Topic Editors

Water Resources, Irrigation & Env. Geoinformatics Lab, Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Plants and Viticulture, Directorate General of Agricultural Research, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DIMITRA”, 73100 Chania, Greece
Department of Agriculture, University of Ioannina, UoI Kostakii Campus, 47100 Arta, Greece
Laboratory of Environmental Engineering & Management, School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece

Water and Soil Management in Adaptation to Climate Change

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 April 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 June 2023)
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76786

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The journals Remote Sensing, Sustainability, Water, Agriculture, and Climate launch a multi-disciplinary Research Topic on "Water and Soil Management in Adaptation to Climate Change" and invite researchers, experts, and professionals from Research Institutions, Universities, as well as National and International Organizations and Enterprises to contribute their research achievements in this field. The main aim of this Topic is to increase the scientific knowledge on and understanding of the interactions between water/soil resource management and climate change impacts at local, regional, and global scales, which is a fundamental factor in order to reach the goal of a sustainable society.

In the last half century, climate change has been increasingly impacting the hydrological cycle, while environmental resources have been experiencing significant stress resulting in water and soil related degradation in many regions around the world. In such cases, it is of great importance to increase water productivity and water security and prevent crop damages under extreme climate conditions and different anthropogenic interventions, through various measures such as climatic water/soil adaptive agronomic practices and geoinformatics tools (advanced modelling, GIS, and remote sensing applications).

Thus, in this Topic, studies that focus on new developments in the modelling and management of water and soil dynamics, including sustainable solutions of water supply under pressure systems are of great importance. Additionally, new methods to assess and mitigate hydrological extremes (floods, droughts, soil/water erosion), especially in rural areas, will be primarily considered. Due to the increased water scarcity in arid, but also already in mild, climates, the efficiency of wastewater treatment and reuse is under focus and new advanced and nature-based technologies are in focus. In this context, the efficient use of brackish and saline waters is becoming a priority as climate change accelerates. Therefore, new findings in wastewater management and the reuse of treated effluents for irrigation or recycling in industrial processes are a pillar of this Topic.

Dr. Nektarios Kourgialas
Dr. Ioannis Anastopoulos
Dr. Alexandros Stefanakis
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • soil and water resources management
  • geoinformatics
  • in situ observations and satellite remote sensing
  • precision agriculture and irrigation technologies
  • climate adaptive practices
  • droughts, floods and water/soil erosion
  • water quality
  •  water and soil pollution
  • wastewater treatment, reuse and recycling
  • changes in hydrological and hydrogeological patterns

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 3.6 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600
Climate
climate
3.7 5.2 2013 19.7 Days CHF 1800
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (42 papers)

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3 pages, 150 KiB  
Editorial
Adapting Water and Soil Management to Climate Change
by Nektarios N. Kourgialas, Ioannis Anastopoulos and Alexandros Stefanakis
Sustainability 2024, 16(6), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16062416 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Sustainable agriculture largely depends on the stability of the soil ecosystem and the hydrological cycle dynamics [...] Full article
16 pages, 3151 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Effects of Local Atmospheric Conditions on the Thermodynamics of Sobradinho Lake, Northeast Brazil
by Eliseu Oliveira Afonso and Sin Chan Chou
Climate 2023, 11(10), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11100208 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The objective of this work was to study climate variability and its impacts on the temperature of Sobradinho Lake in Northeast Brazil. Surface weather station data and lake measurements were used in this study. The model applied in this work is FLake, which [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to study climate variability and its impacts on the temperature of Sobradinho Lake in Northeast Brazil. Surface weather station data and lake measurements were used in this study. The model applied in this work is FLake, which is a one-dimensional model used to simulate the vertical temperature profile of freshwater lakes. First, the climate variability around Sobradinho Lake was analyzed. Observations showed a reduction in precipitation during 1991–2020 compared to 1981–2010. To study climate variability impacts on Sobradinho Lake, the years 2013, 2015, and 2020 were selected to characterize normal, dry, and rainy years, respectively. In addition, the months of January, April, July, and October were analyzed for rainy months, rainy–dry transitions, dry months, and dry–rainy transitions. Dry years showed higher incoming solar radiation at the surface and, consequently, higher 2 m air temperatures. A characteristic of the normal years was more intense surface winds. October presented the highest incoming solar radiation, the highest air temperature, and the most intense winds at the surface. The lowest incoming solar radiation at the surface was observed in January, and the lightest wind was observed in April. To assess the effects of these atmospheric conditions on the thermodynamics of Sobradinho Lake, the FLake model was forced using station observation data. The thermal amplitude of the lake surface temperature (LST) varied by less than 1 °C during the four months. This result was validated against surface lake observations. FLake was able to accurately reproduce the diurnal cycle variation in sensible heat fluxes (H), latent heat fluxes, and momentum fluxes. The sensible heat flux depends directly on the difference between the LST and the air temperature. During daytime, however, Flake simulated negative values of H, and during nighttime, positive values. The highest values of latent heat flux were simulated during the day, with the maximum value was simulated at 12:00 noon. The momentum flux simulated a similar pattern, with the maximum values simulated during the day and the minimum values during the night. The FLake model also simulated the deepest mixing layer in the months of July and October. However, our results have limitations due to the lack of observed data to validate the simulations. Full article
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33 pages, 27314 KiB  
Article
Management Soil Zones, Irrigation, and Fertigation Effects on Yield and Oil Content of Coriandrum sativum L. Using Precision Agriculture with Fuzzy k-Means Clustering
by Agathos Filintas, Nikolaos Gougoulias, Nektarios Kourgialas and Eleni Hatzichristou
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813524 - 10 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Precision agriculture (PA), management zone (MZ) strategies at the field level, soil analyses, deficit irrigation (DI), and fertilizer Variable Rate Application (VRA) are management strategies that help farmers improve crop production, fertilizer use efficiency, and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE). In order to [...] Read more.
Precision agriculture (PA), management zone (MZ) strategies at the field level, soil analyses, deficit irrigation (DI), and fertilizer Variable Rate Application (VRA) are management strategies that help farmers improve crop production, fertilizer use efficiency, and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE). In order to further investigate these management strategies, the effects of four soil MZ treatments, which were delineated using PA with fuzzy k-means clustering, two irrigation levels [IR1:FI = full drip irrigation (>90% of θfc), IR2:VDI = variable deficit drip irrigation (60–75% of θfc)], and four VRA fertilizations were studied on coriander yield and essential oil content in a two-year research project in Greece. A daily soil-water-crop-atmosphere (SWCA) balance model and a daily depletion model were developed using sensor measurements (climatic parameter sensors as well as soil moisture sensors). Unbalanced one-way ANOVA (p = 0.05) statistical analysis results revealed that correct delineation of MZs by PA with fuzzy k-means clustering, if applied under deficit irrigation and VRA fertilization, leads to increased essential oil content of coriander with statistically significant differences (SSD) and lower fruit yields; however, without SSD differences among management zones, when appropriate VRA fertilization is applied to leverage soil nutrient levels through the different fuzzy clustered MZs for farming sustainability. Moreover, VDI compared to full irrigation in different MZs yields 22.85% to 29.44% in water savings, thus raising IWUE (up to 64.112 kg m−3), nitrogen efficiency (up to 5.623), and N-P-K fertilizer productivity (up to 5.329). Full article
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17 pages, 15625 KiB  
Article
Assessing Soil Erosion Susceptibility for Past and Future Scenarios in Semiarid Mediterranean Agroecosystems
by Gianluigi Busico, Eleonora Grilli, Silvia C. P. Carvalho, Micòl Mastrocicco and Simona Castaldi
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712992 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
The evaluation of soil erosion rate, particularly in agricultural lands, is a crucial tool for long-term land management planning. This research utilized the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model to simulate soil erosion in a semiarid watershed located in South Portugal. To [...] Read more.
The evaluation of soil erosion rate, particularly in agricultural lands, is a crucial tool for long-term land management planning. This research utilized the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model to simulate soil erosion in a semiarid watershed located in South Portugal. To understand the evolution of the erosive phenomenon over time, soil erosion susceptibility maps for both historical and future periods were created. The historical period exhibited the highest average soil erosion for each land use, followed by the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 8.5 and 4.5 scenarios. The differences in soil loss between these two RCPs were influenced by the slightly increasing trend of extreme events, particularly notable in RCP 8.5, leading to a higher maximum value of soil erosion. The research highlighted a tendency towards erosion in the agroforestry system known as “montado”, specifically on Leptosols throughout the entire basin. The study confirmed that Leptosols are most susceptible to sediment loss due to their inherent characteristics. Additionally, both “montado” and farmed systems were found to negatively impact soil erosion rates if appropriate antierosion measures are not adopted. This underscores the importance of identifying all factors responsible for land degradation in Mediterranean watersheds. In conclusion, the study highlighted the significance of assessing soil erosion rates in agricultural areas for effective land management planning in the long run. The utilization of the SWAT model and the creation of susceptibility maps provide valuable insights into the erosive phenomenon’s dynamics, urging the implementation of antierosion strategies to protect the soil and combat land degradation in the region. Full article
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21 pages, 2523 KiB  
Article
Trends and Patterns of Daily Maximum, Minimum and Mean Temperature in Brazil from 2000 to 2020
by Leone Francisco Amorim Curado, Sérgio Roberto de Paulo, Iramaia Jorge Cabral de Paulo, Daniela de Oliveira Maionchi, Haline Josefa Araujo da Silva, Rayanna de Oliveira Costa, Ian Maxime Cordeiro Barros da Silva, João Basso Marques, André Matheus de Souza Lima and Thiago Rangel Rodrigues
Climate 2023, 11(8), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11080168 - 10 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
According to data obtained from meteorological towers, Brazil has significantly increased temperature in the past 20 years, particularly in the North and Midwest regions. Vapor pressure deficit and evapotranspiration were also analyzed, showing an increase across the entire country, confirming that the air [...] Read more.
