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Sustainable Water Resources Management under Growing Anthropic Demands and the Effects of Climate Change

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 28943

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
Interests: sustainable water resources management; erosion control and land restoration; watershed hydrology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Interests: hydrology; water resources management; hydrological modeling

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Guest Editor
Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC 20227, USA
Interests: watershed hydrology; water resources management; forest hydrology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Facultad de Ingeniería Civil, Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa, Arequipa 04000, Peru
Interests: hydrology; arid land water management; hydrological modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A significant portion of the global continental territory is quickly running out of water because of an excess of human consumption to satisfy the growing demands for agriculture, mining, industry, human consumption, etc., as well as because of the effects of climate change and inappropriate regional water resources management, making this vital element less available in many regions, with direct economic, social, and ecological consequences. This Special Issue focuses on what has been done to prevent, report, and/or mitigate water-scarcity-related problems, including:

  • Regional water management/overuse;
  • Water treatment/reuse/supply technologies;
  • Water transportation/importation/storage in basins;
  • Water efficiency;
  • Watershed modeling and land use planning;
  • Solutions to water-related conflicts;
  • Climate change effects on water resources;
  • Climate change adaptations;
  • Water conservation education;
  • Politics.

While some countries have already solved the issue, many regions have not done much and are only acting after the problem appears. This important Special Issue is intended to show examples of how different regions are experiencing/solving water scarcity problems, envisioning a more sustainable use of the resource and its preservation for future generations, with the hope that other regions will follow the examples.

