Special Issue "Advances in Urban Groundwater and Sustainable Water Resources Management and Planning"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Helder I. Chaminé
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Cartography and Applied Geology, Department of Geotechnical Engineering, School of Engineering (ISEP), Polytechnic of Porto, Rua do Dr. A. Bernardino de Almeida, 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Interests: hydrogeological mapping and GIS-based mapping for water resources; hard-rock hydrogeology and water resources; urban groundwater for sustainable water resources management and planning; vulnerability mapping and geohazards; groundwater, geotechnics and rock engineering; hydrogeomechanics and underground environments; history of hydrogeology; military geosciences and groundwater; higher education dissemination and geoprofessional core values
Prof. Maria José Afonso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Cartography and Applied Geology, Department of Geotechnical Engineering, School of Engineering (ISEP), Polytechnic of Porto, Rua do Dr. A. Bernardino de Almeida, 431 - 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Interests: urban groundwater for sustainable water resources management and planning; urban vulnerability mapping and geohazards; hard-rock hydrogeology and water resources; hydrogeochemistry in both natural and anthropogenic environments; rock–water interactions; hydromineral resources and geothermics; hydrogeotechnics and water well; applied geology and geotechnics
Dr. Maurizio Barbieri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro, 5-00185 Roma, Italy
Interests: geochemical tracers in hydrological studies; interactions between water and the geological and chemical environment; quantitative understanding of chemically based processes in hydrogeochemical environments and complementary physical and biological processes and conditions; kinetics and equilibria of geochemical reactions; the movement of isotopes and soil chemistry; freshwater–seawater interactions in coastal aquifers; basic and applied research on speciation and transformation of trace metals and metalloids during biogeochemical processes in both natural and anthropogenic environments; radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In nature, urban groundwater drives many processes, including climatic, geological, geomorphic, geochemical, ecotoxicological, and hydraulic, sustaining several ecological purposes and services. Urban development has a profound impact on hydrological systems. Additional issues in water resource sustainability and hydrological cycle comprehension are added by urbanization. The anatomy of the urban underground is constituted by an intricate network of pipes, conduits, channels, galleries, storm sewers, and other structures that alter the hydraulic conductivity of the geomaterials. In addition, the release of compounds from urban infrastructure alters the chemistry of the surrounding environment and affects water quality. Urban streams (some of them also channeled and shallow buried) receive dissolved and particulate chemical loadings from runoff, sewer connections, direct discharge from other waterways, and interactions with groundwater. Urban runoff chemistry tends to be dominated by material associated with or accumulated on impervious surfaces, such as heavy metals and deicing salt from roadways. Sewage treatment plants are typically designed to remove some, but not all human-produced compounds and suspended material from water. Consequently, these urban buried features act as favorable pathways for the fluid flow of urban-sourced contaminants into the groundwater resources. In addition, ground surface is generally covered and perceived as virtually impervious (e.g., buildings, asphalt, concrete, brick). Nowadays, environmental pressures affect urban groundwater systems, which are faced with increasing urban pressure, overexploitation, contamination/pollution issues, and climate variability.

A paradigm shift based on holistic management is required to design sustainable water systems. Consequently, an urban water framework must be based not only on sustainable technical–scientific studies but also on socioeconomic, cultural, heritage, and ethical challenges.

This Special Issue emphasizes on the presentation and discussion of key studies, model-urban and peri-urban areas, new methods, original papers, and review articles that describe the current state of the art on the challenges and emerging fields related to the mapping, characterization, assessment, mitigation, and protection of sustainable groundwater systems, water–ground interactions, and water resources in urban areas.

Potential topics in urban areas include but are not limited to the following: hydrogeological mapping, hydrogeochemistry, isotope hydrology, hydraulics, water resources, groundwater engineering, and modeling. Other emerging fields in urban studies are most welcome, such as: urban GIS mapping, geovisualisation, and UAV techniques; urban hydrogeomorphology and planning; rural hydrogeology and small-scale water resources management; hydrotoponymy, historical cities, and cultural heritage; smart cities and groundwater; cities, water security and services; and groundwater ethics and urban areas management.