According to data obtained from meteorological towers, Brazil has significantly increased temperature in the past 20 years, particularly in the North and Midwest regions. Vapor pressure deficit and evapotranspiration were also analyzed, showing an increase across the entire country, confirming that the air is becoming drier. This warming trend is part of the global climate change phenomenon caused by the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, fires, poor soil management practices, deforestation, and logging. The increase in temperature and dryness has profoundly impacted Brazil’s climate and ecosystems, leading to intensified extreme weather events and changes in the distribution of both animal and plant species. This study highlights the importance of utilizing meteorological tower data to monitor and understand the effects of climate change in Brazil. It emphasizes the need for immediate action to address its causes and mitigate its negative impacts. Full article
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32 pages, 15028 KiB  
Article
Agricultural Practices and Soil and Water Conservation in the Transboundary Region of Kenya and Uganda: Farmers’ Perspectives of Current Soil Erosion
by Hope Mwanake, Bano Mehdi-Schulz, Karsten Schulz, Nzula Kitaka, Luke O. Olang, Jakob Lederer and Mathew Herrnegger
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071434 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2356
Abstract
Poor agricultural practices among small-scale sub-Saharan African farmers can lead to soil erosion and reduce agricultural productivity. However, information on such practices is normally not well documented, making it challenging to design future mitigation strategies. We conducted a fine-scale agricultural survey on 200 [...] Read more.
Poor agricultural practices among small-scale sub-Saharan African farmers can lead to soil erosion and reduce agricultural productivity. However, information on such practices is normally not well documented, making it challenging to design future mitigation strategies. We conducted a fine-scale agricultural survey on 200 farm households within the transboundary Sio Malaba Malakisi River Basin (SMMRB) between Kenya and Uganda to quantify the frequency and type of soil conservation practices (SWCPs) implemented. Information on farm sizes, ownership, crops grown, soil fertility, soil erosion, soil water conservation practices, and the decision-making processes was collected. Descriptive and chi-squared statistics were used to present trends in land use, decision-making processes and the extent of adoption of SWCPs, as well as to analyse the relationship between the SWCPs and the farmers’ perceptions on soil erosion. The region showed highly fragmented farms (mean area: 0.6 ha), primarily practising rain-fed subsistence farming. The principal decision-makers of each farm were mainly (63%) male. Various farmers (28%) lacked soil and water conservation practices (SWCPs). However, most farmers (35%) implemented one type of soil and water conservation practice, while 37% practised a combination of two to five soil and water conservation practices. Extensive soil and water conservation practices such as intercropping were widely practised as they were more affordable than intensive measures. Results on the farmers’ perceptions on soil erosion showed that most farmers in the SMMRB reported soil erosion (60%) and even more (92%) reported to have experienced a loss of soil fertility over the last 5 years. There was a significant positive correlation (X2 (2, n = 198) = 92.8, p = < 0.001) between the perception of soil erosion and the perception of the change in soil fertility, suggesting that reducing soil erosion could result in a reduction in the loss of soil fertility. Thus, there is still a need for strategies and measures to address the soil erosion risks currently faced by Sio Malaba Malakisi River Basin farmers. This study is a baseline study that shows the importance of farmers’ perceptions on the practice of soil and water conservation measures in the Sio Malaba Malakisi River Basin and therefore becomes an important avenue for improving the currently practised soil and water conservation measures as well as developing adoption programs as well as future studies that combine scientific and farmers’ perception/knowledge for sustainable agriculture. Further research into the efficiency of currently adopted SWCPs as well as the extent of the farmers’ knowledge and the accuracy of their perceptions is recommended. Full article
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15 pages, 4261 KiB  
Article
Effect of Native Vegetative Barriers to Prevent Wind Erosion: A Sustainable Alternative for Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Production
by Ermindo Barrientos-Pérez, Felipe S. Carevic-Vergara, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Jorge Arenas-Charlín and José Delatorre-Herrera
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071432 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 910
Abstract
The abandonment of ancestral techniques and the incorporation of new technologies in the production systems for the cultivation of quinoa has resulted in overexploitation of soils, a loss of fertility, water imbalance, a loss of native vegetation cover in plain land areas, and [...] Read more.
The abandonment of ancestral techniques and the incorporation of new technologies in the production systems for the cultivation of quinoa has resulted in overexploitation of soils, a loss of fertility, water imbalance, a loss of native vegetation cover in plain land areas, and other negative effects on the southern Altiplano agricultural sustainable system. One of the methods to reduce wind erosion and improve soil environmental conditions is establishing a native vegetative barrier. The effect of t’ola [Parastrephia lepidophylla (Wedd.) Cabrera] as a vegetative barrier to prevent wind erosion was evaluated using the rod method, gravimetric humidity fluctuations, and soil quality measurements in traditional quinoa Real production plots. We found significant differences (p < 0.05) for mean erosion, sedimentation, net erosion, and mobilized soil variables. The highest loss of soil was reported for December and November. Vegetative barriers comprising three meters of t’ola better protected bare soils up to 7 m from the barrier, while in bare soils, the loss values were over 5 t ha−1 month−1. Soil humidity fluctuations in plots with t’ola vegetative barriers were highly significant for the distance factors and depth levels. There was a higher accumulation of gravimetric humidity (%) in bare soils from 1.5 m to the barrier (6.95%), while the insides of the vegetative barriers retained an average soil humidity of 6.37%. After two agricultural seasons in the quinoa plots, 62 t ha−1 per year of soils were lost due to a lack of vegetative barriers. Due to the large, cultivated area with quinoa (104,000 ha in 2014) in the Intersalar zone, wind erosion causes 6.48 million tons of soil loss yearly. T’ola vegetative barriers in the southern Altiplano of Bolivia favour the retention of sediments against wind erosion and soil protection for quinoa cultivation. Furthermore, incorporating native lupine increased soil fertility by 80% and protected the soil surface cover. Full article
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19 pages, 6749 KiB  
Article
Spatial-Temporal Response of Sediment Loads to Climate Change and Soil Conservation Practices in the Northern Aegean Watershed, Türkiye
by Bekir Cem Avcı, Erdal Kesgin, Masume Atam and Remziye Ilayda Tan
Water 2023, 15(13), 2461; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132461 - 05 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Climate change and agricultural activities are significant sources of stress to the natural environment and water resources. These also affect erosion and the associated estimation of sediment yields, which is also a crucial task in the hydrological models. The presented study is significant [...] Read more.
Climate change and agricultural activities are significant sources of stress to the natural environment and water resources. These also affect erosion and the associated estimation of sediment yields, which is also a crucial task in the hydrological models. The presented study is significant for the development of sustainable watershed management practices. It also aims to determine the effects of climate change and different agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on the sediment loads of the North Aegean Basin in Türkiye by using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. While sediment calibration was performed for 2014, streamflow calibration and verification were performed using the SWAT Calibration and Uncertainty Program (SWAT-CUP) for the period 2012–2013 and 2014–2015, respectively. The obtained results showed that the climate change scenarios reduce the surface waters of the basin and sediment yield in accordance with the hydrological transport processes. During the 2012–2030 time period, runoff in the basin for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate change scenarios decreased by 38.5% and 31.8%, respectively, and the basin sediment yield decreased by 55.7% and 50.7%, respectively. The sediment yields to water resources had distinctive reductions due to BMPs such as zero tillage, vertical tillage, cover crop, and terracing. Considering the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, BMPs reduced the sediment yield in the range of 0.93–4.03% and 0.89–3.85%, respectively. Determining the sediment transport by using hydrological modeling and the effects of climate change for different agricultural practices on erosion will be useful for decision-makers. Full article
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12 pages, 2164 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Possibilities of Backwash Water Reuse Filters in the Water Treatment System—Case Analysis
by Małgorzata Wolska and Halina Urbańska-Kozłowska
Water 2023, 15(13), 2452; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15132452 - 04 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Due to the worldwide water crisis and diminishing water supplies, it is imperative to reduce water use and reuse it. One possible source of water is the washings created during the purification of drinking water. Backwashing constitutes 2–8% of the treated water used [...] Read more.
Due to the worldwide water crisis and diminishing water supplies, it is imperative to reduce water use and reuse it. One possible source of water is the washings created during the purification of drinking water. Backwashing constitutes 2–8% of the treated water used globally; it is more commonly used, primarily for irrigation or to expand surface/groundwater resources. Therefore, recirculating it at the beginning of the water treatment system is reasonable and justifiable, as it can lead to a decrease in the cost of the water that is being used. A study of variations in the content of washings in two water treatment plants revealed the requirement for pollutants to be removed before the water is reused. For the safety of consumers, the presence of microbes in backwashings from both facilities was essential. Variability in the amount and composition of backwashings was higher for surface water treatment in comparison to infiltration water treatment; however, the amount of backwashings was greater in infiltration water. The quantity of microorganisms, including indicator ones, was substantially higher in washings following surface water treatment. On the other hand, in the washings from the infiltration water treatment, large amounts of iron and manganese compounds were present, the recycling of which would reduce the effectiveness of infiltration water treatment. Pre-treatment backwashings from both facilities will be suitable for the suspension separation procedures and disinfection. It is essential to compare the costs connected with water use against the anticipated cost of washing. The potential to purify additional water in the event of a worsening water shortage, however, is the most significant advantage of water reuse. Recycling of the washings will allow to reduce the fees for the use of the environment, even to EUR 150,000 and EUR 250,000 per year for surface and infiltration WTP, respectively. Full article
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10 pages, 1705 KiB  
Article
Air Temperature as a Key Indicator of Avocado (Cvs. Fuerte, Zutano, Hass) Maturation Time in Mediterranean Climate Areas: The Case of Western Crete in Greece
by Thiresia-Teresa Tzatzani, Giasemi Morianou, Safiye Tül and Nektarios N. Kourgialas
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071342 - 02 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1532
Abstract
Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a tropical fruit that has gained immense popularity worldwide due to its unique flavor, nutritional value, and numerous health benefits. The growth and maturation of avocados are influenced by various environmental and climatic factors. Temperature is one [...] Read more.
Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a tropical fruit that has gained immense popularity worldwide due to its unique flavor, nutritional value, and numerous health benefits. The growth and maturation of avocados are influenced by various environmental and climatic factors. Temperature is one of the most critical factors, as it plays a significant role in various physiological processes of this fruit. This study aimed to investigate the effect of air temperature on avocado development and assess the harvest maturity period (determined by the dry matter content) of Fuerte, Zutano, and Hass, the most common avocado varieties, grown in Western Crete, Greece. Fruit samples collected from avocado orchards in five regions of Western Crete were subjected to dry matter analysis during the ripening period for the years 2017 to 2022. Maturation time is determined based on the EU regulation for dry matter concentration. The results of this study revealed that dry matter concentration can be affected by both very high summer temperatures and low temperatures during the ripening period. Specifically, high temperatures during the summer months can have a significant impact on avocado development and result in a reduced dry matter concentration. On the other hand, low temperatures during the maturation stage can slow down enzymatic activity and metabolic processes, resulting in delayed ripening and a prolonged time to reach optimal maturity. This delay in maturation and reduced dry matter concentration can significantly affect the harvest timing, as growers may need to wait for the avocados to develop the desired characteristics before they can be harvested. Our findings are the first data on avocado maturation (dry matter concentration) in relation to temperature and provide valuable insights into harvest maturity period of avocado cultivation in Crete and other regions with similar Mediterranean climatic conditions. Full article
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19 pages, 4681 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Soil Infiltration Variability in Compacted and Uncompacted Soil Using Two Devices
by Ján Jobbágy, Koloman Krištof, Michal Angelovič and József Zsembeli
Water 2023, 15(10), 1918; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101918 - 18 May 2023
Viewed by 1980
Abstract
Infiltration is defined by the expression of the hydraulic conductivity of the soil, which we decided to monitor on an experimental field applying a modern system of land management (control traffic farming). The present study compared two different methods of monitoring the hydraulic [...] Read more.
Infiltration is defined by the expression of the hydraulic conductivity of the soil, which we decided to monitor on an experimental field applying a modern system of land management (control traffic farming). The present study compared two different methods of monitoring the hydraulic conductivity of soil on a selected 16 ha plot of land in the suburbs of the village Kolíňany (Slovak Republic). During the growing seasons, crops such as oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring barley, winter barley, spring peas, and maize alternated in individual years. In addition to the study of hydraulic conductivity, a long-term experiment is underway to investigate the influence of technogenic factors on soil degradation using a system of controlled movement of machines in the field. A mini disk infiltrometer (method one) was used to evaluate the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil, and a double ring infiltrometer (method two) was used to measure the saturated hydraulic conductivity. Monitoring changes in soil infiltration capacity within the compacted and uncompacted lines required 26 monitoring points (20 for method one and 6 for method two). The first longitudinal line was compacted by an agricultural machinery chassis, and the second line remained uncompressed. The research also created transverse compacted lines at eight monitoring points (six for method one and two for method two). The results did not show a statistically significant difference when examining the effect of soil infiltration monitoring (compacted p = 0.123; uncompacted p = 0.99). When evaluating the statistical dependence on the compression caused by machinery in the track line, the hypothesis of significance was not confirmed (p = 0.12, at the level of 0.05). However, the results showed variability in the value of the difference factor between the two methods, ranging from 0 to 0.24. On average, it can be concluded that the results achieved using the double ring infiltrometer were 4.16 times higher than those measured with the mini disk infiltrometer. The variability of hydraulic conductivity was demonstrated not only in the compacted but also in the non-compacted part of the plot. In some places, the phenomenon of water repellency appeared, which could be caused by the drier location of the targeted plot. Full article
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16 pages, 3824 KiB  
Article
Modeling Hydrological Responses to Land Use Change in Sejnane Watershed, Northern Tunisia
by Manel Mosbahi, Zeineb Kassouk, Sihem Benabdallah, Jalel Aouissi, Rihab Arbi, Mouna Mrad, Reginald Blake, Hamidreza Norouzi and Béchir Béjaoui
Water 2023, 15(9), 1737; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15091737 - 30 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1687
Abstract
Land use change is a crucial driving factor in hydrological processes. Understanding its long-term dynamics is essential for sustainable water resources management. This study sought to quantify and analyze land use change between 1985 and 2021 and its impacts on the hydrology of [...] Read more.
Land use change is a crucial driving factor in hydrological processes. Understanding its long-term dynamics is essential for sustainable water resources management. This study sought to quantify and analyze land use change between 1985 and 2021 and its impacts on the hydrology of the Sejnane watershed, northern Tunisia. Remote sensing and a SWAT model using the SUFI-2 algorithm to identify the most sensitive parameters were used to achieve this objective. Land use maps were developed for 1985, 2001 and 2021. For the last 37 years, the watershed experienced a slight decrease in forest, scrubland and forage crops, a significant reduction in grassland, and a conspicuous expansion of olive trees and vegetable crops. Given the scarcity of observed discharge data, a SWAT model was calibrated for the period 1997–2010 and validated for 2011–2019. Model performance was good for both calibration (NSE = 0.78, PBIAS = −6.6 and R2 = 0.85) and validation (NSE = 0.70, PBIAS = −29.2 and R2 = 0.81). Changes in land use strongly affected the water balance components. Surface runoff and percolation were the most influenced, showing an increase in runoff and a decrease in percolation by 15.5% and 13.8%, respectively. The results revealed that the construction of the Sejnane dam, the extension of irrigated perimeters and olive tree plantations were the major contributors to changes in hydrology. Full article
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19 pages, 3809 KiB  
Article
Evaluation and Prediction of Water Quality of Typical Wetlands in the Source Region of the Yangtze River
by Sujin Lu, Jianming Li, Jianhua Si, Yan Miao, Xuejiao Qi, Xiuzhi Zhang, Wenjin Bao, Xiaoyan Zhang, Shipeng Zhou, Cheng Jin, Lijuan Qi, Yue Qi, Xiaojing Zheng, Yanhong Gong, Zhanqing Wang, Yujing Wang, Bingyu Yi and Huiming Qi
Water 2023, 15(8), 1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15081612 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Wetlands play an important role in water storage and water conservation, but with global climate change, the degradation of wetland ecosystems is accelerating. In this study, we conducted research on the current situation and future prediction of water quality in typical wetlands in [...] Read more.
Wetlands play an important role in water storage and water conservation, but with global climate change, the degradation of wetland ecosystems is accelerating. In this study, we conducted research on the current situation and future prediction of water quality in typical wetlands in the source region of the Yangtze River to provide a scientific basis for the protection and restoration of wetlands in the source region of the Yangtze River. The Bayesian water quality assessment method and Yao Zhiqi evaluation method were used to evaluate the water quality of typical wetlands in the source region of the Yangtze River from 2016 to 2021 and based on the climate change scenarios of three RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) under the CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) global climate model and SWAT (soil and water assessment tool) hydrological model, the wetland water quality in the source region of the Yangtze River from 2022 to 2100 was predicted. The results show that the inter-annual changes in CODMn, NH3-N, and TN in a typical wetland show a downward trend, while the temperature and DO concentration show an upward trend from 2016–2021. The changes in CODMn, temperature, and conductivity within the year are abundant season > flat season > dry season; and DO, NH3-A, TN, and TP concentrations within the year are opposite. The water quality of typical wetlands in the source region of the Yangtze River has reached Class II and above. From 2022 to 2100, under climate change in the future, TN, TP, CODMn, NH3-N, and temperature in the wetland water in the source region of the Yangtze River will continue to rise, and the concentration of DO will continue to decline. Therefore, the pressure on water resources in the source region of the Yangtze River is further aggravated, so it is urgent to strengthen water resources protection. Full article
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13 pages, 1483 KiB  
Article
Identification of Influential Factors in the Adoption of Irrigation Technologies through Neural Network Analysis: A Case Study with Oil Palm Growers
by Diana Martínez-Arteaga, Nolver Atanacio Arias Arias, Aquiles E. Darghan and Dursun Barrios
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040827 - 04 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1307
Abstract
Water is one of the most determining factors in obtaining high yields in oil palm crops. However, water scarcity is becoming a challenge for agricultural sustainability. Therefore, when the environmental supply of water is low, it is necessary to provide it to crops [...] Read more.
Water is one of the most determining factors in obtaining high yields in oil palm crops. However, water scarcity is becoming a challenge for agricultural sustainability. Therefore, when the environmental supply of water is low, it is necessary to provide it to crops with the highest degree of efficiency. However, although irrigation technologies are available, for various reasons farmers continue to use inefficient irrigation systems, which causes resource losses. The objective of this study was to analyze the percentage of adoption of irrigation technologies for water management in oil palm crops and to classify the factors influencing their adoption by producers. The method for the classification of influential factors was based on multiple correspondence analysis and perceptron neural networks. The results showed that fewer than 15% of the producers adopt irrigation technologies, and the factors classified as influential in the adoption decision were the age of the palm growers, the size of the plantation, and the access to extension services. These results are the basis for the formulation of effective and focused extension strategies according to the characteristics of the producers and the local and technological specificity. Full article
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17 pages, 10344 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Soil Moisture Change Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Grassland on the Tibetan Plateau
by Licheng Wang, Jinxin Lu, Ronglei Zhou, Gaohui Duan and Zhongming Wen
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15020298 - 04 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1770
Abstract
Soil moisture is an important component of the soil–vegetation–atmosphere terrestrial hydrological cycle and is an important factor affecting terrestrial ecosystems. In the context of extensive vegetation greening on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), it is important to investigate the effect of vegetation greening on [...] Read more.
Soil moisture is an important component of the soil–vegetation–atmosphere terrestrial hydrological cycle and is an important factor affecting terrestrial ecosystems. In the context of extensive vegetation greening on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), it is important to investigate the effect of vegetation greening on soil moisture to maintain ecosystem stability and protect the sustainability of ecological restoration projects. To evaluate the effect of vegetation greening on soil moisture on the TP, the spatial distribution and trends of soil moisture and vegetation on the TP were analyzed using GIMMS NDVI data and ERA5 soil moisture data from 1982 to 2015. The effects of grassland NDVI, precipitation, and temperature on SM were also explored using multiple regression apparent and SEM. The main results are as follows: from 1982 to 2015, both grassland NDVI and SM showed a stable increasing trend. Precipitation was the most important factor influencing SM changes on the TP. In the context that vegetation greening is mainly influenced by temperature increase, vegetation plays a dominant role in SM changes in soil drying and soil wetting zones. In this paper, the climate–vegetation–soil moisture coupling mechanism of grasslands on the TP is investigated, and the related results can provide some theoretical references and suggestions for global ecosystem conservation and the sustainable development of ecological restoration projects. Full article
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20 pages, 3009 KiB  
Article
Comparing Water Use Characteristics of Bromus inermis and Medicago sativa Revegetating Degraded Land in Agro-Pasture Ecotone in North China
by Zhuo Pang, Hengkang Xu, Chao Chen, Guofang Zhang, Xifeng Fan, Juying Wu and Haiming Kan
Water 2023, 15(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15010055 - 23 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1329
Abstract
Revegetation with herbaceous plants has been effective in neutralizing land degradation; however, there is limited understanding about the water use characteristics and influences on soil water dynamics of revegetated species for ecological restoration. Hence, the stable isotopic composition of xylem water, soil water [...] Read more.
