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Sustainable Use and Management of Nonconventional Water Resources for Agricultural Development

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Resources and Sustainable Utilization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 18574

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Water and Water Structures Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Egypt
Interests: sustainability studies and sustainable use and management of water resources
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Environmental Engineering Department at Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST), Alexandria 21544, Egypt
2. Sanitary Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21544, Egypt
Interests: treatment of wastewater for irrigation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Hydrology and Water Management, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Lwowska 1, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Interests: water quality in river and reservoirs; drought; flood; water management; water law; energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Petroleum Application Department, Ciaro, Egypt
Interests: treatment of industrial wastewater and desalination

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The agricultural sector is fundamental to maintaining human wellbeing, food security, and sustainable development. However, agricultural activities utilize large volumes of water, significantly influenced by the availability, quality, and quantity of water resources. The growing and diverse demands on water supply, mainly for agricultural purposes, have resulted in a severe depletion of conventional water resources. Alternatively, the management of nonconventional water resources (e.g., saline water, rainwater, brackish water, agricultural drainage water, and treated or untreated wastewater effluents) from different sources (agricultural, domestic, and industrial) has been deemed an essential strategy worldwide. The accessibility of these resources for irrigation and other agricultural activities depends on several factors, such as population growth and settlement patterns, food and energy demands, living standards, and pollution, expressing various environmental, economic, and social-related attributes. At present, the reuse of nonconventional resources for irrigation has received increasing attention due to the potential risks posed to plants, animals, human health, and the environment. As such, the UN has recently announced a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG-2 “Zero Hunger” and SDG-6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”, to cover essential aspects relevant to agricultural water resources. In this context, further research should be performed to provide comprehensive knowledge on the best utilization and management of nonconventional water resources, especially to maintain agricultural sustainability.

This issue titled “Sustainable Use and Management of Nonconventional Water Resources for Agricultural Development” is launched to guide scientific communities, policymakers, stakeholders, decision makers, and public and private sectors for the best management of nonconventional water resources for agricultural practices. The issue offers essential and regulatory information to adopt technological innovations for the reuse of nonconventional water in line with the achievable SDGs. In addition, a number of available technologies for improving the quality of nonconventional water resources are addressed.

Highlights:

The main target of this Special Issue is to represent high-quality research studies from all over the world to cover the following topics (but not limited to):

  • Overview and state-of-the-art review of the availability of nonconventional water resources in the globe;
  • Efficiency of using nonconventional water in agriculture based on modern irrigation systems;
  • Improving the quality of wastewater for irrigation purposes based on low-cost technologies;
  • Low-cost desalination technologies to produce more water for agriculture;
  • Best practice management for the available nonconventional water resources;
  • Best strategies for increasing nonconventional water resources for drinking purposes;
  • Developing nonconventional water resources utilizing new materials as nanoparticles;
  • Impact of using nonconventional water resources on agricultural crops, animals, and human health;
  • Treatment of oily produced water as a large volume of nonconventional water resources and reuse;
  • Separation, collection, treatment, and sustainable reuse of water from residential buildings and mosques;
  • Role of modern and advanced technologies to increase the availability of nonconventional water resources for agriculture;
  • Using remote sensing  and GIS to predict the quality of nonconventional water resources and their spatial distribution.

Prof. Dr. Abdelazim Negm
Prof. Dr. Martina Zeleňáková
Dr. Mahmoud Nasr
Dr. Katarzyna Kubiak-Wójcicka
Dr. Mahmoud F. Mubarak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

