Journal Articles

  1. Advancing water footprint assessment research: Challenges in monitoring progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6

    Advancing water footprint assessment research: Challenges in monitoring progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6
    Publisher:
    MDPI
    Author/s:
    Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Ashok K. Chapagain and Pieter R. van Oel
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water
    Excerpt:

    This special issue is a collection of recent papers in the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA), an emerging area of research focused on the analysis of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade. As increasing freshwater scarcity forms a major risk to the global economy, sustainable management of water resources is a prerequisite to development. We introduce the papers in this special issue by relating them to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 of the United Nations, the goal on water. We will particularly articulate how each paper drives the understanding needed to achieve target 6.3 on water quality and pollution and target 6.4 on water-use efficiency and water scarcity. Regarding SDG 6, we conclude that it lacks any target on using green water more efficiently, and while addressing efficiency and sustainability of water use, it lacks a target on equitable sharing of water. The latter issue is receiving limited attention in research as well. By primarily focusing on water-use efficiency in farming and industries at the local level, to a lesser extent to using water sustainably at the level of total water systems (like drainage basins, aquifers), and largely ignoring issues around equitable water use, understanding of our water problems and proposed solutions will likely remain unbalanced.

  2. Quantifying water use in ruminant production

    Quantifying water use in ruminant production
    Publisher:
    Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies
    Author/s:
    G. Legesse, K. H. Ominski, K. A. Beauchemin, S. Pfister, M. Martel, E. J. McGeough, A. Y. Hoekstra, R. Kroebel, M. R. C. Cordeiro and T. A. McAllister
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Animal Science
    Excerpt:

    The depletion of water resources, in terms of both quantity and quality, has become a major concern both locally and globally. Ruminants, in particular, are under increased public scrutiny due to their relatively high water use per unit of meat or milk produced. Estimating the water footprint of livestock production is a relatively new field of research for which methods are still evolving. This review describes the approaches used to quantify water use in ruminant production systems as well as the methodological and conceptual issues associated with each approach. Water use estimates for the main products from ruminant production systems are also presented, along with possible management strategies to reduce water use. In the past, quantifying water withdrawal in ruminant production focused on the water demand for drinking or operational purposes. Recently, the recognition of water as a scarce resource has led to the development of several methodologies including water footprint assessment, life cycle assessment, and livestock water productivity to assess water use and its environmental impacts. These methods differ with respect to their target outcome (efficiency or environmental impacts), geographic focus (local or global), description of water sources (green, blue, and gray), handling of water quality concerns, the interpretation of environmental impacts, and the metric by which results are communicated (volumetric units or impact equivalents). Ruminant production is a complex activity where animals are often reared at different sites using a range of resources over their lifetime. Additional water use occurs during slaughter, product processing, and packaging. Estimating water use at the various stages of meat and milk production and communicating those estimates will help producers and other stakeholders identify hotspots and implement strategies to improve water use efficiency. Improvements in ruminant productivity (i.e., BW and milk production) and reproductive efficiency can also reduce the water footprint per unit product. However, given that feed production makes up the majority of water use by ruminants, research and development efforts should focus on this area. More research and clarity are needed to examine the validity of assumptions and possible trade-offs between ruminants' water use and other sustainability indicators.

  3. Application and recalibration of soil water retention pedotransfer functions in a tropical upstream catchment: case study in Bengawan Solo, Indonesia

    Application and recalibration of soil water retention pedotransfer functions in a tropical upstream catchment: case study in Bengawan Solo, Indonesia
    Publisher:
    De Gruyter Open
    Author/s:
    Andry Rustanto , Martijn J. Booij, Henk Wösten , Arjen Y. Hoekstra
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics
    Excerpt:

    Hydrological models often require input data on soil-water retention (SWR), but obtaining such data is laborious and costly so that SWR in many places remains unknown. To fill the gap, a prediction of SWR using a pedotransfer function (PTF) is one of the alternatives. This study aims to select the most suitable existing PTFs in order to predict
    SWR for the case of the upper Bengawan Solo (UBS) catchment on Java, Indonesia.

    Ten point PTFs and two continuous PTFs, which were developed from tropical soils elsewhere, have been applied directly and recalibrated based on a small soil sample set in UBS. Scatter plots and statistical indices of mean error (ME), root mean square error (RMSE), model efficiency (EF) and Pearson’s correlation (r) showed that recalibration using the Shuffled Complex Evolution-University of Arizona (SCE-UA) algorithm can help to improve the prediction of PTFs significantly compared to direct application
    of PTFs. This study is the first showing that improving SWR-PTFs by recalibration for a new catchment based on around 50 soil samples provides an effective parsimonious alternative to developing a SWR-PTF from specifically collected soil datasets, which typically needs around 100 soil samples or more.
    .

