Snow cover greatly influences the climate in the Alpine region and is one of the most relevant parameters for the climate change analysis. Nevertheless, snow precipitation variability is a relatively underexplored field of research because of the lack of long-term, continuous and homogeneous time series. After a historical research aiming to recover continuous records, three high quality time series of snow precipitation and snow depth recorded in the southwestern Italian Alps were analyzed. The comparison between the climatological indices over the 30 years reference period 1971–2000 and the decade 2000–2009 outlined a general decrease in the amount of snow precipitation, and a shift in the seasonal distribution of the snow precipitation in the most recent period. In the analysis of the last decade snow seasons characteristics, the attention was focused on the heavy snowfalls that occurred in Piedmont during the 2008–2009 snow season: MODerate resolution Imager Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow cover products were used to evaluate snow cover extension at different times during the snow season, and the results were set in relation to the temperatures.
This study investigates the potential of 36Cl in tracing young groundwater with residence times of up to ~50 years. Groundwater samples were obtained from 16 irrigation wells in paddy fields located within an upland–lowland system in the Yoro River basin, Central Japan. The 36Cl/Cl ratios were in the range of 17 to 362 × 10−15. Among the samples with higher Cl− concentrations (>10 mg/L), two samples showed high nitrate concentrations as well (>30 mg/L). Except for these samples, the distribution of 36Cl in groundwater was essentially consistent with previous tritium concentration data measured in 1982 and 1994, considering the time that has elapsed since these earlier measurements were performed. 36Cl/Cl values were less than 30 × 10−15 in lowland areas, with higher values in and around upland areas. The results indicate longer residence times in the regional groundwater flow system (>50 years) than those estimated in previous studies, especially in the area west of the Yoro River. The results demonstrate the ability of 36Cl to trace young groundwater flow, particularly because high values of bomb-derived 36Cl/Cl are easily discriminated from pre-bomb water with low 36Cl/Cl values. Because of its very long half-life (3.01 × 105 years), 36Cl remains even after tritium is no longer available.
Similar to other Asian nations, suburban areas in Japan are characterized by dense intermixtures of residential areas and farmlands. These hybrid rural/urban areas are evaluated negatively in modern planning frameworks. However, mixed rural/urban landscapes may prove advantageous when attempting to reconstruct sustainable wastewater treatment systems. This research examines the potential for abandoned paddy fields to reduce nitrogen (T-N) and phosphorous (T-P) loads, an increasingly problematic source of eutrophication in many closed water areas, from households in suburban areas. Our results indicate that abandoned paddy fields remaining in mixed urban/rural areas have significant potential to reduce both nitrogen and phosphorous loads. Accordingly, we suggest that abandoned paddy fields can play an important role in reducing pollution loads in mixed urban/rural areas.
That water is the world's most precious natural resource cannot be in doubt. Increasing demands for water due to growing population, increasing urbanization and industrial development exemplify its vital role in human life. Water touches us all, from the commercial private sector which either generates or uses the product potable water; through national and international government agencies (policy makers and regulators who attempt to maintain and improve our environment, whilst also making provision for the effective and safe treatment and distribution of potable water, and the collection, treatment discharge of our wastewater); to the general public whose lives depend upon the availability of sufficient quality and quantity.
A horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland was investigated after eight years of residential wastewater discharge (150 person equivalents). Twenty core samples distributed over the entire wetland were taken from the soil matrix. The distribution pattern of phosphorus (P) accumulation in the substrate of the wetland was determined using kriging technique and P sorption was related to the content of aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca) and iron (Fe). The correlations found between Al, Ca and Fe content and P accumulation in the bed substrate were weak: R2 = 0.09, R2 = 0.21 and R2 = 0.28, respectively. Great heterogeneity was observed in the distribution of Ca, P and organic matter in the superficial and deeper layers of the bed. Hydraulic problems associated with wastewater discharge and conductivity of the bed substrate were suggested to have negative effects on the wetland performance.
In the summer period, North Pine Dam in southeast Queensland, Australia, is used as a supplementary source of drinking water for the city of Brisbane. Relatively high concentrations of geosmin and methylisoborneol (MIB) are frequently detected in the water in summer. The abundance of cyanobacteria (= blue-green algae) that are known to produce these compounds, is generally low, which suggests that the odours are produced by other organisms. In this short study, we examined the abundance of geosmin- and MIB-producing actinomycetes in the water and sediment of the reservoir. The results show that actinobacteria actinomycetes are included in the taxonomic group of Actinobacteria) made up 18 to 24% of all bacteria in the dam water during a period of relatively high geosmin and MIB concentrations. The high density of actinobacteria in the dam suggests that these bacteria may be more dominant in production of geosmin and MIB than previously expected, and that they should be included in future studies of odour problems in freshwater reservoirs. Yes Yes
When water problems extend beyond the borders of local communities, the river basin is generally seen as the most appropriate unit for analysis, planning, and institutional arrangements. In this paper it is argued that addressing water problems at the river basin level is not always sufficient. Many of today’s seemingly local water issues carry a (sub)continental or even global dimension, which urges for a governance approach that comprises institutional arrangements at a level beyond that of the river basin. This paper examines a number of arguments for the thesis that good water governance requires a global approach complementary to the river basin approach. Subsequently, it identifies four major issues to be addressed at global scale: Efficiency, equity, sustainability and security of water supply in a globalised world. Finally, the paper raises the question of what kind of institutional arrangements could be developed to cope with the global dimension of water issues. A few possible directions are explored, ranging from an international protocol on full-cost water pricing and a water label for water-intensive products to the implementation of water footprint quotas and the water-neutral concept.