  • nonconventional water resources
  • groundwater
  • treated wastewater for irrigation
  • rainfall harvesting
  • storage and use flash floods water
  • reuse of treated wastewater
  • agricultural drainage water
  • industrial wastewater
  • environment
  • human health
  • health safety
  • desalination
  • sustainable use of water
  • irrigation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 2615 KiB  
Article
Forecasting of Groundwater Quality by Using Deep Learning Time Series Techniques in an Arid Region
by Ahmed Khaled Abdella Ahmed, Mustafa El-Rawy, Amira Mofreh Ibraheem, Nassir Al-Arifi and Mahmoud Khaled Abd-Ellah
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6529; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086529 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
Groundwater is regarded as the primary source of agricultural and drinking water in semi-arid and arid regions. However, toxic substances released from sources such as landfills, industries, insecticides, and fertilizers from the previous year exhibited extreme levels of groundwater contamination. As a result, [...] Read more.
Groundwater is regarded as the primary source of agricultural and drinking water in semi-arid and arid regions. However, toxic substances released from sources such as landfills, industries, insecticides, and fertilizers from the previous year exhibited extreme levels of groundwater contamination. As a result, it is crucial to assess the quality of the groundwater for agricultural and drinking activities, both its current use and its potential to become a reliable water supply for individuals. The quality of the groundwater is critical in Egypt’s Sohag region because it serves as a major alternative source of agricultural activities and residential supplies, in addition to providing drinking water, and residents there frequently have issues with the water’s suitability for human consumption. This research assesses groundwater quality and future forecasting using Deep Learning Time Series Techniques (DLTS) and long short-term memory (LSTM) in Sohag, Egypt. Ten groundwater quality parameters (pH, Sulfate, Nitrates, Magnesium, Chlorides, Iron, Total Coliform, TDS, Total Hardness, and Turbidity) at the seven pumping wells were used in the analysis to create the water quality index (WQI). The model was tested and trained using actual data over nine years from seven wells in Sohag, Egypt. The high quantities of iron and magnesium in the groundwater samples produced a high WQI. The proposed forecasting model provided good performances in terms of average mean-square error (MSE) and average root-mean-square error (RMSE) with values of 1.6091 × 10−7 and 4.0114 × 10−4, respectively. The WQI model’s findings demonstrated that it could assist managers and policymakers in better managing groundwater resources in arid areas. Full article
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20 pages, 9840 KiB  
Article
Spatio Prediction of Soil Capability Modeled with Modified RVFL Using Aptenodytes Forsteri Optimization and Digital Soil Assessment Technique
by Manal A. Alnaimy, Sahar A. Shahin, Ahmed A. Afifi, Ahmed A. Ewees, Natalia Junakova, Magdalena Balintova and Mohamed Abd Elaziz
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14996; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142214996 - 13 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
To meet the needs of Egypt’s rising population, more land must be cultivated. Land evaluation is vital to achieving sustainable agricultural production. To determine the soil capability in the northeast Nile Delta region of Egypt, the present study introduces a new form of [...] Read more.
To meet the needs of Egypt’s rising population, more land must be cultivated. Land evaluation is vital to achieving sustainable agricultural production. To determine the soil capability in the northeast Nile Delta region of Egypt, the present study introduces a new form of integration between the Agriculture Land Evaluation System (ALES Arid) model and the machine learning (ML) approach. The soil capability indicators required for the ALES Arid model were determined for the 47 collected soil profiles covering the study area. These indicators include soil pH, soil salinity, the sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), the organic matter (OM) content, the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) content, the gypsum content, the clay percentage, and the slope. The ALES Arid model was run using these indicators, and soil capability indexes were obtained. Using GIS, these indexes helped to classify the study area into four capability classes, ranging from good to very poor soils. To predict the soil capability, three machine learning algorithms named traditional RVFL, sine cosine algorithm (SCA), and AFO were also applied to the same soil criteria. The developed ML method aims to enhance the prediction of soil capability. This method depends on improving the performance of Random Vector Functional Link (RVFL) using an optimization technique named Aptenodytes Forsteri Optimization (AFO). The operators of AFO were used to determine the best parameters of RVFL since traditional RVFL is sensitive to parameters. To assess the performance of the developed AFO-RVFL method, a set of real collected data was used. The experimental results illustrate the high efficacy of AFO-RVFL in the spatial prediction of soil capability. The correlations found in this study are critical for understanding the overall techniques for predicting soil capability. Full article
