 445-478; doi:10.3390/w3020445
Received: 12 February 2011 / Revised: 3 March 2011 / Accepted: 21 March 2011 / Published: 24 March 2011
Cited by 107 | PDF Full-text (3128 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
California’s highly variable climate and growing water demands combine to pose both water-supply and flood-hazard challenges to resource managers. Recently important efforts to more fully integrate the management of floods and water resources have begun, with the aim of benefitting both sectors. [...] Read more.
California’s highly variable climate and growing water demands combine to pose both water-supply and flood-hazard challenges to resource managers. Recently important efforts to more fully integrate the management of floods and water resources have begun, with the aim of benefitting both sectors. California is shown here to experience unusually large variations in annual precipitation and streamflow totals relative to the rest of the US, variations which mostly reflect the unusually small average number of wet days per year needed to accumulate most of its annual precipitation totals (ranging from 5 to 15 days in California). Thus whether just a few large storms arrive or fail to arrive in California can be the difference between a banner year and a drought. Furthermore California receives some of the largest 3-day storm totals in the country, rivaling in this regard the hurricane belt of the southeastern US. California’s largest storms are generally fueled by landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs). The fractions of precipitation and streamflow totals at stations across the US that are associated with ARs are documented here and, in California, contribute 20–50% of the state’s precipitation and streamflow. Prospects for long-lead forecasts of these fractions are presented. From a meteorological perspective, California’s water resources and floods are shown to derive from the same storms to an extent that makes integrated flood and water resources management all the more important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)
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Open AccessArticle Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part IV: Quantifying the Chemical Filter Component
Water 2011, 3(1), 391-423; doi:10.3390/w3010391
Received: 12 February 2011 / Accepted: 10 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1170 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This is the final part of a paper series on the ability of peat to filter uranium (U) from mining-polluted water. The focus is on the characterization and site-specific quantification of the chemical component of the filter model introduced in Part II. [...] Read more.
This is the final part of a paper series on the ability of peat to filter uranium (U) from mining-polluted water. The focus is on the characterization and site-specific quantification of the chemical component of the filter model introduced in Part II. Based on U levels in different sediment-water systems of the study area that were analyzed in this paper, peat generally displays the highest geochemical U enrichment even though absolute U levels are relatively low. Results of batch experiments suggest that peat removes U from local mine waters exceptionally well, reaching a removal efficiency of close to 100%. However, almost all of the initially sorbed U is released again on subsequent contact with clean dolomitic water. A synoptic summary of the findings presented in Parts I to IV concludes the paper series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate)

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