The most widely used technique for assessing the propensity of activated sludge to suffer from biological foaming is to measure foam potential. This involves measuring the amount of foam produced from sludge under conditions of controlled aeration. Two approaches have been adopted: (1) Air is passed through specially designed columns from fine porous diffusers at a fixed rate to form uniform sized bubbles or (2) employing Alka-Seltzer™ tablets which effervesce when added to the sludge. Both tests generate foam formation which can then be quantified. Foam assessment in activated sludge is reviewed. A sintered disc aeration column was compared with the Alka-Seltzer™ test method and both methods examined under a range of different environmental conditions. Foam potential measured by the sintered disc method displayed better repeatability compared to the Alka-Seltzer test. The use of a wire cage placed over the tablets greatly improved the precision of the Alka-Seltzer test. A positive linear correlation was also found between foam potential and temperature (4–20 °C). Sludge solids concentration was also shown to influence foaming potential making comparisons between reactors problematic. Recommendations on how to improve the repeatability of foam potential measurements are given.
The increased frequency of water shortages parallel to growing demands for agricultural commodities in the lower reaches of the Amu Darya River, Central Asia, calls for improving the system-level water use efficiency, by using interventions at the field level. Despite the existence of various best practices of effective water use (defined here as “water-wise options”), they are not widely adopted by farmers owing to high initial costs of investment and lack of the necessary knowledge and skills of a new generation of farmers after the Soviet era. For assessing the potential of several water-wise techniques, key indicators such as water use reduction rate (WURR), economic efficiency (EE), and financial viability (FV) were combined with expert surveys. A SWOT procedure was used to analyze the (dis)advantages, opportunities and constraints of adopting the selected water-wise methods. Results show that the examined options have substantial potential for increasing water use efficiency under promising EE. The various recommendations aim at improving the sustainability of irrigation water use.
Crayfish carapace, a plentiful waste in China, was applied to remove divalent heavy metal ions—copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb)—from wastewater. The adsorption capacities of crayfish carapace micro-powder (CCM) for heavy metal ions were studied with adsorbent dosages ranging from 0.5–2.5 g/L and with initial metal concentrations ranging from 50–250 mg/L. CCM particle size, initial solution pH (from 2.5–6.5), temperature (from 25–65 °C) and calcium level (from 3.5–21.5%) were also varied in batch mode. The results indicated that the adsorption capacity increases with both decreasing particle size and increasing calcium level of the crayfish carapace. The kinetic studies indicated that the adsorption could be complete within 2 h, and that the data correlated with the pseudo-second-order model. CCM recorded maximum uptakes of 200, 217.39, 80, and 322.58 mg/g for Cu, Cd, Zn, and Pb, respectively. The adsorption capacities and removal efficiencies of CCM for metal ions were three-times higher than those of chitin and chitosan extracted from the CCM.
We tested intermittent aeration of the soil treatment area (STA) of onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) for its ability to restore and maintain STA hydraulic flow and improve the water quality functions of conventional OWTS. Evaluation was conducted on hydraulically-failed conventional OWTS at three state-owned medical group homes in Washington County, RI, USA. Testing was conducted in two phases, with Phase I (before intermittent soil aeration (ISA)) comprising the first 6 months of the study, and Phase II (during ISA) the remaining 7 months. Intermittent soil aeration restored STA hydraulic function in all three systems despite a marked reduction in the STA total infiltrative surface. Soil pore water was collected from 30 and 90 cm below the STA during both phases and analyzed for standard wastewater parameters. Although the STA infiltrative surface was reduced—and the contaminant load per unit of area increased—after installation of the ISA system, no differences were observed between phases in concentration of total N, NO3, total P, or dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Apparent removal rates—which do not account for dilution or differences in infiltrative area—for total N, total P, and DOC remained the same or improved during Phase II relative to the pre-operation phase. Furthermore, intermittent soil aeration enhanced actual removal rates —which do account for dilution and differences in infiltrative area. The effects of ISA on actual removal of contaminants from STE increased with increasing hydraulic load—a counterintuitive phenomenon, but one that has been previously observed in laboratory studies. The results of our study suggest that intermittent soil aeration can restore and maintain hydraulic flow in the STA and enhance carbon and nutrient removal in conventional OWTS.
Some storages benefit from circulation during summer. This process results in mixing, destratification and aeration. Benefits may include reduction or elimination of cyanobacteria (blue green algae), reduction of phosphorus and metals in solution, elimination of taste and odour problems and fish kills, extension of fish habitats and elimination of autumn turnover and the associated water quality problems, although circulation does not always solve all of these problems. Mixing may be achieved by means of either bubble plumes or mechanical circulators. This article explains how these two alternative methods of mixing work, their advantages and disadvantages, and cites some evidence of their effectiveness and limitations.