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22 pages, 7231 KiB  
Article
Rainfall Spatial-Temporal Variability and Trends in the Thamirabharani River Basin, India: Implications for Agricultural Planning and Water Management
by Shanmugam Mohan Kumar, Vellingiri Geethalakshmi, Subbiah Ramanathan, Alagarsamy Senthil, Kandasamy Senthilraja, Kulanthaivel Bhuvaneswari, Ramasamy Gowtham, Balaji Kannan and Shanmugavel Priyanka
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14948; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142214948 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
Rainfall is critical to agricultural and drinking water supply in the Thamirabharani river basin. The upper catchment areas of the Thamirabharani basin are located in high-elevated forest regions, and rainfall variability affects dam inflow and outflow. The well-known methods for rainfall analysis such [...] Read more.
Rainfall is critical to agricultural and drinking water supply in the Thamirabharani river basin. The upper catchment areas of the Thamirabharani basin are located in high-elevated forest regions, and rainfall variability affects dam inflow and outflow. The well-known methods for rainfall analysis such as the coefficient of variation (CV), the precipitation concentration index (PCI), and trend analysis by Mann-Kendall and Sen’s slope test, as well as the Sen’s graphical innovative trend method (ITA) recently reported in several studies, were used. Rainfall data from gauge stations and the satellite-gridded Multisource Weighted Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP) dataset were chosen for analysis at the annual and four-season time scales, namely, the Southwest Monsoon, Northeast Monsoon, winter, and summer seasons from 1991 to 2020. The mean annual PCI value reflects irregular monthly rainfall distribution (PCI > 20) in all gauge stations. The spatial monthly rainfall distribution of PCI values remarkedly shows a moderate distribution in the western and an anomalous distribution in the eastern part of the basin. The annual mean rainfall ranges from 718.4 to 2268.6 mm/year, decreasing from the high altitude zone in the west to the low plains and coastal regions in the east. Seasonal rainfall contributes about 42% from the NEM, 30.6% from the SWM, 22.8% from summer, and 3.9% from winter, with moderate variability (CV less than 30%). Ground stations experienced extremely high interannual variability in rainfall (more than 60%). Trend analysis by the MK, TFPW-MK, and ITA methods shows increasing annual rainfall in the plains and coastal regions of the basin; particularly, more variations among the seasons were observed in the Lower Thamirabharani sub-basin. The NEM and summer season rainfall are statistically significant and contribute to the increasing trend in annual rainfall. The ITA method performed better in the annual and seasonal scale for detecting the rainfall trend than the MK and TFPW-MK test. The Lower Thamirabharani sub-basin in the eastern part of the basin receives more rain during the NEM than in other areas. To summarize, the low plains in the central and coastal regions in the southeast part experience an increase in rainfall with irregular monthly distribution. This study helps farmers, governments, and policymakers in effective agricultural crop planning and water management. Full article
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22 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
How Can Sewage Sludge Use in Sustainable Tunisian Agriculture Be Increased?
by Nidhal Marzougui, Nadia Ounalli, Sonia Sabbahi, Tarek Fezzani, Farah Abidi, Sihem Jebari, Sourour Melki, Ronny Berndtsson and Walid Oueslati
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 13722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113722 - 23 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
In recent years, farmers in Beja, an agricultural governorate in northwestern Tunisia, have expressed their willingness to use urban sewage sludge as agricultural fertilizer, especially with the unavailability of chemical fertilizers and the soil type of the region that is poor in organic [...] Read more.