Prof. Helder I. Chaminé
Prof. Maria José Afonso
Prof. Maurizio Barbieri
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 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Urban hydrological cycle
  • Groundwater GIS mapping for urban areas
  • Urban hydrogeochemistry and isotopic hydrology
  • Urban hydraulics and hydrodynamics
  • Urban groundwater recharge
  • Urban groundwater, planning, and engineering
  • Urban conceptual models and numerical modeling
  • Integrated water resources management for urban areas
  • Geochemical change
  • Ecotoxicology, geomicrobiology, and hydrobiology studies in urban environments
  • Environmental risk assessment for urban areas
  • Urban groundwater and geohazards
  • Uncertainty, variability, and climate change impacts in urban groundwater systems
  • Ethics, environment, society, and groundwater for urban areas

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Proposing the Optimum Withdrawing Scenarios to Provide the Western Coastal Area of Port Said, Egypt, with Sufficient Groundwater with Less Salinity
Water 2021, 13(23), 3359; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13233359 - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Recently, groundwater resources in Egypt have become one of the important sources to meet human needs and activities, especially in coastal areas such as the western area of Port Said, where seawater desalination cannot be used due to the problem of oil spill [...] Read more.
Recently, groundwater resources in Egypt have become one of the important sources to meet human needs and activities, especially in coastal areas such as the western area of Port Said, where seawater desalination cannot be used due to the problem of oil spill and the reliance upon groundwater resources. Thus, the purpose of the study is the sustainable management of the groundwater resources in the coastal aquifer entailing groundwater abstraction. In this regard, the Visual MODFLOW and SEAWAT codes were used to simulate groundwater flow and seawater intrusion in the study area for 50 years (from 2018 to 2068) to predict the drawdown, as well as the salinity distribution due to the pumping of the wells on the groundwater coastal aquifer based on field investigation data and numerical modelling. Different well scenarios were used, such as the change in well abstraction rate, the different numbers of abstraction wells, the spacing between the abstraction wells and the change in screen depth in abstraction. The recommended scenarios were selected after comparing the predicted drawdown and salinity results for each scenario to minimize the seawater intrusion and preserve these resources from degradation. Full article
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Article
Irrigation with Coal Mining Effluents: Sustainability and Water Quality Considerations (São Pedro da Cova, North Portugal)
Water 2021, 13(16), 2157; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13162157 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Two water effluents that drain from the abandoned coal mine of São Pedro da Cova (NW Portugal) were characterized in terms of their physic-chemical properties and suitability for irrigation purposes. Samples were also collected in a local surface stream, upstream and downstream from [...] Read more.
Two water effluents that drain from the abandoned coal mine of São Pedro da Cova (NW Portugal) were characterized in terms of their physic-chemical properties and suitability for irrigation purposes. Samples were also collected in a local surface stream, upstream and downstream from the mine drainage points, also used for irrigation by local farmers. Water samples were analyzed for major and minor ions and for trace element concentrations. Sampling campaigns started in 2017 and ended in 2019 and there were 46 water quality parameters tested. There were also proposed all-inclusive indices (the Water Quality Index and the Contamination Index, and also the Trace Element Toxicity Index) based on specific groups of 18 and 17 physic-chemical parameters, respectively, to achieve adequate monitoring requirements for mine effluents and surface water from coalfield. From the physical and chemical aspects of mine water it is inferred that the mine is not producing acid mine drainage. The coal mine water is of medium to high salinity, having almost neutral pH and a high thermal stability during the year, which is a distinguishing feature of the effluents. When compared to international irrigation water quality standards, as Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations admissible concentrations, the impacted waters are unsuitable for irrigation. The major outliers to the guidelines were iron, manganese, potassium, magnesium and bicarbonates, being also detected carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Cost-effective ways of monitoring water quality parameters are needed to help control and manage the impact of coal mine effluents that should be treated before releasing into a ditch system that could be then used by local farmers to irrigate their crops. Full article
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Article
Application of 2H and 18O Isotopes for Tracing Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Contamination of Groundwater: Two Italian Case Histories
Water 2021, 13(8), 1065; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13081065 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 657
Abstract
Groundwater contamination due to municipal solid waste landfills leachate is a serious environmental threat. During recent years, the use of stable isotopes as environmental tracers to identify groundwater contamination phenomena has found application to environmental engineering. Deuterium (2H) and oxygen ( [...] Read more.