This study examines the suitability of natural silica sand as a low-cost adsorbent for the removal of ammoniacal nitrogen and heavy metals, particularly iron and zinc, from semi-aerobic stabilized landfill leachate. Leachate samples were collected from the Pulau Burung landfill site (PBLS) in Penang, Malaysia. The above-mentioned contaminants are highlighted in this study because of their unsafe concentrations at PBLS. The effects of shaking time, settling time, and silica sand dosage on the study parameter removal efficiencies were investigated to predict the performance of the process. The adsorptions of ammoniacal nitrogen, iron, and zinc were judiciously described by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The optimum removal efficiencies of ammoniacal nitrogen, iron, and zinc obtained were 51%, 44.4%, and 39.2%, respectively, with a shaking time of 90 min, a settling time of 60 min, and with a dosage of 60 g (0.5 kg/L) of silica sand. Based on the coefficient of determination (R2) values obtained from Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models, ammoniacal nitrogen, iron, and zinc adsorption were better fitted to the Freundlich model.
As the second part of a series of four, this paper reviews a number of case studies of natural uranium attenuation in peat, as well as underlying chemical mechanisms reported in literature. Based on this review, a generic, conceptual, model for peat to act as filter for dissolved uranium (U) is developed for guiding subsequent field investigations. The model consists of a chemical and an hydraulic component which is derived largely from data reported in literature as well as from limited field observations. For the chemical model component 10 different processes, each controlled by factors relating to water chemistry, have been identified to govern the attenuation of U in peat via a net balance of immobilization and remobilization. For the hydraulic aspect of the filter model, five different principal modes of U polluted water coming in contact with peat are discussed, focusing on the associated peat-water contact time as a crucial parameter controlling chemical U attenuation. Moreover, links between the two model components are discussed and, based on the integrated conceptual model, possible effects of natural and anthropogenic events on U attenuation in peatlands are outlined. Guided by the model, various site-specific field and laboratory investigations are finally designed to verify how far the identified generic factors and processes are indeed applicable to the Gerhard Minnebron Peatland.
As Part III of a four-part series on the filter function of peat for uranium (U), this paper focuses on the hydraulic component of a conceptual filter model introduced in Part II. This includes the quantification of water flow through the wetland as a whole, which was largely unknown and found to be significantly higher that anticipated. Apart from subaquatic artesian springs associated with the underlying karst aquifer the higher flow volumes were also caused by plumes of polluted groundwater moving laterally into the wetland. Real-time, quasi-continuous in situ measurements of porewater in peat and non-peat sediments indicate that rising stream levels (e.g., during flood conditions) lead to the infiltration of stream water into adjacent peat deposits and thus allow for a certain proportion of flood water to be filtered. However, changes in porewater quality triggered by spring rains may promote the remobilization of possibly sorbed U.
This is the final part of a paper series on the ability of peat to filter uranium (U) from mining-polluted water. The focus is on the characterization and site-specific quantification of the chemical component of the filter model introduced in Part II. Based on U levels in different sediment-water systems of the study area that were analyzed in this paper, peat generally displays the highest geochemical U enrichment even though absolute U levels are relatively low. Results of batch experiments suggest that peat removes U from local mine waters exceptionally well, reaching a removal efficiency of close to 100%. However, almost all of the initially sorbed U is released again on subsequent contact with clean dolomitic water. A synoptic summary of the findings presented in Parts I to IV concludes the paper series.
Located downstream of goldfields of the Witwatersrand basin, the Gerhard Minnebron (GMB) Eye—as major water source for downstream community of some 300,000 people—may be impacted on by mining-related water pollution especially with uranium (U). Containing up to 5 m-thick deposits of peat that is frequently reported to act as a filter for U and other heavy metals, this paper is the first part of a series that aims to quantify the ability of the GMB peatland to act as buffer against current and future U pollution. In a first step, this paper outlines the geohydrological conditions and discusses how deep–level gold mining impacted on the dolomitic aquifers. Subsequently, the potential influx of U into the wetland is estimated and associated sources and pathways analyzed. Finally, a model is proposed explaining the significant differences in degree and dynamics of U observed within a single groundwater compartment.
Extensive network of tile drains present in the Midwest USA accelerate losses of nutrients to receiving ditches, rivers and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico. Nutrient inputs from agricultural watersheds and their role in affecting water quality have received increased attention recently; however, benthic sediment-nutrient interactions in tile-fed drainage ditches is still a matter of active research in consideration to nutrient discharge from tile drains. In this study, phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) contents and variability of nutrient retention ability of benthic sediments upstream and downstream from tile drain outlets were evaluated in managed agricultural drainage ditches in Indiana. Sediment samples were collected every three months upstream and downstream from selected tile drains in three ditches in northwest Indiana. Sediment equilibrium P concentrations (EPC0) were measured to examine P adsorption-desorption and equilibrium characteristics of benthic sediments in the ditches. P sorption index (PSI), exchangeable P (ExP), and exchangeable NH4+-N (ExN) were measured to evaluate nutrient retention ability and readily available nutrient content of benthic sediments. Results indicated a dynamic interaction between benthic sediment and overlying water column where sediments were acting as a sink or a source of P. There were no differences in nutrient retention ability between sediments collected upstream and sediments collected downstream from the selected tile drains. While the data, except for ExN, was comparable to reported values by previous studies in Indiana’s drainage ditches, there was no particular seasonal pattern in the content of exchangeable nutrient content in sediments at all three sites. This study also suggested that nutrient uptake by benthic sediments in these drainage ditches is not always efficient; therefore watershed management should focus on minimizing the delivery of nutrients into ditches while maintaining their drainage functionality.
