Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water-Energy Nexus".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 36701

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada
Interests: planning of energy and environmental systems; synchrotron-based environmental chemistry and biochemistry; climate modeling and downscaling; simulation of hydrological and environmental systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water shortage has become increasingly severe under the influence of climate change and the stress of socioeconomic development. On the one hand, water scarcity can impact energy production and reliability, especially for water-intensive technologies such as biofuels, concentrating solar power, and nuclear power. On the other side, diminished freshwater resources can also lead to a greater reliance on energy-intensive sources of water supply such as desalination. While the interdependent relationship between water and energy can bring complexities to water- and energy-related issues, it can also be considered the key to the problem if properly exploited. This Special Issue presents the recent research findings and technological developments related to the water–energy nexus. We welcome research articles and critical reviews on:

  • All aspects of the relationship between the water used for energy production and electricity generation and the energy required to extract, clean, deliver, store, and dispose of water;
  • Water and energy security;
  • Interactions between water and energy systems;
  • Connections between water and energy infrastructures;
  • Hydropower;
  • Integrated water–carbon footprint studies;
  • Climate change impact on water and energy systems;
  • Integrated water and energy system modeling;
  • Integrated assessment of policies addressing water–energy issues;
  • Risk assessment and projection for water and energy systems;
  • Water and energy system management;
  • Optimization of water efficiency in energy production;
  • Optimization of energy efficiency in water supply and management;
  • Co-optimization of water–energy nexus;
  • Water–energy nexus technologies.

Prof. Dr. Gordon Huang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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

  • water–energy
  • hydropower
  • water security
  • energy security
  • integrated assessment
  • climate change
  • infrastructure
  • optimization
  • technologies
  • risk assessment and management