Groundwater contamination due to municipal solid waste landfills leachate is a serious environmental threat. During recent years, the use of stable isotopes as environmental tracers to identify groundwater contamination phenomena has found application to environmental engineering. Deuterium (2H) and oxygen (18O) isotopes have successfully used to identify groundwater contamination phenomena if submitted to interactions with municipal solid waste landfills leachate, with a significant organic amount. The paper shows two case studies, in central and southern Italy, where potential contamination phenomenon of groundwater under municipal solid waste landfills occurred. In both cases, isotope compositions referred to 2H and 18O highlight a δ2H enrichment for some groundwater samples taken in wells, located near leachate storage wells. The δ2H enrichment is probably caused by methanogenesis phenomena, during which the bacteria use preferentially the hydrogen “lighter” isotope (1H), and the remaining enriched the “heavier” isotope (2H). The study of the isotope composition variation, combined with the spatial trend of some analytes (Fe, Mn, Ni) concentrations, allowed to identify interaction phenomena between the municipal solid waste landfills leachate and groundwater in both case histories. Therefore, these results confirm the effectiveness of 2H isotopes application as environmental tracer of groundwater contamination phenomena due to mixing with municipal solid waste landfills leachate. Full article
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Article
Role of Ion Chemistry and Hydro-Geochemical Processes in Aquifer Salinization—A Case Study from a Semi-Arid Region of Haryana, India
Water 2021, 13(5), 617; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13050617 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
In the present study, a total of sixty groundwater samples, twenty each for the pre-monsoon, monsoon and post monsoon seasons of 2018, were collected from selected locations in the Mewat district of Haryana, India. Electrical conductivity (EC) was measured at the site and [...] Read more.
In the present study, a total of sixty groundwater samples, twenty each for the pre-monsoon, monsoon and post monsoon seasons of 2018, were collected from selected locations in the Mewat district of Haryana, India. Electrical conductivity (EC) was measured at the site and total dissolved solids (TDS) were estimated. Samples were analysed for anions (chloride, sulphate, and bicarbonate) and cations (calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium). Multiple regression analysis was performed to analyse the data and report the dominant ions. Piper trilinear diagram and Gibbs plots were used to find out the water type and the factors controlling the chemistry of the groundwater, respectively. The saturation index of CaCO3, CaSO4 and NaCl was determined, using the PHREEQC MODEL. Sodium and calcium among cations, and chloride among the anions, had the highest degree of affinity and strong significance for all three seasons. The calcium–chloride water type dominated for all three seasons and Gibbs plot depicted that most of the Na+/Na+ + Ca2+ and Cl/Cl + HCO3 ratios show the weathering of rocks to form minerals as the major reason behind the ionic chemistry of the groundwater. The highest level of dissolution is encountered in the case of NaCl, followed by CaSO4, whereas CaCO3 depicts precipitation. The geochemical aspects of weathering, evaporation and ion exchange are the major processes responsible for high salinity, and anthropogenic activities are leading to its expansion. The findings from this study will be useful in management and remediation of groundwater salinity of the region. Full article
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Article
Water Level Prediction of Emergency Groundwater Source and Its Impact on the Surrounding Environment in Nantong City, China
Water 2020, 12(12), 3529; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w12123529 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 572
Abstract
Based on the geological and hydrogeological conditions, and in situ hydrogeological tests of the emergency groundwater source in Nantong City, China, a 3D numerical model of the heterogeneous anisotropy in the study area was established and calibrated using data from pumping and recovery [...] Read more.
Based on the geological and hydrogeological conditions, and in situ hydrogeological tests of the emergency groundwater source in Nantong City, China, a 3D numerical model of the heterogeneous anisotropy in the study area was established and calibrated using data from pumping and recovery tests. The calibrated model was used to simulate and predict the water level of the depression cone during the emergency pumping and water level recovery. The results showed that after seven days of pumping, the water level in the center of the depression cone ranged from −51 m to −55 m, and compared with the initial water level, the water level dropped by 29 m to 32 m. The calculated water level has a small deviation compared with that of the analytical solution, which indicates the reliability and rationality of the numerical solution. Furthermore, during water level recovery, the water level of pumping wells and its surroundings rose rapidly, which was a difference of about 0.28 m from the initial water level after 30 days, indicating that the groundwater level had recovered to the state before pumping. Due to the emergency pumping time is not long, the water levels of Tonglu Canal, surrounding residential wells, and other aquifers will not be affected. After stopping pumping, the water level recovers quickly, so the change of water level in a short time will not lead to large land subsidence and has little impact on the surrounding environment. Full article
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Article
Urban Groundwater Processes and Anthropogenic Interactions (Porto Region, NW Portugal)
Water 2020, 12(10), 2797; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w12102797 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 760
Abstract
Groundwater in fissured rocks is one of the most important reserves of available fresh water, and urbanization applies an extremely complex pressure which puts this natural resource at risk. Two-thirds of Portugal is composed of fissured aquifers. In this context, the Porto urban [...] Read more.