Following increasing interest in the use of UltraFiltration (UF) membrane processes as an alternative advanced disinfection technique, the performance of a UF pilot plant was investigated under two opposite operating conditions (“stressed operating condition” versus “conventional operating condition”). The results indicate that for both conditions, the reclaimed effluent complied with the Italian regulations for unrestricted wastewater reuse (i.e., Total Suspended Solids (TSS) < 10 mg/L; Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) < 100 mg/L and Escherichia coli < 10 CFU/100 mL). On the other hand, when compared with the Title 22 of the California Wastewater Reclamation Criteria, only the effluent produced under the “conventional operating condition” met the stipulated water quality standards (i.e., TSS and turbidity undetectable and total coliforms < 2.2 CFU/100 mL). It should be noted that, in spite of the nominal cut-off size, total coliforms breakthrough was indeed occasionally observed. A localized membrane pore micro-enlargement mechanism was hypothesized to explain the total coliforms propagation in the ultrafiltered effluent, as monitoring of the membrane permeability and transmembrane pressure highlighted that gel/cake formation had only a minor contribution to the overall membrane fouling mechanism with respect to pore plugging and pore narrowing mechanisms.
Soil water surplus and deficit occur frequently in Buenos Aires province in Argentina. This paper analyses the soil water surplus in a sub-area, the Salado River basin, in the period 1968–2008. This basin is divided in seven drainage areas, delimitated according to the National Water Resources. The series of soil water surplus data were adjusted by means of the theoretical normal cubic-root probability distribution, and the mean areal soil water surplus value of 300 mm was considered as a threshold above which floods can cause severe damage. An increase in the frequency of extreme events and in their tendency exists during the recent years, coherent with the increase of precipitation recorded in the region. The statistical significance of the results was assessed using the Mann Kendall and MAKESENS tests. The results showed a relevant temporal variability, but did not show significant tendencies.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment is supporting a major research project focussed on the removal of algal metabolites from drinking water using biological filtration processes. The metabolites are the taste and odour compounds MIB and geosmin, and the algal toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. The very promising results so far show that all of the metabolites are susceptible to biological degradation; however, a lag period is sometimes evident prior to significant degradation of the metabolites. A major future focus of the project will be the identification of the cause of the lag period in order to minimise or eliminate it.
The optimal management of a potable water distribution system requires the control of the reference (standard) data, the control points, control of the drainage parameters (pressure, flow, etc.) and maintenance parameters. The control of the mentioned data defines the network learning process . Besides classic IT functions of acquisition, storage and data processing, a geographical information system (GIS) can be used as the basis for an alarm system, allowing one to identify and to localize the presence of water leaks in the network . In this article we propose an algorithm coupling the various drainage parameters for the management of the network. The algorithm leads to an optimal management of leaks. An application is in progress on the primary network in the region of Bonaberi in Douala, the largest city of Cameroon.
Focus group discussions and a modeling approach were applied to determine policy and regulatory refinements for current water allocation practices in Kyrgyzstan. Lessons from the Lower Colorado River basin, Texas and New South Wales, Australia were taken into consideration. The paper analyzes the impact of adopting some of these interventions within the socio-environmental context that currently prevails in Kyrgyzstan. The optimization model for water distribution at the river-basin scale was developed using GAMS 2.25 software. Application of the model to the Akbura River basin indicated efficiencies in the proposed institutional rules especially in low water years.
Climate change is not only a likely prospect for the end of this century, but it is already occurring. Part of the changes will include global warming and increasing temperature variability, both at global and regional scales. This increased variability was investigated in this paper from the point of view of the occurrence of cold spells in the Alps in the future climate (2071–2100), compared with the present climate (1961–1990). For this purpose, a regionalisation of the climate change effects was performed within the Alps. To avoid possible errors in the estimate of the 2m air temperature, the analysis was performed on the soil surface temperature. To get realistic values for this variable, a land surface scheme, UTOPIA, has been run on the selected domain, using the output of the Regional Climate Model (RegCM3) simulations as the driving force. The results show that, in general, the number of cold breaks is decreasing over the Alps, due to the temperature increment. However, there are certain zones where the behaviour is more complicated. The analysis of the model output also allowed a relationship to be found between the number of cold breaks and their duration. The significance of these results over the whole area was assessed.
Electric arc furnace (EAF) steel slag filters were investigated for their efficiency at reducing the concentration of phosphorus (P) from dairy farm wastewater in Vermont. The primary objective for this study was to examine the use of in series design on filters’ performance in P removal from dairy farm wastewater at subzero temperatures. Other research objectives were to investigate operational parameters such as the effects of total suspended solids (TSS) daily mass loading rates and of alternating feeding and resting periods on EAF steel slag filters’ TSS, dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and total phosphorus (TP) removal efficiencies and filter system life-span. The utilization of in series filter design increased filter DRP removal efficiency by 35%. In series design also allows for alternating feeding and resting periods, which resulted in a 16%, 57% and 74% increase in TSS, DRP and TP removal efficiencies, respectively, by the first filter in series over a single period. Additionally, the system life span was extended 3.25 fold (from 52 to 169 day). Based on this research, we recommend alternate feeding and resting cycles and in series design to be integrated in the design of EAF steel slag filter systems for highly concentrated agricultural effluents in cold climates.