  4. The water footprint for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood

    The water footprint for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    Joep F.Schynsa, Martijn J.Booija, Arjen Y.Hoekstraa
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Advances in Water Resources
    Excerpt:

    This paper presents the first estimate of global water use in the forestry sector related to roundwood production for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood. For the period 1961–2010, we estimate forest evaporation at a high spatial resolution level and attribute total water consumption to various forest products, including ecosystem services. Global water consumption for roundwood production increased by 25% over 50 years to 961 × 109 m3/y (96% green; 4% blue) in 2001–2010. The water footprint per m3 of wood is significantly smaller in (sub)tropical forests compared to temperate/boreal forests, because (sub)tropical forests host relatively more value next to wood production in the form of other ecosystem services. In terms of economic water productivity and energy yield from bio-ethanol per unit of water, roundwood is rather comparable with major food, feed and energy crops. Recycling of wood products could effectively reduce the water footprint of the forestry sector, thereby leaving more water available for the generation of other ecosystem services. Intensification of wood production can only reduce the water footprint per unit of wood if the additional wood value per ha outweighs the loss of value of other ecosystem services, which is often not the case in (sub)tropical forests. The results of this study contribute to a more complete picture of the human appropriation of water, thus feeding the debate on water for food or feed versus energy and wood.

  5. Hydrological connectivity and Burkholderia pseudomallei prevalence in wetland environments: investigating rice-farming community's risk of exposure to melioidosis in North-East Thailand

    Hydrological connectivity and Burkholderia pseudomallei prevalence in wetland environments: investigating rice-farming community's risk of exposure to melioidosis in North-East Thailand
    Publisher:
    Springer
    Author/s:
    Chuah CJ, Tan EKH, Sermswan RW, Ziegler AD
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
    Excerpt:

    In our analysis of 136 water samples from wetland environments (rice paddies, natural wetland sites, man-made water bodies) in rural areas of North-East Thailand, Burkholderia pseudomallei was most prevalent in rice paddies (15 of the 30 positive sites). The high prevalence in the water of rice fields is indicative of the inherent vulnerability of farmers in rural agricultural areas in this area of Thailand and likely other locations in the tropics. Nearly all B. pseudomallei-positive sites were found within the vicinity of a large wetland associated with the Chi River, in the month of July 2014. Positive samples were found in water ranging in pH from 5.9 to 8.7, salinity ranging from 0.04 to 1.58 ppt, nitrate ranging from 0 to 10.8 ppm, and iron ranging from 0.003 to 1.519 ppm. Of these variables, only iron content was statistically higher in B. pseudomallei-positive versus B. pseudomallei-negative sites, suggesting that increasing concentrations of iron may encourage the growth of this bacterium, which is responsible for melioidosis. Our results, when combined with data from other published studies, support the notion that B. pseudomallei can exist in a wide range of environmental conditions. Thus, we argue that health safety education is a more appropriate means of addressing farmer vulnerability than chemical or physical alterations to fields at large scales. Further, it may be important to investigate melioidosis through transdisciplinary approaches that consider the complex social and ecological contexts in which the disease occurs.

  6. Accuracy of rainfall estimates at high altitude in the Garhwal Himalaya (India): A comparison of secondary precipitation products and station rainfall measurements

    Accuracy of rainfall estimates at high altitude in the Garhwal Himalaya (India): A comparison of secondary precipitation products and station rainfall measurements
    Publisher:
    ScienceDirect
    Author/s:
    Alok Bhardwaja; Alan D.Zieglera; Robert J.Wasson; Winston TL Chow
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Atmospheric Research
    Excerpt:

    Accurate estimation of the magnitude and spatio-temporal variability of rainfall in the Indian Himalaya is difficult because of the sparse and limited network of ground stations located within complex terrain, as well as the difficulty of maintaining the stations over time. Thus, secondary rainfall sources are important to hydrological and hazard studies, if they reproduce the dynamics of rainfall satisfactorily. In this work, we evaluate four secondary products in the Garhwal Himalaya in India, with a focus on their application within the Mandakini River Catchment, the site of a devastating flood and multiple large landslides in 2013. The analysis included two satellite products: from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) program, as well as two gridded products: the Asian Precipitation Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE) product and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) product. In comparing the four products against data collected at four ground stations (Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Purola, and Mukhim) using a variety of statistical indices, we determined that the IMD and TRMM products were superior to the others. In particular, the IMD product ranked the best for most indices including probability of detection (POD), false alarm ratio (FAR), receiver operating curve (ROC), and root mean squared error (RMSE). The TRMM product performed satisfactorily in terms of bias and detecting daily maximum monsoon rainfall at three of the four stations. The APHRODITE product had POD, FAR and ROC values that were among the best at higher rainfall depths at the Mukhim station. The PERSIANN product generally did not perform well based on these indices, consistently underestimating station rainfall depths. Finally, the IMD product could document the daily rainfall distribution during the June 2013 flood in the Mandakini Catchment and adjoining places.