Revegetation with herbaceous plants has been effective in neutralizing land degradation; however, there is limited understanding about the water use characteristics and influences on soil water dynamics of revegetated species for ecological restoration. Hence, the stable isotopic composition of xylem water, soil water and groundwater was measured to investigate the water uptake patterns of Bromus inermis and Medicago sativa in the semi-arid agro-pasture ecotone in North China. Based on hierarchical clustering analysis of soil volumetric water content (SWC), soil was classified into four layers (0–5 cm, 5–10 cm, 10–20 cm and 20–30 cm) as different water sources. The main sources for Bromus inermis were from 20–30 cm (27.0%) and groundwater (24.2%) in May, to 0–5 cm (33.9%) and 5–10 cm (26.8%) in June, became groundwater (54.7%) in July, and then to 10–20 cm and 20–30 cm in August (23.2% and 20.6%) and September (35.1% and 32.1%). Medicago sativa were from groundwater (52.9%) and 20–30 cm (32.4%) in May, to 0–5 cm in June (61.0%), July (39.9%), August (47.6%), and then to 5–10 cm (77.8%) in September. Regression analysis showed a negative relationship between SWC and contribution of water uptake (CWU) (CWU = −2.284 × SWC + 60.833), when the difference in water isotopes was small among soil layers. Finally, the two grassland types showed distinct soil water dynamics shaped by species-specific water use strategies and associated soil pore properties. These results indicate that water use characteristics are species specific and a species combination with less water competition is recommended for sustainable revegetation of degraded land. Full article
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21 pages, 828 KiB  
Article
The Shadow Values of Soil Hydrological Properties in the Production Potential of Climatic Regionalization of the Czech Republic
by Josef Slaboch, Lukáš Čechura, Michal Malý and Jiří Mach
Agriculture 2022, 12(12), 2068; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12122068 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
The Czech Republic uses a dual system of agricultural land prices, namely the formal/official price—for tax purposes—and the market price in the case of a standard sale or purchase of farmland. This paper focuses on the construction of an econometric model to quantify [...] Read more.
The Czech Republic uses a dual system of agricultural land prices, namely the formal/official price—for tax purposes—and the market price in the case of a standard sale or purchase of farmland. This paper focuses on the construction of an econometric model to quantify the influence of soil hydrological characteristics on the production potential in a given climatic region. It also focuses on the use of this model for the determination of the official price of agricultural land, which is expressed on the basis of the code of the evaluated soil-ecological unit (ESEU) and based on defined soil characteristics. The pricing itself is based on the production potential of the land, which in practice is very important for spatial planning, as it determines the classes of agricultural land protection with regard to the possibility of setting aside agricultural land for non-productive purposes or for drawing subsidies for less favourable areas. In this context, the non-productive functions of agricultural land are also frequently discussed, especially its retention, which plays a very important role in the currently changing climatic conditions. There are a number of studies on soil retention, and numerous approaches to measuring it, but none of them address its impact on production potential and thus on the price of land. For this reason, this paper focuses on defining the influence of the retention of the main soil units (defined for the conditions of the Czech Republic) on production potential. For this definition, SUR models are used, where the endogenous variable is expressed as production potential and the exogenous variables include the basic soil characteristics such as grain size, porosity, hydrological component of the soil, and retention. The obtained outputs show both the high explanatory power of the model and the adequate parametric significance of most variables, which provides sufficient support for the use of the results in practice. In addition, the estimated models across all climatic regions are consistent with substantively logical assumptions about the link between production potential and soil hydrological properties, which secondarily demonstrates their applicability in practice, especially for state administration, but also for local government in the sense of municipalities, cities, and other organizational units. Full article
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7 pages, 678 KiB  
Concept Paper
Water Asset Transition through Treating Water as a New Asset Class for Paradigm Shift for Climate–Water Resilience
by Amgad Elmahdi and Lixiang Wang
Climate 2022, 10(12), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10120191 - 01 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2562
Abstract
Climate change is evident around the globe, which requires bold actions now to achieve UN-SDGs and Paris Agreement. The water sector is dominated by public finance and is almost subsidised. In addition, there is an increased risk perception surrounding climate investments in developing [...] Read more.
Climate change is evident around the globe, which requires bold actions now to achieve UN-SDGs and Paris Agreement. The water sector is dominated by public finance and is almost subsidised. In addition, there is an increased risk perception surrounding climate investments in developing countries. Pricing climate risks is a daunting challenge for investors and the private sector, who must estimate the likelihood of various climate scenarios and their implications for physical, liability and transition risks at the firm, project, national, and regional scales. In addition, there is a building momentum to scale up global climate response. To translate this momentum into action will require significantly greater investments, investments in a different set of inclusive assets that address water security, mobilise the private sector and provides sector-based or economy-wide co-benefits to direct and indirect beneficiaries, e.g., job creation, health benefits, improved resilience and scaling knowledge and harmonise data and methodologies. Notably, climate–water finance is facing a dual challenge. It will have to both reduce the present water infrastructure financing gap and ensure that this new infrastructure/asset is low-carbon, resilient to climate change, and meets the goals of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. Therefore, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the way how water asset is defined, developed, and financed. This paper presents this novel approach concept and its content and financial structure that enable treating water as a new asset class to enable private sector investment and ensure providing water for domestic, municipal, and industrial purposes and allows municipalities to scale their water reuse, sanitation, and desalination projects in partnership with the private sector and/or governments. It is increasingly important to treat water as a new asset class, particularly as nations around the world (particularly developing countries) are set to experience an anticipated 40% shortfall in water by 2030 due to climate change, economic recovery and growth, population growth and resource competition. Investment in water could be one of the ways of tackling this deficit by treating water as a new asset class. Full article
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16 pages, 4455 KiB  
Article
Good Agricultural Practices Related to Water and Soil as a Means of Adaptation of Mediterranean Olive Growing to Extreme Climate-Water Conditions
by Nektarios N. Kourgialas, Georgios Psarras, Giasemi Morianou, Vassilios Pisinaras, Georgios Koubouris, Nektaria Digalaki, Stella Malliaraki, Katerina Aggelaki, Georgios Motakis and George Arampatzis
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13673; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013673 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1698
Abstract
Despite the fact that the olive tree is one of the best-adapted species in Mediterranean hydroclimate conditions, climate extremes impose negative effects on olive fruit set and development and subsequently on crop yield. Considering that the frequency of climate extremes is increasing in [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that the olive tree is one of the best-adapted species in Mediterranean hydroclimate conditions, climate extremes impose negative effects on olive fruit set and development and subsequently on crop yield. Considering that the frequency of climate extremes is increasing in the last years due to climate change, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) have to be applied in order to mitigate their impact on olive trees. In this context, 18 experimental olive groves (irrigated and rainfed) were established, located on the island of Crete (south Greece). A set of 13 GAPs were applied in different combinations, mainly targeting to reduce water losses and erosion, alleviate heat stress and increase water use efficiency. Each experimental orchard was divided into two parts, the control (business-as-usual) and experimental (GAPs implementation). Four indicators were used for the assessment of GAPs performance, namely, Water Productivity (WP), Economic Water Productivity (EWP), Runoff (RF), and Yield (Y). WP and EWP were found to be up to 2.02 and 2.20 times higher, respectively, in the demonstration part of the orchards compared to the control, while Y was found to be up to 119% higher. RF was higher up to 190% in the control compared to the demonstration part of the experimental orchards. The above results clearly demonstrate that the implementation of the proposed GAPs can significantly support the adaptation of olive crops to extreme conditions. Full article
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19 pages, 3920 KiB  
Article
How Non-Governmental-Organization-Built Small-Scale Irrigation Systems Are a Failure in Africa
by Amadou Keita, Dial Niang and Sibri Alphonse Sandwidi
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811315 - 09 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Every year, millions of dollars are invested in irrigation development in Sahelian African countries. After shifting from governmental organizations to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the vulnerability of local populations has not changed much over the last 60 years in Africa. In this study, ten [...] Read more.
Every year, millions of dollars are invested in irrigation development in Sahelian African countries. After shifting from governmental organizations to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the vulnerability of local populations has not changed much over the last 60 years in Africa. In this study, ten 1 ha small-scale irrigation systems—spread over the two driest climatic zones—were investigated in Burkina Faso. The soils and subsoils were characterized using double-ring infiltration measurements and two soil databases. The irrigation systems’ operability was assessed by sampling 10–12 farmers per system. A total of eight pumping tests were performed on a sample of wells. To assess the yield of cultivated onion, 5 to 7 squares were followed up in each of the 10 systems. Results indicated that water availability was ensured nowhere. The 32 wells were dug in clayey subsoils. Six of them yielded available water Ve flows ranging from 0.0 to 6.1 m3/day, far below the 80 m3/(ha·day) required by onion. To solve this issue, the NGOs shifted to a low-pressure drip irrigation solution, but the too-low pressure of 0.1 bar led to clogging. Ultimately, all 10 systems (except Louda) broke down a few months after the project’s end. Full article
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21 pages, 1573 KiB  
Article
Siltation of Small Water Reservoir under Climate Change: A Case Study from Forested Mountain Landscape of Western Carpathians, Slovakia
by Vladimír Juško, Róbert Sedmák and Patrik Kúdela
Water 2022, 14(17), 2606; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14172606 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2306
Abstract
The effectiveness of small reservoirs in a mountain landscape continuously decreases over time due to the gradual siltation. We examined two hypotheses about the enhanced siltation rate and the constant relative contribution of unpaved roads to the siltation of a small water reservoir [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of small reservoirs in a mountain landscape continuously decreases over time due to the gradual siltation. We examined two hypotheses about the enhanced siltation rate and the constant relative contribution of unpaved roads to the siltation of a small water reservoir in the period 1990–2014, with pronounced climate change, compared to the reference period 1970–1989. Analysis was based on deposit volumes extracted from the reservoir in 1989 and detected at the reservoir bottom in 2014. The geographical information systems, image analysis and universal soil loss equation were applied to model the soil erosion according to the two sources—catchment area and roads—to study siltation processes in depth. Despite expectations, rates of siltation were almost unchanged in compared periods. The positive changes in vegetation cover (the forest expansion and changes in forest management practices) offset the enlarged rain erosivity. On the other hand, road erosion increased by 41% from 1990 and became twice as much a contributor to sediments compared to 1970–1989. The intensity of erosion from roads was from 13 to 29 times greater than from other areas. Therefore, proper maintenance of road networks could rapidly decrease reservoir siltation. Moreover, we recommend continuous cover forestry as a critical measure for central Europe’s forested regions to prevent growing erosion pressures. Full article
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17 pages, 4056 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns and Key Driving Factors of Soil Salinity in Dry and Wet Years in an Arid Agricultural Area with Shallow Groundwater Table
by Guanfang Sun, Yan Zhu, Zhaoliang Gao, Jinzhong Yang, Zhongyi Qu, Wei Mao and Jingwei Wu
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081243 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1455
Abstract
Soil salinization is a major eco-environmental problem in irrigated agro-ecosystems. Understanding regional soil salinity spatial patterns and seasonal dynamics and their driving factors under changing environments is beneficial to managing soil salinity to maintain agricultural production in arid agricultural areas. To better investigate [...] Read more.