In recent years, farmers in Beja, an agricultural governorate in northwestern Tunisia, have expressed their willingness to use urban sewage sludge as agricultural fertilizer, especially with the unavailability of chemical fertilizers and the soil type of the region that is poor in organic matter. However, there is an imbalance between the important farmers’ demand versus the limited quantity of sludge produced by the Beja wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In the face of this, this study aims to identify the problems related to the agricultural reuse of sludge in Beja and propose solutions to solve them. The quality of the sludge produced by the five Beja WWTPs was assessed based on physicochemical and microbiological parameters. The data were collected using the Delphi method, with 15 experts representing different positions on the issue treated. The SWOT-AHP methodology was used to define the strategies promoting the sustainable use and management of urban sewage sludge for sustainable agricultural development in Beja. Results showed that there were no problems with compliance with the Tunisian standards NT 106.20 for the sludge produced. A set of twelve practical conclusions was identified, constituting the strategies of Strengths–Opportunities, Strengths–Threats, Weaknesses–Opportunities, and Weaknesses–Threats deduced from the SWOT-AHP. Full article
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12 pages, 2567 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Automatic Irrigation System for Rice Cultivation and Sustainable Agriculture Water Management
by Jaenam Lee
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 11044; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141711044 - 4 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5277
Abstract
The water-resource policy of South Korea has been changing from that of securing water to that of saving water through sustainable water management. Moreover, population aging in rural areas is leading to agricultural water-management problems. In this study, an automatic irrigation system for [...] Read more.
The water-resource policy of South Korea has been changing from that of securing water to that of saving water through sustainable water management. Moreover, population aging in rural areas is leading to agricultural water-management problems. In this study, an automatic irrigation system for rice crops was investigated and compared with conventional irrigation, and changes in water productivity and required labor power were quantified. The effect of the proposed system on economic feasibility was verified on farmland by monitoring irrigation water and rice yields for three years. Under the automatic irrigation system, on-site water productivity improved by an average of 12.7% and the labor power required for paddy water management decreased by an average of 21.8% compared to the conventional irrigation system. The internal rate of return was 8.6% higher than the discount rate of 4.5%. The net present value was 406,411 KRW, and the benefit-cost ratio was 1.23. The results can serve as a reference for the on-site introduction of irrigation water-supply automation for sustainable water management and are expected to benefit farmers in saving water and reducing labor demands through sustainable agricultural activities. Full article
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19 pages, 2720 KiB  
Article
Transition towards Sustainable Carwash Wastewater Management: Trends and Enabling Technologies at Global Scale
by Derrick Dadebo, Mona G. Ibrahim, Manabu Fujii and Mahmoud Nasr
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095652 - 7 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3311
Abstract
Carwash wastewater (CWW) contains grease, oil, hydrocarbon residues, heavy metals, and surfactants, posing severe impacts to the environment and human health. Accordingly, various physical, chemical, and biological processes for CWW treatment have been demonstrated in recent research. In this study, a bibliometric approach [...] Read more.
Carwash wastewater (CWW) contains grease, oil, hydrocarbon residues, heavy metals, and surfactants, posing severe impacts to the environment and human health. Accordingly, various physical, chemical, and biological processes for CWW treatment have been demonstrated in recent research. In this study, a bibliometric approach was performed to comprehensively illustrate the recent progress, current direction, and future perspectives of CWW-related research. A keyword co-occurrence network was used to represent the results of the bibliometric analysis and to show the major pollutants in CWW effluents and the common systems for treating CWW via coagulation/flocculation, electrochemical, oxidation, membrane, adsorption, biological, and hybrid methods. An integrated anaerobic digestion/oxidation process has been reported to degrade CWW-associated pollutants and help develop an energy-efficient approach for waste management. The results demonstrated that the treatment of CWW has several benefits relevant to sustainable development, viz., good health and well-being, protection of life below water, bioenergy generation, and community awareness and acceptance towards wastewater reuse. Hence, these benefits could assist in meeting the environmental, economic, and social sustainable development goals (SDGs). These study outputs can encourage policymakers and stakeholders in implementing sensible regulations that control water usage and treatment in car sharing and personal vehicle services to either directly or indirectly adopt the agenda 2030 with its seventeen SDGs. Full article
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