This research describes the feasibility of applying a UASB reactor for the treatment of concentrated black (toilet) water at 25 °C. On average 78% of the influent load of COD at an HRT of 8.7 days was removed. Produced methane can be converted to 56 MJ/p/y as electricity and 84 MJ/p/y as heat by combined heat and power (CHP). Minimum reactor volume at full scale was calculated to be 63L per person (for black water containing 16 gCOD/L produced at 5 L/p/d) and this is more than two times smaller than other type of reactors for anaerobic treatment of concentrated black water.
The aim of this study was to model water reservoir site selection for a real world application in the administrative district of Debub, Eritrea. This is a region were scarcity of water is a fundamental problem. Erratic rainfall, drought and unfavourable hydro-geological characteristics exacerbates the region’s water supply. Consequently, the population of Debub is facing severe water shortages and building reservoirs has been promoted as a possible solution to meet the future demand of water supply. This was the most powerful motivation to identify candidate sites for locating water reservoirs. A number of conflicting qualitative and quantitative criteria exist for evaluating alternative sites. Decisions regarding criteria are often accompanied by ambiguities and vagueness. This makes fuzzy logic a more natural approach to this kind of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) problems. This paper proposes a combined two-stage MCDA methodology. The first stage involved utilizing the most simplistic type of data aggregation techniques known as Boolean Intersection or logical AND to identify areas restricted by environmental and hydrological constraints and therefore excluded from further study. The second stage involved integrating fuzzy logic with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to identify optimum and back-up candidate water reservoir sites in the area designated for further study.
The Future Midwest Landscape (FML) project is part of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s new Ecosystem Services Research Program, undertaken to examine the variety of ways in which landscapes that include crop lands, conservation areas, wetlands, lakes, and streams affect human well-being. The goal of the FML project is to quantify current and future ecosystem services across the region and to examine changes expected to occur as a result of the growing demand for biofuels. This study is one of several pilots taking place under the umbrella of the FML research project. In this study, the USDA Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution (AnnAGNPS) model was applied to the East Fork Kaskaskia River watershed (289.3 km2) located in the Kaskaskia River Basin within the Upper Mississippi River Basin in Illinois. The effect of different spatial resolutions on model performance was investigated by comparing the observed runoff with the AnnAGNPS simulated results. Alternative future scenarios such as meeting future biofuel target were also simulated and analyzed. All delineations of the study area (coarser to finer) produced satisfactory results in simulating monthly and annual runoff. However, the size of the delineation does impact the simulation results. Finer delineations better represented the actual landscape and captured small critical areas that would be homogenized in coarser delineation. Those small critical areas are important to target to achieve maximum environment benefit. Simulations of alternative future scenarios showed that as corn production increases to meet future biofuel needs, total nitrogen loss increases. For this watershed, total N loss would be more than doubled if converting all corn/soybean rotation (15,871.2 ha) to continuous corn comparing with the base year total N loss which is 11.2 kg/ha. Conservation practices are needed to reduce total nitrogen loss from the watershed. This study provides an important foundation for the larger FML region modeling effort by addressing challenging FML landscape modeling issues such as model selection, need for further model development, and spatial resolution.
Laboratory scale studies have repeatedly reported high P-retention in slag, a by-product of the steel manufacturing industry. Thus, it has emerged as a potential material to increase P-removal from constructed wetlands (CWs). However, several limitations were highlighted by field experiments, including the high pH of treated water and clogging. We hypothesized that the addition of sedimentary rocks to slag would preserve P-removal properties while reducing the pH of treated water. Four 2.5 L-columns were filled with 100% apatite (column A); a 50% weight each mixture of limestone with apatite (column B); 10% steel slag located at the inlet, plus 45% limestone mixed with 45% apatite (column C); and a mixture of steel slag (10%), limestone (45%) apatite (45%) (column D). A synthetic effluent (26 mg P/L) and a reconstituted sludge fish farm effluent containing 97 mg/L total suspended solids (TSS), 220 mg/L chemical oxygen demand (COD) and 23.5 mg P/L phosphorus (P) were applied sequentially during 373 and 176 days, under saturated flow conditions and 12–24 hours hydraulic residence time (HRT), respectively. Treatment performance, P-removal, pH and calcium (Ca2+) were monitored. Results indicated that columns that contained 10% weight steel slag resulted in a higher P retention capacity than the columns without steel slag. The highest P removal was achieved in column C, containing a layer of slag in the inlet zone, 45% apatite and 45% limestone. Feeding the columns with a reconstituted fish farm effluent led to biofilm development, but this had little effect on the P-removal. A combination of slag and sedimentary rocks represents a promising filtration material that could be useful downstream of CWs to further increase P-removal.
Sixteen static diffusion reactors containing n-ZVM (Fe0, Cu0, Al0) establish a common equilibrium redox (Eh-pH) trajectory which is directly linked to the aquifer pore volume, volume of injected n-ZVM, throughflow rate within the aquifer and time. The effect of NaCl and Ca-montmorillonite on the trajectory is considered. The trajectory can be directly linked to TDS (EC) and to the equilibrium removal of contaminants. In each example, the progressive oscillation between reduction and oxidation reactions (including Fenton reactions) creates the catalytic nuclei (and redox environment) required for the decomposition of organic pollutants and their reconstruction as simple alkanes and oxygenates.