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

20 pages, 2855 KiB  
Article
Multi-Actor Systems in Water–Energy Nexus: Identifying Critical Stakeholders in Floatovoltaic (Floating Photovoltaic) Project
by Corinthias P. M. Sianipar, Yi-Meng Chao and Satoshi Hoshino
Water 2023, 15(6), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15061241 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2362
Abstract
The intrinsic relation between water and energy has made the water–energy nexus a burgeoning issue in the discussion of sustainable development. Recently, research has begun to pay attention to stakeholders in the nexus. They, however, identified stakeholders as a given without employing methodically [...] Read more.
The intrinsic relation between water and energy has made the water–energy nexus a burgeoning issue in the discussion of sustainable development. Recently, research has begun to pay attention to stakeholders in the nexus. They, however, identified stakeholders as a given without employing methodically scientific processes with rigorous parameters. Filling in the gap, this study presents a heuristic approach to identifying critical stakeholders of multi-actor systems in the water–energy nexus. It involves three sources of influence (social roles, specific concerns, and key problems) along with four other boundary issues (motivation, control, knowledge, legitimacy), forming a matrix of the boundary categories of Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH). This study applied the heuristic analysis to the project of floating photovoltaics installed in a pond in Hyogo, Japan, as the case study. It is a unique case of the water–energy nexus since the location of the floatovoltaic installation is a privately owned pond that is also part of the public landscape and an irrigation source for the surrounding agricultural areas. The results identified two macrogroups of stakeholders (residents and project developers) driven by general interests in the project. They were derivable as overlapping micro-actors interested in more specific issues related to different facets of the project. Overall, conflicting interests in the multi-actor systems indicated deadlocked interactions due to a multidirectional tug-of-war between the microgroups of actors. Conceptually, this study significantly contributes to the literature on the water–energy nexus and stakeholder management. Practically, the approach used offers scientific processes to understand the multi-actor systems and conflicting interests involved in/affected by the nexus, paving the way for more comprehensive resolution processes of water–energy conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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21 pages, 4274 KiB  
Article
Spatial Interpolation of Soil Temperature and Water Content in the Land-Water Interface Using Artificial Intelligence
by Hanifeh Imanian, Hamidreza Shirkhani, Abdolmajid Mohammadian, Juan Hiedra Cobo and Pierre Payeur
Water 2023, 15(3), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030473 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
The distributed measured data in large regions and remote locations, along with a need to estimate climatic data for point sites where no data have been recorded, has encouraged the implementation of spatial interpolation techniques. Recently, the increasing use of artificial intelligence has [...] Read more.
The distributed measured data in large regions and remote locations, along with a need to estimate climatic data for point sites where no data have been recorded, has encouraged the implementation of spatial interpolation techniques. Recently, the increasing use of artificial intelligence has become a promising alternative to conventional deterministic algorithms for spatial interpolation. The present study aims to evaluate some machine learning-based algorithms against conventional strategies for interpolating soil temperature data from a region in southeast Canada with an area of 1000 km by 550 km. The radial basis function neural networks (RBFN) and the deep learning approach were used to estimate soil temperature along a railroad after the spline deterministic spatial interpolation method failed to interpolate gridded soil temperature data on the desired locations. The spline method showed weaknesses in interpolating soil temperature data in areas with sudden changes. This limitation did not improve even by increasing the spline nonlinearity. Although both radial basis function neural networks and the deep learning approach had successful performances in interpolating soil temperature data even in sharp transition areas, deep learning outperformed the former method with a normalized RMSE of 9.0% against 16.2% and an R-squared of 89.2% against 53.8%. This finding was confirmed in the same investigation on soil water content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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20 pages, 5705 KiB  
Article
Hydrodynamics of the Vadose Zone of a Layered Soil Column
by Ioannis Batsilas, Anastasia Angelaki and Iraklis Chalkidis
Water 2023, 15(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15020221 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1823
Abstract
Getting into the heart of the water movement into the vadose zone is essential due to the direct impact on the aquifer recharge, the flood hazards, the irrigation planning and the water resources management in general. Since soil profiles in nature appear in [...] Read more.
Getting into the heart of the water movement into the vadose zone is essential due to the direct impact on the aquifer recharge, the flood hazards, the irrigation planning and the water resources management in general. Since soil profiles in nature appear in layers, the present study accomplishes a deep investigation of the water’s motion through soil layers with different hydraulic properties. A series of experiments were conducted in the laboratory where infiltration, tension, soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity data were collected and analyzed. In particular, a transparent column was filled with two soils (loamy sand over sand), and TDR probes, along with ceramic capsules connected to pressure transducers, were set to the column. Using the experimental data and the unsaturated zone modeling, hydraulic parameters were obtained, along with water motion simulation and prediction. An investigation into the drainage, imbibition, infiltration, soil water characteristic curves and, in general, the hydrodynamics of the vadose zone of the soil layers has been achieved. The results of the current study suggest a method to estimate the crucial hydraulic parameters that are involved in the soil-water interaction and have an impact on infiltration, runoff, aquifer horizon recharge, water management and water saving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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27 pages, 7628 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Influence of Catchment Parameters on the Required Size of a Stormwater Infiltration Facility
by Sabina Kordana-Obuch, Mariusz Starzec and Daniel Słyś
Water 2023, 15(1), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010191 - 2 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
One sustainable method of stormwater management is surface infiltration with retention. Proper design of stormwater infiltration facilities ensures a reduction in flood risk within urban catchments. However, this is not possible without considering the key design parameters of such facilities. The aim of [...] Read more.
One sustainable method of stormwater management is surface infiltration with retention. Proper design of stormwater infiltration facilities ensures a reduction in flood risk within urban catchments. However, this is not possible without considering the key design parameters of such facilities. The aim of this paper is to determine the influence of the parameters characterizing the catchment area on the size of the stormwater infiltration facilities. The research used SWMM 5.1 and Statistica software. It was carried out on the example of model catchments and a real urban catchment. The analysis showed that it is of key importance in the design of stormwater infiltration facilities to accurately determine the total catchment area, the type of soil within it, and the proportion of impervious surfaces. The relevance of the other parameters that characterize the catchment area is clearly lesser. However, they cannot be completely ignored, and their values should be determined as accurately as possible. These research results can guide stakeholders in the decision-making process during investment planning and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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12 pages, 1604 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Recovering Waste Heat Energy from Food Processing Effluent
by Yang Luo, Sandeep Jagtap, Hana Trollman and Guillermo Garcia-Garcia
Water 2023, 15(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010012 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3542
Abstract
Effluent water from food processing retains considerable heat energy after emission from treatment systems. Heat recovery technologies that may be appropriate for implementation in the food processing industry have been widely explored, and selection of the most suitable methodologies has been pursued. A [...] Read more.
Effluent water from food processing retains considerable heat energy after emission from treatment systems. Heat recovery technologies that may be appropriate for implementation in the food processing industry have been widely explored, and selection of the most suitable methodologies has been pursued. A four-stage framework is introduced in this paper to evaluate the potential recoverability of waste heat along with acceptor streams. The systematic approach utilizes thermal and temporal compatibility tools and cost–benefit analyses to determine the ideal heat-recovery equipment for food processing effluent. The applicability of this framework is demonstrated through an industrial case study undertaken in a vegetable canning processing facility. Based on the findings, the framework yields an efficient and optimized heat recovery approach to reducing the total energy demand of the facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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19 pages, 853 KiB  