Dr. Pablo A. Garcia-Chevesich
Dr. Rodrigo Valdes-Pineda
Dr. Daniel G. Neary
Dr. Héctor Novoa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • regional water management
  • climate change adaptations
  • water scarcity
  • water efficiency
  • water treatment technologies
  • water conflicts
  • water education
  • environmental politics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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16 pages, 4065 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of SWMM-LID Modeling Applicability Considering Regional Characteristics for Optimal Management of Non-Point Pollutant Sources
by Jong Mun Lee, Minji Park, Joong-Hyuk Min, Jinsun Kim, Jimin Lee, Heeseon Jang and Eun Hye Na
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114662 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Urbanization and climate change have deteriorated the runoff water circulation and quality in urban areas worldwide. Consequently, low-impact development (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) techniques have been applied to manage impermeable land and non-point source pollutants. Herein, the impacts of urban characteristics, sewer [...] Read more.
Urbanization and climate change have deteriorated the runoff water circulation and quality in urban areas worldwide. Consequently, low-impact development (LID) and green infrastructure (GI) techniques have been applied to manage impermeable land and non-point source pollutants. Herein, the impacts of urban characteristics, sewer system type, and precipitation intensity on surface runoff were analyzed using the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) to derive an effective water circulation strategy for urban and complex areas through the optimal allocation of LID/GI strategies. The runoff rates were estimated to be 77.9%, 37.8%, and 61.7% for urban areas with separated and combined sewer systems and complex areas with combined sewer systems, respectively. During low rainfall, runoff was intercepted in areas with combined sewer systems, and runoff and pollutant load were lower than that in areas with separated sewer system. In contrast, wastewater was diluted during heavy rainfall; however, the total pollutant load was higher than in separated areas. The analysis of scenarios according to the regional distribution of each LID type resulted in high efficiency when combined sewers were applied during the distributed placement of catchment areas. Additionally, LID infrastructure was applied in areas with separated sewers when the placement was concentrated at the end of the basin. Full article
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13 pages, 6947 KiB  
Article
Identification and Characterization of Peruvian Native Bacterial Strains as Bioremediation of Hg-Polluted Water and Soils Due to Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Secocha Annex, Arequipa
by Fernando Fernandez-F, Patricia Lopez-C, Camilo Febres-Molina, Pamela L. Gamero-Begazo, Badhin Gómez, Julio Cesar Bernabe-Ortiz, Alberto Cáceres-Huambo and Jorge Alberto Aguilar-Pineda
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052669 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
The water and soils pollution due to mercury emissions from mining industries represents a serious environmental problem and continuous risk to human health. Although many strategies have been designed for the recovery or elimination of this metal from environmental sources, microbial bioremediation has [...] Read more.
The water and soils pollution due to mercury emissions from mining industries represents a serious environmental problem and continuous risk to human health. Although many strategies have been designed for the recovery or elimination of this metal from environmental sources, microbial bioremediation has proven to be the most effective and environmentally friendly strategy and thus control heavy metal contamination. The main objective of this work, using native bacterial strains obtained from contaminated soils of the Peruvian region of Secocha, was to identify which of these strains would have growth capacity on mercury substrates to evaluate their adsorption behavior and mercury removal capacity. Through a DNA analysis (99.78% similarity) and atomic absorption spectrometry, the Gram-positive bacterium Zhihengliuella alba sp. T2.2 was identified as the strain with the highest mercury removal capacity from culture solutions with an initial mercury concentration of 162 mg·L1. The removal capacity reached values close to 39.5% in a period of incubation time of 45 days, with maximum elimination efficiency in the first 48 h. These results are encouraging and show that this native strain may be the key to the bioremediation of water and soils contaminated with mercury. Full article
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33 pages, 15116 KiB  
Article
The Impact of a Lack of Government Strategies for Sustainable Water Management and Land Use Planning on the Hydrology of Water Bodies: Lessons Learned from the Disappearance of the Aculeo Lagoon in Central Chile
by Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda, Pablo A. Garcia-Chevesich, Alberto J. Alaniz, Héctor L. Venegas-Quiñones, Juan B. Valdés and Roberto Pizarro
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010413 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 16240
Abstract
Several studies have focused on why the Aculeo Lagoon in central Chile disappeared, with a recent one concluding that a lack of precipitation was the main cause, bringing tremendous political consequences as it supported the argument that the government is not responsible for [...] Read more.
Several studies have focused on why the Aculeo Lagoon in central Chile disappeared, with a recent one concluding that a lack of precipitation was the main cause, bringing tremendous political consequences as it supported the argument that the government is not responsible for this environmental, economic, and social disaster. In this study, we evaluated in detail the socio-economic history of the watershed, the past climate and its effects on the lagoon’s water levels (including precipitation recycling effects), anthropogenic modifications to the lagoon’s water balance, the evolution of water rights and demands, and inaccurate estimates of sustainable groundwater extraction volumes from regional aquifers. This analysis has revealed novel and undisputable evidence that this natural body of water disappeared primarily because of anthropogenic factors (mostly river deviations and aquifer pumping) that, combined with the effects of less than a decade with below-normal precipitation, had a severe impact on this natural lagoon–aquifer system. Full article
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15 pages, 1597 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Advanced Oxidation Processes for Neutralizing Free Cyanide in Gold Processing Effluents in Arequipa, Southern Peru
by David C. Vuono, Johan Vanneste, Linda A. Figueroa, Vincent Hammer, Fredy N. Aguilar-Huaylla, Aaron Malone, Nicole M. Smith, Pablo A. Garcia-Chevesich, Héctor G. Bolaños-Sosa, Francisco D. Alejo-Zapata, Henry G. Polanco-Cornejo and Christopher Bellona
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9873; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179873 - 02 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
Cyanide (CN) from gold processing effluents must be removed to protect human health and the environment. Reducing the use of chemical reagents is desirable for small centralized and decentralized facilities. In this work, we aimed to optimize the use of ultraviolet [...] Read more.
Cyanide (CN) from gold processing effluents must be removed to protect human health and the environment. Reducing the use of chemical reagents is desirable for small centralized and decentralized facilities. In this work, we aimed to optimize the use of ultraviolet (UV) radiation coupled with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to enhance the rate and extent of CN removal in synthetic and actual gold processing effluents, from one centralized and one decentralized facility in southern Peru. Bench-scale studies conducted using H2O2 and ambient UV showed no significant effects on CN destruction; however, experiments with higher UV intensity and H2O2 accelerated free CN degradation. When a 1:1 stoichiometric ratio of CN:H2O2 was tested, the highly concentrated effluent (1 g CN/L) had a slower pseudo first-order rate constant (k = 0.0066 min−1) and took ~5 h longer to reach 99% destruction, compared with the low concentration effluent (100 mg CN/L; k = 0.0306 min−1). Lastly, a TiO2 photocatalyst with low stoichiometric CN:H2O2 ratios (1:0.1 and 1:0.2), in a compound parabolic solar concentrator, was tested to investigate the degradation of a high concentration effluent (1.28 g CN/L). These results show a significant improvement to degradation rate within a 20 min period, advancing treatment options for mineral processing facilities. Full article
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10 pages, 15737 KiB  
Brief Report
Climate Change and Overuse: Water Resource Challenges during Economic Growth in Coquimbo, Chile
by Roberto Pizarro, Pablo A. Garcia-Chevesich, John E. McCray, Jonathan O. Sharp, Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda, Claudia Sangüesa, Dayana Jaque-Becerra, Pablo Álvarez, Sebastián Norambuena, Alfredo Ibáñez, Carlos Vallejos and Romina Mendoza
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063440 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4927
Abstract
The arid Coquimbo region of Chile has experienced a significant economic growth in recent decades, fueled in large part by water-intensive activities such as mining and agriculture. Under this context, a monthly and annual trend analysis of precipitation, streamflow, and piezometric levels was [...] Read more.
The arid Coquimbo region of Chile has experienced a significant economic growth in recent decades, fueled in large part by water-intensive activities such as mining and agriculture. Under this context, a monthly and annual trend analysis of precipitation, streamflow, and piezometric levels was carried out. Thus, 43 pluviometric stations, 11 fluviometric stations, and 11 wells were selected. These stations were evaluated for their temporal trends using the Mann–Kendall test. Results revealed a significant decrease in river flows, with negative and significant trends concentrated in the mean and maximum flows, both at annual and monthly levels. Likewise, positive trends were found in the depth to water table on wells, with significant trends in 81.8% of the monthly cases, and in 72.7% of the annual cases. While also decreasing over the same period, rainfall trends exhibit high variability and lacked significance. Although the amounts of precipitation have decreased, this does not seem to be the main factor responsible for the scarcity of water in the region, but rather an excessive consumption of this resource. This is endorsed by the increase in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is explained by activities that consume water (mining and agriculture). Similarly, an increase in the granting of underground water rights was verified, which speaks of the high demands for the resource. However, future modeling is advised to better understand the regional hydrology of the area and quantify the anthropic effects on water resources more precisely. Full article
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