In Nepal, arsenic (As) contamination is a major issue of current drinking water supply systems using groundwater and has recently been one of the major environmental health management issues especially in the plain region, i.e., in the Terai districts, where the population density is very high. The Terai inhabitants still use hand tube and dug wells (with hand held pumps that are bored at shallow to medium depth) for their daily water requirements, including drinking water. The National Sanitation Steering Committee (NSSC), with the help of many other organizations, has completed arsenic blanket test in 25 districts of Nepal by analysing 737,009 groundwater samples. Several organizations, including academic institutions, made an effort to determine the levels of arsenic concentrations in groundwater and their consequences in Nepal. The results of the analyses on 25,058 samples tested in 20 districts, published in the status report of arsenic in Nepal (2003), demonstrated that the 23% of the samples were containing 10–50 µg/L of As, and the 8% of the samples were containing more than 50 µg/L of As. Recent status of over 737,009 samples tested, the 7.9% and 2.3% were contaminated by 10–50 µg/L and >50 µg/L, respectively of As. The present paper examines the various techniques available for the reduction of arsenic concentrations in Nepal in combination with the main results achieved, the socio-economic status and the strategies. This paper aims to comprehensively compile all existing data sets and analyze them scientifically, by trying to suggest a common sustainable approach for identifying the As contamination in the nation, that can be easily adopted by local communities for developing a sustainable society. The paper aims also to find probable solutions to quantify and mitigate As problem without any external support. The outcome of this paper will ultimately help to identify various ways for: identify risk areas; develop awareness; adopt the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline; identify alternative safe water sources and assess their sustainability; give priorities to water supply and simple eco-friendly treatment techniques; investigate impacts of arsenic on health and agriculture; strengthen the capability of government, public, Non-governmental Organization (NGO) and research institutions.
The political transformation of the Central Asian region has induced the implosion of the interconnected physical hydraulic infrastructure and its institutional management system. Land-locked Central Asian countries, with their climatic conditions and transboundary water resources, have been striving to meet their food security, to increase agricultural production, to sustain energy sectors, and to protect the environment. The existing water reservoirs are strategic infrastructures for irrigation and hydropower generation. Upstream countries (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) favor the reservoirs’ operation for energy supply, while downstream countries (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan) push for irrigation use. This paper provides an overview of the current challenges and perspectives (technical, institutional, and legal regulations) and presents recommendations for the sustainable management of man-made water reservoirs in Uzbekistan.
In Soviet times, water management was presented generally as a technical issue to be taken care of by the state water bureaucracy. Due to structural changes in agriculture in the two decades post-independence, irrigation water management has become an explicitly political and social issue in Central Asia. With the state still heavily present in the regulation of agricultural production, the situation in Uzbekistan differs from other post-communist states. Water management strategies are still strongly ‘Soviet’ in approach, regarded by state actors as purely ‘technical’, because other dimensions – economic, social and political – are ‘fixed’ through strong state regulation. However, new mechanisms are appearing in this authoritarian and technocratic framework. The application of a framework for socio-technical analysis in some selected Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) in northwest Uzbekistan’s Khorezm region shows that the WUAs are becoming arenas of interaction for different interest groups involved in water management. The socio-technical analysis of Khorezm’s water management highlights growing social differences at grass root level in the study of WUAs. The process of social differentiation is in its early phases, but is still able to express itself fully due to the strict state control of agriculture and social life in general.
To date there has been limited research on integrated water resource management, specifically regarding investments, from a global perspective, largely due to the complexity of the problem and to generally local water management practices. Water demand and supply are very often affected by international factors and with global climate change, population growth and increasing consumption, water management is now more than ever a global issue. This paper gives an overview of current and impending water problems while assessing investment needs for integrated water management as a possible solution to projected water challenges. The analysis compares a business as usual case (BAU) to a scenario in which investments improve water efficiency use across sectors to curb demand, increase innovative supply from desalination and enhance conventional water resources management measures. System dynamics modeling is employed to represent the structural factors influencing water demand and supply in the context of an integrated framework including cross-sectoral linkages. The analysis confirms that sustainable water management is feasible, but it requires investments in the range of $145 billion per year between 2011 and 2050 (0.16% of GDP or $17/person/year) and timely, effective action.
California’s highly variable climate and growing water demands combine to pose both water-supply and flood-hazard challenges to resource managers. Recently important efforts to more fully integrate the management of floods and water resources have begun, with the aim of benefitting both sectors. California is shown here to experience unusually large variations in annual precipitation and streamflow totals relative to the rest of the US, variations which mostly reflect the unusually small average number of wet days per year needed to accumulate most of its annual precipitation totals (ranging from 5 to 15 days in California). Thus whether just a few large storms arrive or fail to arrive in California can be the difference between a banner year and a drought. Furthermore California receives some of the largest 3-day storm totals in the country, rivaling in this regard the hurricane belt of the southeastern US. California’s largest storms are generally fueled by landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs). The fractions of precipitation and streamflow totals at stations across the US that are associated with ARs are documented here and, in California, contribute 20–50% of the state’s precipitation and streamflow. Prospects for long-lead forecasts of these fractions are presented. From a meteorological perspective, California’s water resources and floods are shown to derive from the same storms to an extent that makes integrated flood and water resources management all the more important.