Soil salinization is a major eco-environmental problem in irrigated agro-ecosystems. Understanding regional soil salinity spatial patterns and seasonal dynamics and their driving factors under changing environments is beneficial to managing soil salinity to maintain agricultural production in arid agricultural areas. To better investigate this topic, soil salinity was measured, ranging from topsoil to the depth of 1.8 m in an irrigation district with 68 sampling sites before and after the crop growing seasons of the dry year of 2017 and wet year of 2018. Soil texture, groundwater table depth, groundwater salinity, and crop type were monitored. The results indicated that an increase in soil salinity in the root zone (0–0.6 m) was accompanied by a decrease in soil salinity in the deep soil (0.6–1.8 m) through the crop growing season due to water movement from the deep layer to shallow layer, whereas the opposite trend was observed during the fallow seasons. During the dry year, the area with soil desalted was measured to be 19.89%, 14.42%, and 2.78% lower at depths of 0–0.6 m, 0.6–1.2 m, and 1.2–1.8 m than that during the wet year. The groundwater table depth in the crop growing season had the least impact on the change in root zone soil salinity (p > 0.05). Interactions between crop types and groundwater table depth had a significant effect on the change of soil salinity in the root zone during the growing season of the dry year, but were insignificant during the wet year. Crop types, groundwater table depth, and climate conditions determined the contribution of shallow groundwater to crop water consumption and, to a greater extent, soil salinity. Regression tree analysis showed that groundwater salinity and soil texture had a greater influence on soil salinity than groundwater table depth and land elevation. The effect of groundwater on soil salinity is strongly related to soil texture, and the salinity of fine-textured soil was 36–54% greater than that of coarse-textured soil due to large capillary action. Therefore, we suggest strengthening groundwater management in areas with fine-textured soil to relieve soil salinization, particularly during dry years. Full article
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17 pages, 2015 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Soil Particle Size Fractions, Associated Carbon Distribution and Physicochemical Properties of Historical Land-Use Types in Newly Formed Reservoir Buffer Strips
by Tengfei Yan, Yevheniia Kremenetska, Biyang Zhang, Songlin He, Xinfa Wang, Zelong Yu, Qiang Hu, Xiangpeng Liang, Manyi Fu and Zhen Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148448 - 11 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Water impoundment reshapes the ecological environment around the bank-line of newly built reservoirs. Therefore, reservoir buffer strips play a disproportionately large role in the maintenance of ecosystem functions and environmental benefits during the early stage of reservoir formation. However, there are gaps in [...] Read more.
Water impoundment reshapes the ecological environment around the bank-line of newly built reservoirs. Therefore, reservoir buffer strips play a disproportionately large role in the maintenance of ecosystem functions and environmental benefits during the early stage of reservoir formation. However, there are gaps in the research on soil particle-size-associated carbon distribution characteristics within different historical land-use types in newly formed reservoir buffer strips. In this study, we focused on soil particle size fractions, aggregate stability, and particle-size-associated carbon distribution characteristics of different historical land-use types of reservoir buffer strips at distance scale (i.e., different distance from the water) after reservoir impoundment in the Chushandian Reservoir, China, and explored the relationship between them. The results showed that the soil texture of abandoned cropland and grassland are classified as silt loam and woodland are classified as sandy loam; different historical land-use types in newly formed reservoir buffer strips showed significant differences in soil aggregate stability after reservoir impoundment; a distance scale was used to measure these differences, which were mainly due to the dry-wet cycles and water submerged condition caused by the buffers’ different distances from water. The newly formed reservoir buffer strips underwent corresponding changes in the particle-size-associated carbon distribution characteristics after reservoir impoundment, mainly due to the turnover property of different soil particles combined with organic carbon. Reservoir impoundment accelerates the turnover of silt particle and associated nutrients in soils of historical land-use types in newly formed reservoir buffer strips; turnover may be mediated mainly by microbial biomass. Full article
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17 pages, 1482 KiB  
Article
The Water Storage Function of Litters and Soil in Five Typical Plantations in the Northern and Southern Mountains of Lanzhou, Northwest China
by Shiping Su and Xiaoe Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148231 - 06 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Soil and water conservation is an important function of forest ecosystems; however, it remains unclear which forest type is best suited for water and soil conservation under the same site conditions. In order to clarify the soil and water conservation function of different [...] Read more.
Soil and water conservation is an important function of forest ecosystems; however, it remains unclear which forest type is best suited for water and soil conservation under the same site conditions. In order to clarify the soil and water conservation function of different plantations in the northern and southern mountains of Lanzhou city, we investigated several soil and water conservation function indicators (thickness and accumulation of litter, maximum water holding capacity and rate of litter, water holding capacity and water absorption rate of litter, soil infiltration rates, soil water content, soil bulk density, soil porosity, and soil water storage) of five plantation types (Platycladus orientalis plantations (Po), Robinia pseudoacacia plantations (Rp), Populus alba var. pyramidalis plantations (Pa), P. alba var. pyramidalis + R. pseudoacacia mixed plantations (Pa + Rp), and P. orientalis + R. pseudoacacia mixed plantations (Po + Rp)) and evaluated them using the gray correlation method. The results indicated the accumulation of litter varied from 13.50 to 47.01 t·hm−2 and increased in the order of Pa < Rp < Po < Po + Rp < Pa + Rp. The maximum water holding capacity of litter varied from 35.29 to 123.59 t·hm−2 and increased in the order of Pa < Rp < Po < Po + Rp < Pa + Rp. The soil physical properties (soil infiltration, porosity, and bulk density) of mixed plantations were better than those of pure plantations. The soil maximum water storage was significantly different among plantation types (p < 0.05), with an average varying from 3930.87 to 4307.45 t·hm−2, and was greater in mixed plantations than in pure plantations. Gray correlation analysis revealed that mixed plantations had the best conservation function of the five plantation types, followed by broad-leaved plantations and coniferous plantations. This suggests that the planting of mixed plantations dominated by Pa + Rp is therefore recommended in the future construction of plantations in the northern and southern mountains of Lanzhou to realize sustainable forest development. Full article
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16 pages, 3168 KiB  
Article
The Runoff in the Upper Taohe River Basin and Its Responses to Climate Change
by Lizhen Cheng, Guoning Wan, Meixue Yang, Xuejia Wang and Yongshan Li
Water 2022, 14(13), 2094; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132094 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
Climate change has a significant impact on water resources. Forecasts and simulations of climate runoff processes are essential for assessing the impact of global climate change on runoff variations. This study focuses on the upper Taohe River Basin, which is an important watershed [...] Read more.
Climate change has a significant impact on water resources. Forecasts and simulations of climate runoff processes are essential for assessing the impact of global climate change on runoff variations. This study focuses on the upper Taohe River Basin, which is an important watershed in the semi-arid regions of northwest China. To assess the runoff in the upper Taohe River Basin and the responses to climate change, the SWAT hydrological model was used to analyze future climate change scenarios and their effects on water resources. The results indicate that the minimum temperature would increase gradually in the 21st century and that the minimum temperature change would be more significant than the maximum temperature change, which indicates that minimum temperature changes would make an obvious contribution to future regional warming. Under RCP2.6, the average precipitation would decrease; at the same time, under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, the average precipitation would increase. In the future, under different climate scenarios, the runoff will exhibit droughts and flood disasters. These research results provide scientific support for water resource utilization and management in the Taohe River Basin. Full article
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15 pages, 3289 KiB  
Article
Study on Supply–Demand Balance Analysis and Service Flow of Water Resources in Dongjiang River Basin
by Xinyi Wang, Zhengdong Zhang, Fangrui Liu, Songjia Chen, Jianbin Dong, Yuanyuan Mao and Jun Cao
Water 2022, 14(13), 2060; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132060 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
The distribution of water resources is usually characterized by spatial heterogeneity, resulting in different water supply and demand pressures within the basin. Therefore, the analysis of water resources supply and demand balance and the mapping of water resources spatial flow can be an [...] Read more.