Article
Water and Hydropower—Challenges for the Economy and Enterprises in Times of Climate Change in Africa and Europe
by Piotr F. Borowski
Water 2022, 14(22), 3631; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223631 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3928
Abstract
Hydropower is an important element of the power system and has a positive impact both on economic development and on slowing down climate change. However, apart from the advantages, there are also disadvantages mainly related to environmental impact. The article discusses these issues [...] Read more.
Hydropower is an important element of the power system and has a positive impact both on economic development and on slowing down climate change. However, apart from the advantages, there are also disadvantages mainly related to environmental impact. The article discusses these issues and shows the problems and challenges that companies producing energy from water are currently facing, both in Africa and in Europe, especially in Poland. An important aspect discussed in the article is a new look at the installed capacity in terms of per capita and the presentation of insufficient generation capacity in African countries, and the constant problem of energy poverty. In Poland, on the other hand, attention was paid to the low production capacity resulting from the geographical location (mainly lowlands) and the occurring climatic phenomena (insufficient rainfall and the appearance of droughts). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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18 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
Studying a Multi-Stage Flash Brine Recirculation (MSF-BR) System Based on Energy, Exergy and Exergoeconomic Analysis
by Faezeh Farhadi, Mahdi Deymi-Dashtebayaz and Edris Tayyeban
Water 2022, 14(19), 3108; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193108 - 2 Oct 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2748
Abstract
Due to the lack of natural water resources and high consumption of water in industries, desalination systems are good options to supply water demands, especially in regions with a water crisis. If these wastes are used in thermal desalination cycles, in addition to [...] Read more.
Due to the lack of natural water resources and high consumption of water in industries, desalination systems are good options to supply water demands, especially in regions with a water crisis. If these wastes are used in thermal desalination cycles, in addition to improving efficiency and reducing energy consumption, the production of environmental pollutants can also be reduced. In this paper, the multi-stage flash brine recirculation (MSF-BR) system of the Abadan refinery is investigated from energy-exergy-exergoeconomic viewpoints. In addition, the effects of top brine temperature (TBT), number of stages and ambient temperature on the performance of the system are evaluated. The results at maximum brine temperature show that with increasing the TBT, the exergy efficiency, gained output ratio (GOR) and distillate water production increase by 34%, 47% and 47%, respectively. It is also found that if the number of stages in the heat rejection section increases to more than six stages, GOR will decrease. The exergoeconomic analysis results reveal that the relative cost difference increases by 94% with an increase in the number of stages. Finally, it is concluded that by using the waste heat of a refinery complex for heating steam to run the desalination system, there is a 9103 $/year cost savings due to energy consumption reduction and 193 × 104 $/year cost savings due to CO2 emission reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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14 pages, 4297 KiB  
Article
Adsorption of Remazol Brilliant Violet-5R from Aqueous Solution Using Sugarcane Bagasse as Biosorbent: Kinetic and Thermodynamic Studies
by Toheed Ullah, Hajera Gul, Fatima Khitab, Rozina Khattak, Yousaf Ali, Shagufta Rasool, Muhammad Sufaid Khan and Ivar Zekker
Water 2022, 14(19), 3014; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193014 - 25 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
Sugarcane bagasse is an inexpensive and eco-friendly natural biosorbent for the removal of various organic pollutants. The adsorption of Remazol Brilliant Violet-5R (RBV-5R) dye on sugarcane bagasse (SCB) was studied. Biosorbent was characterized using EDX and FTIR. The effect of various experimental parameters, [...] Read more.
Sugarcane bagasse is an inexpensive and eco-friendly natural biosorbent for the removal of various organic pollutants. The adsorption of Remazol Brilliant Violet-5R (RBV-5R) dye on sugarcane bagasse (SCB) was studied. Biosorbent was characterized using EDX and FTIR. The effect of various experimental parameters, such as pH, biosorbent dosage, initial dye concentration, contact time, adsorption with shaking and without shaking, and the temperature, was optimized. At pH 6, maximum biosorption of 92.22% was achieved using 0.15 g of SCB. The equilibrium was attained within 30–40 min for the removal of RBV-5R. The initial dye concentration of 10 µg/mL was determined as an optimum concentration for maximum removal of RBV-5R at 30 °C. Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherms were applied, and it was found that the biosorption of RBV-5R follows Freundlich adsorption isotherms. Kinetic studies were also carried out and it was found that the proposed method followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic model (R2 = 0.98). From desorption study, it was found that maximum desorption in the increasing order was obtained using ethanol, methanol, and 0.2 M sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The biosorption study was applied to actual textile waste effluent to pave way for the practical usage of this technology on a larger scale and the results were found effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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26 pages, 5280 KiB  
Article
Factors That Affect Hydropower Flexibility
by Sumi Thapa, Timothy Magee and Edith Zagona
Water 2022, 14(16), 2563; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14162563 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3158
Abstract
Flexibility in power systems is the potential to increase or decrease generation relative to scheduled generation or when most valuable. Increased penetration of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar increases the need for flexibility. Conventional hydropower plants are an important [...] Read more.
Flexibility in power systems is the potential to increase or decrease generation relative to scheduled generation or when most valuable. Increased penetration of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar increases the need for flexibility. Conventional hydropower plants are an important source of flexibility due to their ability to shut down and start generation units at short notice. However, there are not metrics or standards for hydropower managers to measure or quantify the potential flexibility of their systems. This novel study identifies key hydro system characteristics—physical and operational factors as well as the power markets—that, in our experience with real hydro systems, affect flexibility. A realistic but fictional system is analyzed that includes operating policies, deployment of reserves, physical aspects such as size of reservoirs, network configuration and power markets. The system is first modeled per “business as usual” operating rules to maximize total economic value of generation. The flexibility analysis measures the generation that can be increased or decreased in a single day by either maximizing the total on-peak generation in the upward direction or minimizing the total nadir generation in the downward direction. Results show the effects of each factor on both upward and downward flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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25 pages, 39540 KiB  
Article
Experimental Design of Nature-Based-Solution Considering the Interactions between Submerged Vegetation and Pile Group on the Structure of the River Flow on Sand Beds
by Nazanin Mohammadzade Miyab, Ramin Fazloula, Manouchehr Heidarpour, Ataollah Kavian and Jesús Rodrigo-Comino
Water 2022, 14(15), 2382; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152382 - 1 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Designing correct engineering infrastructures to reduce land degradation processes and considering natural elements to achieve this goal are key to correctly managing potential natural hazards affecting human activities and natural ecosystems. This research investigated the scour depth and velocity vectors around bridge piles [...] Read more.
Designing correct engineering infrastructures to reduce land degradation processes and considering natural elements to achieve this goal are key to correctly managing potential natural hazards affecting human activities and natural ecosystems. This research investigated the scour depth and velocity vectors around bridge piles with and without upstream vegetation protection. A Doppler velocity meter was used to measure velocity components in a channel 90 cm wide, 16 m long, and 60 cm high. Variable parameters were the number of bridge piles, the height, density, and width of vegetation upstream, as well as the distance between bridge piles. Using a triple pile group with a distance between piles of 10 cm and overall vegetation across the channel, the depth of the scour hole upstream of the first pile decreased by 40% compared to the single pile with no vegetation. This result shows the significant impact of using vegetation and pile groups to reduce scour around piles. Lower vertical velocity gradients, more consistent velocity vectors, reducing the downstream flow range, and restraining horseshoe vortexes and wake vortices were observed in utilizing vegetation. We confirmed that vegetation is an essential factor in changing the flow, transportation of sediment, and conserving ecological services in rivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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Review