Ground water resources of atolls, already minimal due to the small surface area and low elevation of the islands, are also subject to recurring, and sometimes devastating, droughts. As ground water resources become the sole fresh water source when rain catchment supplies are exhausted, it is critical to assess current groundwater resources and predict their depletion during drought conditions. Several published models, both analytical and empirical, are available to estimate the steady-state freshwater lens thickness of small oceanic islands. None fully incorporates unique shallow geologic characteristics of atoll islands, and none incorporates time-dependent processes. In this paper, we provide a review of these models, and then present a simple algebraic model, derived from results of a comprehensive numerical modeling study of steady-state atoll island aquifer dynamics, to predict the ground water response to changes in recharge on atoll islands. The model provides an estimate thickness of the freshwater lens as a function of annual rainfall rate, island width, Thurber Discontinuity depth, upper aquifer hydraulic conductivity, presence or absence of a confining reef flat plate, and in the case of drought, time. Results compare favorably with published atoll island lens thickness observations. The algebraic model is incorporated into a spreadsheet interface for use by island water resources managers.
On a regional scale, climate variability masks any direct link between external forcings and precipitation values. Thus, the problem of attribution of precipitation changes splits into two distinct steps: understanding how forcings influence circulation patterns and finding relationships between these patterns and the behavior of precipitation. Here, we deal with this second step, by analyzing data about eight circulation indices and their influence on precipitation anomalies in an extended Italian Alpine region. The methods used are bivariate nonlinear analysis and neural network modeling. We identify the most influential circulation patterns in each season and work out neural network models that are able to substantially describe the climate variability of precipitation at this regional scale.
Since irrigation water is assumedly the predominant factor determining crop yield, the difference in irrigation water availability across the administrative sub-districts of the Khorezm region, Central Asia, also inflicts an unequal distribution of agricultural revenues. Considering the national aim of a fair distribution and efficient use of resources, here we analyze the relationships between irrigation water access and rural welfare from 2000 to 2007 by descriptive statistics. Analyses revealed not only the general dependency of agricultural revenue on irrigation water availability, but also occurrence of low land productivity during water scarce years and, irrespective of the annual water availability, in some tail end regions each year. Furthermore, apart from irrigation water availability, land productivity was also impacted by soil quality, cropping structure, and type of land ownership. Fair distribution of water and land resources should also take into consideration population density. It is argued that an anticipated equal and efficient water allocation necessitates improved irrigation water conveyance, distribution, and application efficiency via best water management practices. Liberalization of markets, development of a market infrastructure and improvement in yields also contribute to increased land and water productivity.
"A water balance model was developed for Bung Boraphet reservoir, a large flood plain lake in Thailand, from daily measurements over three inflow outflow cycles between 2003 and 2006. Measurement error was 10% (as one standard deviation) of the total measured volume. The specific yield from the Bung Boraphet catchment was 3.9 m3/ha/yr and surface water inflow from the local catchment was the largest gain term and evaporation was the largest loss term in the water budget. Irrigation was the second largest loss term and dry season demand exceeded the storage supply. Uncontrolled extraction of water for irrigation is regarded as a threat to the reservoir fishery, although the increasing drawdown range may benefit wetland biodiversity. Sustainable management of the Bung Boraphet wetland will depend on careful management based on an informed understanding of the eco-hydrological requirements of all wetland uses. Water balance models like this one are recommended as a tool to allocate water equitably and in ways which can be integrated across the Chao Phraya basin."
Piemonte region, in the north-western Italy, is characterized by complex orography and Mediterranean influence that often causes extreme rainfall event, during the warm season. Although the region is monitored by a dense gauge network (more than one gauge per 100 km2), the ground measurements are often inadequate to properly observe intense and highly variable precipitations. Polarimetric weather radars provide a unique way to monitor rainfall over wide areas, with the required spatial detail and temporal resolution. Nevertheless, most European weather radar networks are operating at C-band, which may seriously limit quantitative precipitation estimation in heavy rainfall due to relevant power signal attenuation. Phase measurements, unlike power measurements, are not affected by signal attenuation. For this reason, polarimetric radars, for which the differential phase shift measurements are available, provide an additional way in which to estimate precipitation, which is immune to signal attenuation. In this work differential phase based rainfall estimation techniques are applied to analyze two flash-floods: the first one occurred on the Ligurian Apennines on 16 August 2006 and the second occurred on 13 September 2008, causing rain accumulations above 270 mm in few hours.
Microbial concentrations, total suspended solids (TSS) and turbidity vary with stream hydrology and land use. Turbidity, TSS, and microbial concentrations, loads and yields from four watersheds were assessed: an unburned montane forest, a catastrophically burned montane forest, urban land use and rangeland prairie. Concentrations and loads for most water quality variables were greatest during storm events. Turbidity was an effective indicator of TSS, E. coli and Enterococci spp. The greatest threat to public health from microbial contamination occurs during storm runoff events. Efforts to manage surface runoff and erosion would likely improve water quality of the upper Pecos River basin in New Mexico, USA.
Smart metering technology for residential buildings is being trialed and rolled out by water utilities to assist with improved urban water management in a future affected by climate change. The technology can provide near real-time monitoring of where water is used in the home, disaggregated by end-use (shower, toilet, clothes washing, garden irrigation, etc.). This paper explores questions regarding the degree of information detail required to assist utilities in targeting demand management programs and informing customers of their usage patterns, whilst ensuring privacy concerns of residents are upheld.