The distribution of water resources is usually characterized by spatial heterogeneity, resulting in different water supply and demand pressures within the basin. Therefore, the analysis of water resources supply and demand balance and the mapping of water resources spatial flow can be an effective suggestion for the regional water resources allocation to relieve the regional water pressure. The uneven distribution of water resources in the Dongjiang River Basin is significant, and how to effectively allocate water resources in the Dongjiang River Basin has become a major focus of research. Based on the multi-source data of the Dongjiang River Basin from 2005 to 2020, this paper uses the SWAT model and water demand model to establish the spatial flow model of water resources supply and demand, and uses the subbasin-scale to explore the spatial distribution and flow of water resources supply and demand, obtaining the spatial scope and flow of water resources supply and beneficiary areas in the basin. The results show that (1) the water supply in the Dongjiang River Basin has been decreasing year by year, and the water demand has been increasing from 2005 to 2015, leading to an increase in the imbalance between supply and demand, and there is a significant reduction in industrial water use from 2015 to 2020, resulting in a reduction in the imbalance between water supply and demand; (2) the supply and demand pressure of water resources in the Dongjiang River Basin has obvious spatial heterogeneity, showing that the pressure of water use in the middle and upper reaches is small, while the pressure of water use in the lower reaches is large; (3) under the framework of spatial service flows of water resources supply and demand, this paper obtains three main beneficiary area ranges, which are Dongyuan County of Heyuan City, Yuancheng District of Heyuan City, and the main urban area of Shenzhen Dongguan Huizhou, and specifies the flow of service flows. This study can not only provide reasonable suggestions for water resources allocation in the Dongjiang River Basin but it also provides references for water resources management in other basins. Full article
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18 pages, 2702 KiB  
Case Report
Study on Index of Groundwater Ecological Function Crisis Classification and Early Warning in Northwest China
by Haohao Cui, Guanghui Zhang, Qian Wang, Jinzhe Wang, Min Liu and Mingjiang Yan
Water 2022, 14(12), 1911; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14121911 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
The natural oases in the plain area of the northwest inland basin strongly depend on the groundwater depth. With the overexploitation and utilization of groundwater, natural oases are faced with the problems of serious degradation and rehabilitation. How to evaluate the degree of [...] Read more.
The natural oases in the plain area of the northwest inland basin strongly depend on the groundwater depth. With the overexploitation and utilization of groundwater, natural oases are faced with the problems of serious degradation and rehabilitation. How to evaluate the degree of the degeneration crisis of groundwater ecological function has become one of the key scientific and technological problems to be solved. In this paper, the Shiyang River basin of Gansu Province was selected as a typical research area. The remote sensing interpretation, groundwater–soil ecology comprehensive investigation, and groundwater in situ monitoring were adopted to carry out the research. Based on the correlation analysis method of natural ecology and groundwater, the interactive relationship between the natural ecological environment and groundwater depth in different ecological types of the region were studied: (1) under the arid climate condition in northwest China, the relationships between the ecological situation and the groundwater depth in different ecological types of the region were obviously different, and as a result, the optimal or limit ecological water level of groundwater in different ecological types was also different; (2) in the natural wetland area, the suitable ecological water level of groundwater was between 0.5 m to 1.5 m, and the limit ecological water level was 8.0 m; in the natural vegetation area, the suitable ecological water level was between 3.0 m to 5.0 m, and the limit ecological water level was 10.0 m; and in the farmland area, the suitable ecological water level was between 2.0 m to 5.0 m, and the limit ecological water level was 2.0 m; (3) in order to effectively protect the natural ecology in different ecological types, a five-level early warning and control index system should be established for the ecological function degeneration crisis of groundwater. It may be beneficial to promote restoration and protection of the groundwater ecological function and natural ecology in the inland area of northwest China. Full article
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22 pages, 2378 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Child Rearing Burden and Farmers’ Adoption of Climate Adaptive Technology: Taking Water-Saving Irrigation Technology as an Example
by Min Cui, Jizhou Zhang and Xianli Xia
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060854 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2455
Abstract
Exploring the relationship between child rearing burden and farmers’ adoption of climate adaptation technologies can be used to improve farmers’ adoption of these technologies, thus reducing the impact of climate change on agricultural production and increasing agricultural output. However, with the full implementation [...] Read more.
Exploring the relationship between child rearing burden and farmers’ adoption of climate adaptation technologies can be used to improve farmers’ adoption of these technologies, thus reducing the impact of climate change on agricultural production and increasing agricultural output. However, with the full implementation of the Chinese three-child policy, the number of children in families will continue to increase and the cost of raising children will rise, which will have a crowding out effect on the adoption of climate adaptive technologies. In this context, we analyzed the impact and mechanism of child rearing burden on farmers’ adoption of climate adaptive technology by Probit model and discussed its heterogeneity based on family life cycle theory. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from 511 farm households in the 3 provinces of China to produce the findings. We found that the child rearing burden had a significant negative impact on farmers’ adoption of climate adaptive technology. The impact mechanism analysis showed that the child rearing burden mainly affected farmers’ adoption of climate adaptive technology through three paths: risk appetite, economic capital and non-agricultural employment, with non-agricultural employment having the largest impact, followed by risk appetite and finally, economic capital. Furthermore, the effect of child rearing burden on the adoption of climate adaptive technology was heterogeneous amid different family life cycles: In the upbringing and burden period, the child support burden had a significant negative impact on the adoption of climate adaptive technology and the impact was greater in the upbringing period, while in the stable period, the child support burden had a significant positive impact on the adoption of climate adaptive technology. The influence mechanism was also heterogeneous in different family life cycles. This paper not only provides research evidence on the relationship between child rearing burden and farmers’ adoption of climate adaptive technology, but also has certain empirical value for the formulation and implementation of supportive measures for improving fertility policies. Full article
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24 pages, 50787 KiB  
Article
The Spatial and Temporal Assessment of the Water–Land Nexus in a Changing Environment: The Huang-Huai-Hai River Basin (China)
by Jing Liu, Zhenxin Bao, Guoqing Wang, Xinlei Zhou and Li Liu
Water 2022, 14(12), 1905; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14121905 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1773
Abstract
In addition to agriculture, the water–land nexus (WLN) also profoundly affects the sustainable development of industry and residents’ lives. However, little research has been designed to assess the water–land nexus from the perspective of industry development and people’s quality of life. In the [...] Read more.
In addition to agriculture, the water–land nexus (WLN) also profoundly affects the sustainable development of industry and residents’ lives. However, little research has been designed to assess the water–land nexus from the perspective of industry development and people’s quality of life. In the current paper, Wi, a regional industrial water–land nexus matching index, and Wd, a matching index of the domestic water–land nexus, were proposed for evaluating the water–land nexus from the industry development and quality of life perspectives separately in the current paper. Furthermore, climate change and human activities have significant impacts on the water–land nexus. The WLNs were assessed spatially and temporally for the first time based on these two indexes in 128 municipalities in the Huang-Huai-Hai River Basin of China from 1951 to 2017 to analyze the impacts of the changing environment on them. The impact of changing environment was explored based on changes of some climate factors and land use. The value of Wi are higher in the eastern and southern cities than the western and northern cities, while Zhenjiang city in Jiangsu Province has the highest Wi. For Wd, there are two low Wd zones across the basin, while the minimum values occurred in Linxia Hui Autonomous Region (Wd = 35.34 mm). Wi and Wd in most cities in the basin showed a significant downward trend, and some cities in the southwest of the basin have the fastest-decreasing of Wd. Wt and Wa were also calculated to assess the total and agricultural water–land nexus separately based on existing research. The Wt for the Huang-Huai-Hai River Basin gradually increases from northwest to southeast, and its spatial distribution characteristics are similar to precipitation in the river basin. In addition, the government should simultaneously implement water transfer plans to reduce the agricultural water pressure in Ningxia and Gansu provinces. Dynamic driving factors of change of the four assessment indexes (Wt, Wa, Wi, Wd) are briefly analyzed in the end of the paper. Full article
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8 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
Laboratory-Scale Study on the Effects of Freezing in Soils when Subjected to Different Moisture Content
by Svoboda V. Pennisi and Mussie Y. Habteselassie
Water 2022, 14(12), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14121892 - 12 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1442
Abstract
This study was undertaken to investigate how soil characteristics and moisture content impact the freezing process in soils that are common in Georgia, United States. Three soil types (sand, loam, clay loam) with a water content of 30% or 40% field capacity were [...] Read more.
This study was undertaken to investigate how soil characteristics and moisture content impact the freezing process in soils that are common in Georgia, United States. Three soil types (sand, loam, clay loam) with a water content of 30% or 40% field capacity were subjected to temperatures of −1.0 °C, −1.5 °C and −2.0 °C, respectively, in a freezing chamber. The three soil types revealed unique freezing profiles at both 30% and 40% field capacity. In general, all soil types at 40% field capacity remained at higher temperatures for longer periods of time compared to the same soil type at 30% field capacity. The loam soil at 40% WHC (water holding capacity) took the longest time to reach all four threshold temperatures. Both the soil texture and amount of water available for freezing affected the time each soil and water combination took to reach the threshold temperatures. These results have practical implications for the ornamental landscape industry and gardeners in subtropical climates where annual flowers are commonly grown in winter color beds. Since subfreezing soil temperatures are not as common in subtropical areas as they are in more northern climates, especially in recent decades, it would be worthwhile to examine the impact of additional factors such as organic content and nutrition on freezing processes in subtropical soils. Full article
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14 pages, 3051 KiB  
Article
Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Infiltration Wetting Front of Ring-Shaped Root Emitters
by Jun Zhang and Lin Li
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6712; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116712 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Ring-shaped root emitter is a new type of emitter applicable to the roots of fruit trees in arid areas. To study the characteristics of infiltration wetting front changes in ring-shaped root emitters, the orthogonal test method was used to design nine groups of [...] Read more.
Ring-shaped root emitter is a new type of emitter applicable to the roots of fruit trees in arid areas. To study the characteristics of infiltration wetting front changes in ring-shaped root emitters, the orthogonal test method was used to design nine groups of schemes for four factors: radius of irrigation ring R, burial depth H, number of orifices M, irrigation water volume V and their three levels (R = 20, 30 and 40 cm; M = 4, 6 and 8; H = 20, 30 and 40 cm, V = 40, 60 and 80 L). The infiltration process of these nine scenarios was simulated using HYDRUS-3D software. The results show that the interference infiltration time exhibited a good power function relationship with the irrigation ring radius, number of orifices and burial depth; before the interference infiltration, the wetting fronts were all in the shape of a rotating ellipsoid centered on the infiltration point and can be expressed by the equations of the upper and lower semi-elliptic curves relative to the infiltration point. With the increase in time, the wetting fronts were centered at the infiltration point and infiltrated in all directions at a different velocity. The transport rate decreased with time. The power function relationship between the wetting fronts and the influencing factors after the interference infiltration in different directions was established, and the coefficient of determination was above 0.888. The wetting front shape after infiltration stabilization can be regarded as a rotating body formed by the vertical wetting front plane around the z-axis. The wetted soil volume of deep percolation, surface and suitable infiltration scenarios was rugby-shaped, apple-shaped with a flattened top and complete apple-shaped, respectively. Burying the irrigation ring at slightly deeper than one-third of the crop root zone is recommended, and half of the horizontal range of the crop root system can be selected as the irrigation ring radius. The research results can provide a reference for selecting root emitter parameters and layout as well as developing a root irrigation system. Full article
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16 pages, 2720 KiB  
Article
Salt Accumulation during Cropping Season in an Arid Irrigation Area with Shallow Water Table Depth: A 10-Year Regional Monitoring
by Chaozi Wang, Yuanyuan Luo, Zailin Huo, Zhongyi Liu, Geng Liu, Shuai Wang, Yifan Lin and Peijin Wu
Water 2022, 14(10), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14101664 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1586
Abstract
Nowadays, irrigation takes up about 35% of agricultural water consumption worldwide, and irrigation induced secondary soil salinizationsalinization affects the crop production and sustainable development of arid irrigation areas globally. However, the regular pattern of salt accumulation in the root zone during the cropping [...] Read more.