Groundwater in fissured rocks is one of the most important reserves of available fresh water, and urbanization applies an extremely complex pressure which puts this natural resource at risk. Two-thirds of Portugal is composed of fissured aquifers. In this context, the Porto urban region is the second biggest metropolitan area in mainland Portugal. In this study, a multidisciplinary approach was developed, using hydrogeological GIS-based mapping and modeling, combining hydrogeochemical, isotopic, and hydrodynamical data. In addition, an urban infiltration potential index (IPI-Urban) was outlined with the combination of several thematic layers. Hydrogeochemical signatures are mainly Cl-Na to Cl-SO4-Na, being dependent on the geographic proximity of this region to the ocean, and on anthropogenic and agricultural contamination processes, namely fertilizers, sewage, as well as animal and human wastes. Isotopic signatures characterize a meteoric origin for groundwater, with shallow flow paths and short residence times. Pumping tests revealed a semi- to confined system, with low long-term well capacities (<1 L/s), low transmissivities (<4 m2/day), and low storage coefficients (<10−2). The IPI-Urban index showed a low groundwater infiltration potential, which was enhanced by urban hydraulic and sanitation features. This study assessed the major hydrogeological processes and their dynamics, therefore, contributing to a better knowledge of sustainable urban groundwater systems in fractured media. Full article
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Article
Wildfire Effects on Groundwater Quality from Springs Connected to Small Public Supply Systems in a Peri-Urban Forest Area (Braga Region, NW Portugal)
Water 2020, 12(4), 1146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w12041146 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Peri-urban areas are territories that combine urban and rural features, being particularly vulnerable to wildfire due to the contact between human infrastructures and dense vegetation. Wildfires may cause considerable direct and indirect effects on the local water cycle, but the influence on groundwater [...] Read more.
Peri-urban areas are territories that combine urban and rural features, being particularly vulnerable to wildfire due to the contact between human infrastructures and dense vegetation. Wildfires may cause considerable direct and indirect effects on the local water cycle, but the influence on groundwater quality is still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterize the chemistry of several springs connected to small public supply systems in a peri-urban area, following a large wildfire that took place in October 2017. Groundwater samples were collected in four springs that emerged within burned forests, while control samples were from one spring located in an unburned area. Sampling took place from October 2017 until September 2018, starting 15 days after the wildfire occurrence, to evaluate the influence of the time after fire and the effect of precipitation events on groundwater composition. Groundwater samples collected in burned areas presented increased content of sulfate, fluoride and nitrogen and variability in pH values. Iron, manganese and chromium contents also increased during the sampling period. Post-fire concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mainly the carcinogenic ones, increased especially after intense winter and spring rain events, but the levels did not exceed the guideline values for drinking water. Full article
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Article
A Three-Stage Hybrid Model for Space-Time Analysis of Water Resources Carrying Capacity: A Case Study of Jilin Province, China
Water 2020, 12(2), 426; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w12020426 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
Water shortage, water pollution, shrinking water area and water mobility are the main contents of the water resources crisis, which are widespread in the social and economic development of Jilin Province. In this paper, a three-stage hybrid model integrating evaluation, prediction and regulation [...] Read more.
Water shortage, water pollution, shrinking water area and water mobility are the main contents of the water resources crisis, which are widespread in the social and economic development of Jilin Province. In this paper, a three-stage hybrid model integrating evaluation, prediction and regulation is constructed by combining the load-balance method and the system dynamics method. Using this model, the current states of water resources carrying capacity (WRCC) in 2017 and the trend of water demand/available from 2018 to 2030 were obtained. Using the orthogonal test method, the optimal combination program of agricultural and industrial water efficiency regulation and water resources allocation was selected. The results show that the pressure of the human–water resources system in Changchun, Liaoyuan and Baicheng is greater than the support, and the other six cities are not overloaded. The water demand in Jilin Province and its nine cities will increase from 2018 to 2030, if the current socio-economic development pattern is maintained. Therefore, we change the water quantity carrying capacity index by controlling agriculture, industrial water efficiency and trans-regional water transfer. Compared with 2015, among the optimal program obtained, the change range of the water use per 10,000 RMB of agricultural output is (−5%, 25%), and the water use per 10,000 RMB of industrial added value is (−45%, −35%), and the maximum water transfer is 1.5 billion m3 per year in 2030. This study analyzes the development pattern of WRCC in the process of water conservancy modernization in Jilin Province and provides reference for other provinces to make the similar plan. Full article
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