Several forms of supra-municipal cooperation between water and wastewater utilities have evolved in Finland since the 1950s: bilateral contract-based, municipal federations or authorities operating on a wholesale basis as well as supra-municipal companies. These may take care of community water supply or sewerage, or both. This paper explores and analyzes the most common form of cooperation: contracts for water and wastewater services between neighboring municipalities. The extent of contractual cooperation until 2006 was explored by an inquiry sent to bigger water and wastewater utilities (n = 233 replies; 88 %). Compared to a study performed in 1975, the number of bilateral contracts had tripled. The study also included interviews targeting nine selected cases. We examined also the centralization of wastewater treatment when small plants are closed down and wastewater is directed to larger plants. Centralization has led to the construction of transfer sewers; the paper also explores their evolution from 1995 to 2015. Contrary to common arguments, contractual cooperation proved rather easy to manage and should be seen as a serious option for other tighter forms of supra-municipal cooperation that are also increasing.
Greywater consists of household wastewater excluding toilet discharges. Three systems were compared for the biological treatment of greywater at a similar hydraulic retention time of approximately 12–13 hours. These systems were aerobic treatment in a sequencing batch reactor, anaerobic treatment in an up-flow anaerobic blanket reactor and combined anaerobic-aerobic treatment (up-flow anaerobic blanket reactor + sequencing batch reactor). Aerobic conditions resulted in a COD removal of 90%, which was significantly higher than 51% removal by anaerobic treatment. The low removal in the anaerobic reactor may have been caused by high concentration of anionic surfactants in the influent (43.5 mg/L) and a poor removal of the colloidal fraction of the COD in up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors. Combined aerobic-anaerobic treatment accomplished a COD removal of 89%, similar to the aerobic treatment alone. Greywater methanization was 32% for the anaerobic system and 25% for the anaerobic-aerobic system, yielding a small amount of energy. Therefore, anaerobic pre-treatment is not feasible and an aerobic system is preferred for the treatment of greywater.
Textile effluents are among the most difficult-to-treat wastewaters, due to their considerable amount of recalcitrant and toxic substances. Fungal biosorption is viewed as a valuable additional treatment for removing pollutants from textile wastewaters. In this study the efficiency of Cunninghamella elegans biomass in terms of contaminants, COD and toxicity reduction was tested against textile effluents sampled in different points of wastewater treatment plants. The results showed that C. elegans is a promising candidate for the decolourisation and detoxification of textile wastewaters and its versatility makes it very competitive compared with conventional sorbents adopted in industrial processes.
In biosorption research, a fairly broad range of mathematical models are used to correlate discrete data points obtained from batch equilibrium, batch kinetic or fixed bed breakthrough experiments. Most of these models are inherently nonlinear in their parameters. Some of the models have enjoyed widespread use, largely because they can be linearized to allow the estimation of parameters by least-squares linear regression. Selecting a model for data correlation appears to be dictated by the ease with which it can be linearized and not by other more important criteria such as parameter accuracy or theoretical relevance. As a result, models that cannot be linearized have enjoyed far less recognition because it is necessary to use a search algorithm for parameter estimation. In this study a real-coded genetic algorithm is applied as the search method to estimate equilibrium isotherm and kinetic parameters for batch biosorption as well as breakthrough parameters for fixed bed biosorption. The genetic algorithm is found to be a useful optimization tool, capable of accurately finding optimal parameter estimates. Its performance is compared with that of nonlinear and linear regression methods.
This project examines the effect of certain key parameters on denitrification predictions of the BioWin® model, compared to the older UCT kinetic model and steady-state theory for activated sludge systems. It shows that earlier versions of BioWin (distributed in the period ca. 1994 to 2000 and widely used in Australia) had inappropriate default settings for certain key parameters that influence the denitrification rate. As a result, the denitrification rates predicted using the older versions of BioWin were about three times higher than the so-called K2 rate measured from bench-scale research for nitrogen-removal activated sludge systems in the UCT laboratory. Designs based on the higher denitrification rates would likely have under-sized anoxic zones and/or over-sized internal recycles, leading to higher actual effluent nitrate and total N concentrations compared to model predictions. This could have very significant contractual and cost implications for the upgrade and operation of wastewater treatment plants. The most recently released BioWin version has revised default settings, which bring it closer to the older UCT family of models in respect of denitrification rate. In this paper we present the results of a desktop study, based on a hypothetical N-removal activated sludge plant as a test case. In Part 2 (to be published in the November issue of Water), we will present actual data from a very similar fullscale plant in Australia that was used to calibrate the denitrification rate applied in BioWin.
Research on Phosphorus (P) removal capacity by blast furnace slags (BFS) has been undertaken in Sweden for the last decade. Both laboratory experiments and field trials have been carried out. While laboratory investigations revealed that BFS has a high P-sorption capacity (95–100%), P removal in field trials was much lower, ranging from 40 to 53%. In addition, a number of problems have been observed in BFS field testing including clogging, sulfuric odor and environmental (regulatory) concerns about possible leaching of heavy metals from the slag. In spite of these problems, and questioning by the environmental regulatory authorities, research continues to provide evidence that BFS can be regarded as a suitable filter media, and attempts have also been undertaken in order to further improve the P-removal capacity of this adsorbing material.