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19 pages, 3948 KiB  
Review
A Review of Membrane-Based Desalination Systems Powered by Renewable Energy Sources
by Muhammad Kashif Shahid, Bandita Mainali, Prangya Ranjan Rout, Jun Wei Lim, Muhammad Aslam, Aiman Eid Al-Rawajfeh and Younggyun Choi
Water 2023, 15(3), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15030534 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 8936
Abstract
The rising demand for clean water and the environmental challenges associated with fossil fuels have encouraged the application of renewable and greener energy systems in desalination. Moreover, the small footprint and high productivity favored the membrane-based process in the water industry. In the [...] Read more.
The rising demand for clean water and the environmental challenges associated with fossil fuels have encouraged the application of renewable and greener energy systems in desalination. Moreover, the small footprint and high productivity favored the membrane-based process in the water industry. In the past few decades, noticeable work has been performed on the development and applicability of membrane-based desalination processes powered by renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal. Several integrated membrane desalination processes for producing clean water with sustainable and clean energy are introduced. This review details the source and performance efficiencies of existing renewable energy technologies and their application in membrane-based desalination processes, with a special focus on current advancements and challenges. This study reviews the interconnections between water, energy, and the environment and explores future energy-efficient desalination options for energy savings and environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water-Energy Nexus)
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