  7. Advancing Water Footprint Assessment Research: Challenges in Monitoring Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal

    Advancing Water Footprint Assessment Research: Challenges in Monitoring Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal
    Publisher:
    MDPI
    Author/s:
    Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Ashok K. Chapagain, Pieter R. van Oel
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water
    Excerpt:

    This special issue is a collection of recent papers in the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA), an emerging area of research focused on the analysis of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade. As increasing freshwater scarcity forms a major risk to the global economy, sustainable management of water resources is a prerequisite to development. We introduce the papers in this special issue by relating them to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 of the United Nations, the goal on water. We will particularly articulate how each paper drives the understanding needed to achieve target 6.3 on water quality and pollution and target 6.4 on water-use efficiency and water scarcity. Regarding SDG 6, we conclude that it lacks any target on using green water more efficiently, and while addressing efficiency and sustainability of water use, it lacks a target on equitable sharing of water. The latter issue is receiving limited attention in research as well. By primarily focusing on water-use efficiency in farming and industries at the local level, to a lesser extent to using water sustainably at the level of total water systems (like drainage basins, aquifers), and largely ignoring issues around equitable water use, understanding of our water problems and proposed solutions will likely remain unbalanced.

  8. Singapore and Sydney: Regulation and Market Making

    Singapore and Sydney: Regulation and Market Making
    Publisher:
    MDPI
    Author/s:
    Leong Ching & Li Lili
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water
    Excerpt:

    The different institutional forms of water utilities of Singapore and Sydney provide an interesting natural experiment on the role of a regulator in government-owned utilities (GOUs). In both cities, water is provided by GOUs. In Sydney, however, there is an independent regulator whereas in Singapore the Public Utilities Board is a statutory board without a regulator. This paper compared the regulation and market-making efforts by water utilities of Singapore and Sydney. We find that both are similar in quality of service, operational and economic efficiencies, and private sector investments. The difference lies in their choice of the instrument for involving the private sector. Sydney does this by appointing a specific regulator whereas Singapore uses contracts. Indeed, it argues that the government-owned water utilities of both Sydney and Singapore seek to capture as many benefits as possible from market-making efforts, that is, from mimicking private sector behaviors and by operating from the basic tenets of the regulatory state. Both countries seek to make rules addressing the “market failure” of a monopoly. In Sydney, such efforts are seen in the explicit contestability of the market and the high engagement with customers whereas in Singapore the efforts are more muted on both counts and are instead motivated toward developing water businesses as a whole.

  9. Resilience in practice: Five principles to enable societies to cope with extreme weather events

    Resilience in practice: Five principles to enable societies to cope with extreme weather events
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    Karin de Bruijn, Joost Buurman, Marjolein Mens, Ruben Dahm, Frans Klijn
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Environmental Science & Policy
    Excerpt:

    The concept of resilience is used by many in different ways: as a scientific concept, as a guiding principle, as inspirational ‘buzzword’, or as a means to become more sustainable. Next to the academic debate on meaning and notions of resilience, the concept has been widely adopted and interpreted in policy contexts, particularly related to climate change and extreme weather events. In addition to having a positive connotation, resilience may cover aspects that are missed in common disaster risk management approaches. Although the precise definition of resilience may remain subject of discussion, the views on what is important to consider in the management of extreme weather events do not differ significantly. Therefore, this paper identifies the key implications of resilience thinking for the management of extreme weather events and translates these into five practical principles for policy making.

  10. Comparative analysis of water rights entitlements in India and China

    Comparative analysis of water rights entitlements in India and China
    Publisher:
    IWA Publishing
    Author/s:
    Shaofeng Jia, Yuanyuan Sun, Jesper Svensson, Maitreyee Mukherjee
    Year:
    2016
    Publication:
    Water Policy
    Excerpt:

    Water rights are widely regarded as a crucial component to enhance efficient water use and for meeting a country's water resource challenges. This article presents a framework for analyzing and comparing the similarities as well as differences of the water rights systems between India and China. The article relies on the method of document research and comparative analysis to compare general characteristics of India and China's water rights systems based on six evaluation indicators and evaluation principles. Using this analytical framework, this paper compares the implementation effects of the water rights systems in terms of the degree of meeting water resources demand, conflict-resolution means and the protection of water resources. Our findings provide insights for the reformation of the water rights systems and bring out lessons that other developing countries can learn from India and China's experiences.