Nowadays, irrigation takes up about 35% of agricultural water consumption worldwide, and irrigation induced secondary soil salinizationsalinization affects the crop production and sustainable development of arid irrigation areas globally. However, the regular pattern of salt accumulation in the root zone during the cropping season and the contributions of its attribute factors are still unclear. Therefore, a 10-year monitoring was conducted in the Hetao Irrigation District to reveal the soil salt accumulation during the cropping season and to relate it to influential factors, including potential crop evapotranspiration, water input (field irrigation + precipitation) and water table depth. It was found that under the climate conditions and water-saving irrigation measures of the investigated 10-year period, (1) the salt accumulated during the cropping season could be effectively leached by autumn irrigation and the root zone soil could remain suitable for crop germination, (2) the cropping season water deficit (potential crop evapotranspiration − field irrigation − precipitation) showed strong correlation with the cropping season salt accumulation, and (3) maintaining the cropping season average water table depth larger than a critical depth (roughly 3 m) might be the most economical way to alleviate salt accumulation. Therefore, it is recommended to balance the salt leaching and the water table depth controlling in the future water-saving irrigation management practices. Full article
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20 pages, 5152 KiB  
Article
Exploring a Climate Gradient of Midwestern USA Agricultural Landscape Runoff Using Deuterium (δD) and Oxygen-18 (δ18O)
by Lu Zhang, Joe Magner and Jeffrey Strock
Water 2022, 14(10), 1629; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14101629 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1374
Abstract
Intensive agricultural activities have altered the hydrology of many Midwestern USA landscapes. Drain tiles (subsurface corrugated and perforated flexible tubing) has changed how and when water is discharged into the streams. Stable isotopes of oxygen (oxygen-18) and hydrogen (deuterium) were used to investigate [...] Read more.
Intensive agricultural activities have altered the hydrology of many Midwestern USA landscapes. Drain tiles (subsurface corrugated and perforated flexible tubing) has changed how and when water is discharged into the streams. Stable isotopes of oxygen (oxygen-18) and hydrogen (deuterium) were used to investigate hydrologic characteristics of three intensively managed agricultural landscapes in southern Minnesota (MN) and South Dakota (SD). Monthly δD and δ18O samples were collected across a climatic gradient from March 2016 to March 2018. Local meteoric water lines were established for the comparison of precipitation and evaporation magnitude from different sources at each location. These included vadose zone, phreatic zone, deep groundwater, tile drain, and river source waters. Two end-member hydrograph separation was performed at each site on selected dates to partition the shallow groundwater tile drainage contribution to streamflow. A lumped parameter modeling approach was applied to each dataset to investigate the mean transit time of water through different zones. Local meteoric water lines demonstrated differences in isotopic signatures due to the climate gradient to show the impact of low humidity and less rainfall. The hydrograph separation results showed that, from west South Dakota to eastern Minnesota, tile drains contributed about 49%, 64%, and 50% of the watershed streamflow. Precipitation took an average of 9 months to move through different pathways to end up in groundwater and an average of 4 months to end up in tile drains. This study confirms the important role tile drains play in the intensively managed fields and watersheds of Midwestern agriculture. Full article
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19 pages, 2589 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Water-Resources Potential and Soil Erosion Hotspot Areas for Sustainable Land Management in the Gidabo Watershed, Rift Valley Lake Basin of Ethiopia
by Mihret Dananto, Alemu O. Aga, Petros Yohannes and Lamiso Shura
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095262 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2751
Abstract
For development of a comprehensive sediment management plan, it is crucial to categorize watersheds on the basis of soil erosion hotspot areas to extend the useful life of water bodies (e.g., Gidam reservoir). The goal of this study was to assess the surface [...] Read more.
For development of a comprehensive sediment management plan, it is crucial to categorize watersheds on the basis of soil erosion hotspot areas to extend the useful life of water bodies (e.g., Gidam reservoir). The goal of this study was to assess the surface water potential and identify erosion hotspot areas of the Gidabo watershed in Ethiopia using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The SUFI-2 (Sequential Uncertainty Fitting Version 2) program was used to calibrate the model, and the model’s performance was evaluated. According to the catchment prioritization analysis, some of the sub-basins with similar land use, land cover, and soil type but with higher slope would generate higher sediment yield. Furthermore, the soil conservation scenarios were developed in SWAT, and the model result showed that average annual sediment yield could be reduced by the application of grassed waterway, filter strips, terracing, and contouring by 49%, 37.53%, 62.32%, and 54.6% respectively. It was concluded that sediment yield reduction by applying terracing was more effective than other conservation measures for affected sub-basins. The surface water potential of the watershed varies spatially from sub-basin to sub-basin, and the mean monthly surface water potential of the watershed is 33 million cubic meters. These findings can help decision-makers to develop appropriate strategies to minimize the erosion rate from erosion hotspot areas and to allocate the watershed water potential for different types of water demands. Strip planting, terracing, or contour farming may be necessary on chosen hotspot erosion sites to reduce the effect of slopes on surface runoff flow velocity and sediment transport capacity. Full article
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20 pages, 3042 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Climate Variability in a Time Series of Precipitation and Temperature Data: A Case Study in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
by Alfonso Arrieta-Pastrana, Manuel Saba and Adriana Puello Alcázar
Water 2022, 14(9), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091378 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
Anthropogenic climate change is a global trend, hitherto incontrovertible, causing immense social and economic damage. Although the this is evident at the global level, at the local level, there is still debate about the most appropriate analyses to support this fact. This debate [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic climate change is a global trend, hitherto incontrovertible, causing immense social and economic damage. Although the this is evident at the global level, at the local level, there is still debate about the most appropriate analyses to support this fact. This debate is particularly relevant in developing countries, such as Colombia, where there is a significant lack of data at the local level that require analysis and interpretation. Consequently, studies are often superficially conducted to support climate change theory at the local level. However, such studies are then used to design hydraulic infrastructure, with potential catastrophic errors for human and environmental health. In this study, we sought evidence of climate change through an analysis of a series of data on temperature (maximum, mean and minimum), as well as total annual and maximum rainfall in 24 h registered at the Rafael Nuñez Airport station in the city of Cartagena, Colombia, from 1941 to 2015. The hypotheses of homogeneity, trend, stationarity and non-stationarity were analyzed. Problems of non-homogeneity and the presence of periodicity in the analyzed series were found, showing a trend and apparent non-stationarity in the original series. This could be associated with the effects of climate change. In this case, no correlation was found between temperatures and rainfall. Spectral analysis was performed for all series, and residual series were generated by extracting the harmonics of greatest significance. It was found that the series data generated from the third harmonic are generally stationary and without trend. Therefore, the trend and non-stationarity of the original series are due to problems of non-homogeneity and periodicity in the series. In the results of the stationarity test conducted according to the Phillips–Perron criterion, all series were non-stationary. For the two additional criteria of stationarity tests, 40% were shown to be stationary, and 60% were non-stationary. Specifically, non-homogeneity problems and apparent trends associated with climate change could have negative implications for the design of drainage systems. Full article
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19 pages, 1550 KiB  
Review
Soil and Water Conservation Techniques in Tropical and Subtropical Asia: A Review
by Bin Huang, Zaijian Yuan, Mingguo Zheng, Yishan Liao, Kim Loi Nguyen, Thi Hong Nguyen, Samran Sombatpanit and Dingqiang Li
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5035; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095035 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3406
Abstract
Soil and water loss is a severe environmental problem in tropical and subtropical Asia (TSA). This review systematically summarizes the techniques that have been widely applied in the TSA region and compares the conservation efficiency of these techniques based on the runoff and [...] Read more.
Soil and water loss is a severe environmental problem in tropical and subtropical Asia (TSA). This review systematically summarizes the techniques that have been widely applied in the TSA region and compares the conservation efficiency of these techniques based on the runoff and sediment reduction ratios (ηr and ηs). The results show that the current techniques can be divided into biological, engineering and agricultural practice measures, and in most cases, their efficiencies in reducing sediment loss (ηs = 14.0–99.5%, 61.3–100.0% and 0.6–95.4%, respectively) were higher than in reducing runoff loss (ηr = 2.8–9.38%, 0.28–83.3% and 1.62–70.2%, respectively). Monocultures of single tree species (e.g., Pinus massoniana) sometimes showed very limited conservation effects. Vetiver and alfalfa were more effective at reducing soil loss than other hedgerow species. Contour tillage, ridge farming, and reduced tillage generally showed high efficiencies in reducing soil loss compared with other agricultural practice measures. The combination of engineering and biological techniques could more effectively reduce soil and water loss compared with the application of these techniques along. Future works should be conducted to build unified technical standards and reasonable comprehensive evaluation systems, to combine these techniques with environmental engineering technologies, and to develop new amendment materials. Full article
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12 pages, 618 KiB  
Article
Quality and Fertility Assessments of Municipal Solid Waste Compost Produced from Cleaner Development Mechanism Compost Projects: A Case Study from Uganda
by Juliet Kiiza Kabasiita, Emmanuel Opolot and Geoffrey Maxwell Malinga
Agriculture 2022, 12(5), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050582 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2223
Abstract
Despite the fact that compost projects under the Cleaner Development Mechanism (CDM) have been implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, there is a paucity of information on the quality of compost produced from the compost plants. This study fills this gap by [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that compost projects under the Cleaner Development Mechanism (CDM) have been implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, there is a paucity of information on the quality of compost produced from the compost plants. This study fills this gap by evaluating the properties of MSWC produced from 12 CDM plants in Uganda based on quality and fertilizing indices. pH, Pb N, K, P, Mn, Cd, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Cr, Zn, OC, and CN levels differed significantly between locations. MSWC’s Fertility Indices (FI) ranged from 1.9 to 2.9, with Mbarara having the highest (2.9) and Soroti having the lowest (1.9). Fort Portal, Mbarara, Kasese, and Masindi have Clean Indices (CI) ranging from 3.8 to 4.9. According to the results of the fertility and Clean Indices analysis, all MSW composts generated at CDM facilities have low fertilizing capacity and poor quality and are classified as Class RU-1, which does not meet international and national compost criteria. As a result, these composts cannot be utilized as fertilizers and can only be used as soil conditioners under certain conditions. Windrow composting has been proven to be a viable method for lowering huge amounts of organic municipal solid waste in urban areas, and it can be scaled up to other parts of the world according to this study. Authorities must, however, engage urban citizens in waste separation at the source and MSWC enrichment with organic sources. This will aid in improving its quality and fertilizing capacity, as well as in ensuring that the MSWC produced is uniform and suited for use in agriculture and the market. Full article
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11 pages, 1522 KiB  
Article
Towards a Better Understanding of Social-Ecological Systems for Basin Governance: A Case Study from the Weihe River Basin, China
by Bo Wang, Heng Wang, Xianfeng Zeng and Baojun Li
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094922 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
Promoting sustainable development of the river basin ecosystem is important for improving human ecological environment. Thus, prior knowledge of natural and social sciences on the integration of natural, economic, and social factors related to rivers should be assimilated to improve river basin governance. [...] Read more.
