Special Issue "The Interrelationship between Agricultural Activities, Water Quality and Human Health"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chihhao Fan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Interests: river pollution control and water quality management; assessment of carrying capacity of water bodies; strategy for TMDL (total maximum daily load) implementation; watershed management; environmental chemistry; water and wastewater treatment; advanced oxidation processes; impact of macromolecule on AOP treatment efficiency; photo-catalytic oxidation of disinfection by-products in drinking water; transport and fate of environmental contaminants; quality assurance and conservation of agro-environment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Sheng-Wei Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, Tamkang University, New Taipei City 25137, Taiwan
Interests: groundwater resource management; geochemical modeling; water chemistry; groundwater contamination transformation simulation; soil and groundwater contamination remediation; mobilization and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in the agro-environment; hydrogeological investigation; geostatistical analysis; multivariate statistical analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agricultural activity is important for human survival.  In general agriculture practices, water is introduced into farmland for irrigation with possible pesticide and fertilizer applications. Water is also used for livestock breeding and aquaculture development. Agricultural practices may adversely impact water quality. Improper agricultural activities increase the concentrations of nutrients, fecal coliforms, and sediment loads in water.

The increase in crop production was achieved mainly through the massive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. With the improvement in agriculture productivity, excess chemical use transfers agricultural pollution to receiving water bodies. The livestock sector is growing in almost all countries due to the increasing demand for food supply. Increased organic loading from animal waste causes the eutrophication of water bodies and the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems. All the associated waste and pollutants, including manure, have serious implications for water quality. In the practice of aquaculture, fish excreta and uneaten feed from fed aquaculture impair water quality. Increased production has also been achieved with the greater use of antibiotics, fungicides, and anti-fouling agents, which contribute to the contamination of downstream ecosystems.

Water pollution from agriculture has direct negative impacts on human health. To mitigate such a significant impact on the environment, efforts regarding investigations into (1) smart agriculture practices for environmental sustainability, (2) nutrient cycles of agro-ecosystems, (3) pollution control for agriculture, (4) assessment and strategies for assuring agro-ecosystem sustainability, and (5) other related investigations that enhance the resource consumption efficiency and sustainable agriculture are welcome in this Special Issue. Hopefully, these studies will be able to build a linkage between agriculture practices and sustainable agro-ecosystems to achieve the ultimate goal of environmental sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Chihhao Fan
Dr. Sheng-Wei Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • agriculture
  • pesticides
  • fertilizer
  • animal husandry
  • irrigation
  • water quality
  • non-point source pollution
  • water polution control
  • public health
  • food safety

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Hydrochemical Assessment of the Irrigation Water Quality of the El-Salam Canal, Egypt
Water 2021, 13(17), 2428; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13172428 - 03 Sep 2021
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The El-Salam canal in Egypt is considered an important stream of fresh water for the agricultural sector that extends from the Nile River to Sinai, while it is subjected to several anthropogenic stresses. In this study, five-georeferenced stations (named from S1 to S5) [...] Read more.
The El-Salam canal in Egypt is considered an important stream of fresh water for the agricultural sector that extends from the Nile River to Sinai, while it is subjected to several anthropogenic stresses. In this study, five-georeferenced stations (named from S1 to S5) were monitored along the El-Salam Canal before El-Sahara of the Suez Canal, via the estimation of the WQ index based on major cations and anions analysis including salinity hazard, permeability index, residual sodium carbonate, magnesium hazard, sodium percentage, sodium adsorption ratio, Kelley index, potential salinity, total hardness, and irrigation water quality index (IWQI). The sequence of average concentration of cations in water were Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+. The major cations constitute around 60% of the total dissolved salts. While the sequence of major anions in water were SO42− > HCO3 > Cl > CO32−. These cations and anions showed an increasing trend from S1 (intake of the canal) to S5 (before El-Sahara) of the El-Salam Canal. Moreover, the order of heavy metals was Zn < Cd < Cr < Ni < Fe < Mn < Co < Cu < Pb. According to the US EPA (1999) guidelines, the levels of Fe and Zn in the El-Salam Canal are within the permissible limits for drinking and irrigation purposes, while Mn, Pb, Cu, Co, Ni, Cr, and Cd were detected at higher concentrations than those recommended. The value of IWQI in water samples varied from 40.26 to 114.82. The samples of S1 showed good water, the samples of region S2 (after mixing with Faraskour drainage) showed poor water quality, samples of regions S3 (after mixing with the El-Serw drain waters) and S5 (before El-Sahara) fell under the very poor water category and samples of region S4 (after mixing with the Hadous drainage) showed unsuitable water. Croplands irrigated with such water will not be exposed to any alkaline risks but will be exposed to the risk of salinity, which is more severe after mixing at the S3 and S4 sites. It is recommended to treat the drainage water before mixing with the irrigation water of El-Salam Canal to raise the suitability of irrigation water for crops, particularly for the Hadous drain. Full article
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