Promoting sustainable development of the river basin ecosystem is important for improving human ecological environment. Thus, prior knowledge of natural and social sciences on the integration of natural, economic, and social factors related to rivers should be assimilated to improve river basin governance. This study uses a social-ecological systems (SES) framework to diagnose key factors affecting the governance of the Weihe River Basin, ranging from the social, economic, and political context to related ecosystems, watershed resource systems, watershed management system, and watershed governance actors’ five subsystems. Further, corresponding countermeasures are proposed for the problems found during our diagnosis. The results of this study show that applying an SES framework to the diagnosis and analysis of river basin governance integrates the research results of different disciplines and fields. Thus, this study is helpful in identifying and proposing the key impact variables related to river basin management to establish a comprehensive management counterplan. Full article
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19 pages, 1625 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Regional Urban Water Pollutants Emission Standards and Determination of Factors Influencing Their Integration—A Case Study of the Biopharmaceutical Industry in the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration
by Liping Cao, Xinyu Liu, Shuai Zhang and Mingjie Lyu
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4741; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084741 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
Urban pharmaceutical industries are responsible for high intensity emissions of water pollutants. The regional water pollutant emission standards vary greatly throughout the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA) in China, which, to some extent, results in increased risks and hidden dangers to regional [...] Read more.
Urban pharmaceutical industries are responsible for high intensity emissions of water pollutants. The regional water pollutant emission standards vary greatly throughout the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA) in China, which, to some extent, results in increased risks and hidden dangers to regional water environment safety, especially water quality. Under the national strategy of Yangtze River Delta ecological and green integration development, a unified standard of water pollutant emissions should be integrated into the integration development process, but differences between characteristic items, concentration limits, and conditions among four local standards of water pollutant emission have become a key influencing factor in their integration in industry and in green transformation. When comparing the water pollutant emission standards of the biopharmaceutical industry in three provinces and one municipality of the YRDUA, the factors influencing integration were determined and caused by the main differences in local water pollutant emission standards, namely, the race to the bottom of the biopharmaceutical industry, the inconsistency of environmental protection regulation law, and transboundary water pollution risks. From the perspective of urban water quality safety, we propose the following strategies for promoting the integration of water pollutant emission standards in the YRDUA: (1) increasing government funding for local water pollution governance and encouraging industries to adopt the third-party governance model for pollution control in the YRDUA; (2) unifying water pollutant emission standards and environmental law enforcement standards in the YRDUA with a mechanism involving shared economic responsibility; and (3) establishing a platform for sharing data and governance performance for the emission of water pollutants in the YRDUA. Full article
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12 pages, 3328 KiB  
Article
Stabilization of Lead-Contaminated Mine Soil Using Natural Waste Materials
by Deok Hyun Moon and Agamemnon Koutsospyros
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030367 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2162
Abstract
Stabilization was applied as a remediation option for immobilizing lead (Pb) in contaminated mine soil. Four types of waste materials were used as stabilizing agents, namely waste oyster shells (WOS), calcined oyster shells (COS), natural starfish (NSF), and spent-coffee-grounds-derived biochar (SCGB). The Pb-contaminated [...] Read more.
Stabilization was applied as a remediation option for immobilizing lead (Pb) in contaminated mine soil. Four types of waste materials were used as stabilizing agents, namely waste oyster shells (WOS), calcined oyster shells (COS), natural starfish (NSF), and spent-coffee-grounds-derived biochar (SCGB). The Pb-contaminated mine soil was treated with the stabilizing agents ranging from 0 to 10 wt% and a curing period of 28 days. The toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) was employed for evaluating the effectiveness of the remedial process. The Pb immobilization mechanism in the treated mine soil was investigated using scanning electron microscopy–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) analyses. The obtained results showed that the TCLP Pb levels decreased as the stabilizing agent dosage increased. The WOS and COS stabilizing agents immobilized Pb effectively in the contaminated mine soil. Application dosages of 4 wt% and 2 wt% for WOS and COS, respectively, were sufficient for compliance with the TCLP regulatory level of 5 mg/L. For the NSF and SCGB treatments, 4 wt% and 10 wt%, respectively, were necessary to meet the TCLP regulatory limit. The effectiveness of Pb immobilization was found to increase in the following order: SCGB < NSF < WOS < COS. The chemical fraction analyses showed that the lower F2 (weak acid soluble) fraction and higher F3 (reducible) and F4 (oxidizable) fractions were most likely associated with the high level of Pb immobilization. Moreover, the SEM-EDX analysis results showed that the most effective Pb immobilization could be strongly associated with the pozzolanic reaction products. Full article
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13 pages, 2883 KiB  
Brief Report
Recent Developments in Some Long-Term Drought Drivers
by Alfred de Jager, Christina Corbane and Filip Szabo
Climate 2022, 10(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10030031 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2972
Abstract
The droughts that hit North and North Western Europe in 2018 and 2019 served as a wake-up call that temperate regions are also affected by these kinds of slow progressing or creeping disasters. Long-term drivers, such as land-use changes, may have exacerbated the [...] Read more.
The droughts that hit North and North Western Europe in 2018 and 2019 served as a wake-up call that temperate regions are also affected by these kinds of slow progressing or creeping disasters. Long-term drivers, such as land-use changes, may have exacerbated the impacts of these meteorological droughts. These changes, which are spread over a long time span, may even be difficult to perceive for an individual, but make a big difference in how these rare weather events impact a region. In this paper, we introduce three long-term drivers: forest fires in Europe, global urbanisation, and global deforestation. We attempt to provide a first assessment of their trends, mainly using statistics derived from satellite imagery published in recent literature. Due to the complexity of drought impacts, and the scarcity of quantitative impact data, the relationship between drought impact and these three processes for land use change is difficult to quantify; however, hence we present a survey of the recent trends in these land use change processes and the possible mechanics by which they affect drought impacts. Based on this survey we can conclude that the extent and the number of wildfires have increased markedly in Europe since 2010. Deforestation is still occurring in the tropics, with a loss of 12% in the last 30 years but has halted in the northern regions. Urbanisation has more than doubled in the same time span in the tropics and subtropics, mostly at the expense of forests, while in Europe urbanisation took place mainly in the northern part of the continent. We can conclude that none of these implicit drought drivers followed a favourable trend in the last 30 years. With consistent and worldwide monitoring, for example, by using satellite imagery, we can regularly inform the scientific community on the trends in these drought impact affecting processes, thus helping decision makers to understand how far we have progressed in making the world resilient to drought impacts. Full article
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16 pages, 2148 KiB  
Article
Impact of Biochar Application on Ammonia Volatilization from Paddy Fields under Controlled Irrigation
by Suting Qi, Jie Ding, Shihong Yang, Zewei Jiang and Yi Xu
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031337 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
Ammonia volatilization is an important nitrogen loss pathway in the paddy field ecosystem which leads to low nitrogen-utilization efficiency and severe atmospheric pollution. To reveal the influence and the mechanism of biochar application on ammonia volatilization from paddy fields under controlled irrigation, field [...] Read more.
Ammonia volatilization is an important nitrogen loss pathway in the paddy field ecosystem which leads to low nitrogen-utilization efficiency and severe atmospheric pollution. To reveal the influence and the mechanism of biochar application on ammonia volatilization from paddy fields under controlled irrigation, field experiments were conducted in the Taihu Lake Basin in China. The experiment consisted of three levels of biochar application (0, 20, and 40 t·ha−1) and two types of irrigation management (controlled irrigation and flood irrigation). Increasing ammonia volatilization occurred after fertilization. Biochar application reduced the cumulative ammonia volatilization from controlled-irrigation paddy fields, compared with non-biochar treatment. The cumulative ammonia volatilization in controlled-irrigation paddy fields with 40 t·ha−1 biochar application was reduced by 12.27%. The decrease in ammonia volatilization was related to the change in soil physical and soil physical–chemical properties and soil microbial activities. The high biochar application (40 t·ha−1) increased the NH4+-N content in soil (p < 0.01) and soil solution (p <0.05), increased by 64.98% and 19.72%, respectively. The application also increased the soil urease activity (p < 0.01), and high biochar application (40 t·ha−1) increased soil urease activity by 33.70%. Ammonia volatilization from paddy fields was significantly correlated with the nitrogen concentration (p < 0.01) in the soil solution and soil urease activity (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, the abundance of ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) with biochar application under controlled irrigation showed an increasing trend with rice growth. The long-term application of biochar may have a relatively strong potential to inhibit ammonia volatilization. In general, the combined application of controlled irrigation and biochar provides an eco-friendly strategy for reducing farmland N loss and improving paddy field productivity. Full article
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