  11. Combating river pollution in China and India: Policy measures and governance challenges

    Combating river pollution in China and India: Policy measures and governance challenges
    Publisher:
    IWA Publishing
    Author/s:
    Yahua Wang, Maitreyee Mukherjee, Dan Wu, Xun Wu
    Year:
    2016
    Publication:
    Water Policy
    Excerpt:

    Severe water pollution is among the top policy priorities in both China and India. This paper undertakes a comparative case analysis to examine efforts in combating river pollution in two major rivers in China and India – the Yangtze and the Ganga. Our analysis suggests that efforts in combating river pollution in the two Asian giants have encountered significant challenges, such as the lack of comprehensive legal mechanisms to control river pollution at the basin level, the lack of coordination among multiple government agencies, and significant gaps in policy implementation. Our analysis also points out significant differences between China and India in institutional structure, regulatory approaches and policy instruments to address river pollution.

  12. Water governance in China and India: Comparison of water law, policy, and administration

    Water governance in China and India: Comparison of water law, policy, and administration
    Publisher:
    IWA Publishing
    Author/s:
    Eduardo Araral, Shivani Ratra
    Year:
    2016
    Publication:
    Water Policy
    Excerpt:

    We compare water governance between China and India in terms of water laws, policies and administration based on a survey of 182 water experts from 19 provinces/states. We find that water governance in China is consistently stronger compared with India across 17 indicators of water governance. We speculate that these variations could be attributed to differences in political, legal and administrative systems as well as levels of economic development and political system.

  13. Topsoil delivery to Himalayan rivers: The importance of sampling time

    Topsoil delivery to Himalayan rivers: The importance of sampling time
    Publisher:
    John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Author/s:
    M. Nawaz, R. J. Wasson, R. Bhushan, N. Juyal, F. Sattar
    Excerpt:

    Estimates of the amount of topsoil in river sediments can help constrain sediment budgets on decadal time scales. The tracers 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) are used to determine the proportion of topsoil in river sediments in two Himalayan catchments, a relatively simple but effective method that could be used in many catchments in this complex mountain range for management purposes. Different results are reached, apparently depending upon antecedent conditions, with a large component of topsoil in river sediments likely to be the result of rainfall that erodes hillslopes by sheet and rill processes, does not mobilize or mix with other sources of sediment such as from landslides, and does not generate high river flows to transport the topsoil downstream. These results show that sampling of tracers in sedimentary archives is essential to provide time series of topsoil input to Himalayan rivers to account for high temporal variability. 

  14. Paleofloods records in Himalaya

    Paleofloods records in Himalaya
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    P. Srivastavaa, , , A. Kumara, S. Chaudharyb, N. Meenaa, Y.P. Sundriyalc, S. Rawata, N. Ranac, R.J. Perumala, P. Bishtc, D. Sharmac, R. Agnihotrid, D.S. Bagric, N. Juyale, R.J. Wassonf, A.D. Zieglerg
    Year:
    2016
    Publication:
    Geomorphology
    Excerpt:

    We use paleoflood deposits to reconstruct a record of past floods for the Alaknanda-Mandakini Rivers (Garhwal Himalaya), the Indus River (Ladakh, NW Himalaya) and the Brahmaputra River (NE Himalaya). The deposits are characterized by sand-silt couplets, massive sand beds, and from debris flow sediment. The chronology of paleoflood deposits, established by Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and 14C AMS dating techniques, indicates the following: (i) The Alaknanda-Mandakini Rivers experienced large floods during the wet and warm Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA); (ii) the Indus River experienced at least 14 large floods during the Holocene climatic optimum, when flood discharges were likely an order of magnitude higher than those of modern floods; and (iii) the Brahmaputra River experienced a megaflood between 8 and 6 ka. Magnetic susceptibility of flood sediments indicates that 10 out of 14 floods on the Indus River originated in the catchments draining the Ladakh Batholith, indicating the potential role of glacial lake outbursts (GLOFs) and/or landslide lake outbursts (LLOFs) in compounding flood magnitudes. Pollen recovered from debris flow deposits located in the headwaters of the Mandakini River showed the presence of warmth-loving trees and marshy taxa, thereby corroborating the finding that floods occurred during relatively warm periods. Collectively, our new data indicate that floods in the Himalaya largely occur during warm and wet climatic phases. Further, the evidence supports the notion that the Indian Summer Monsoon front may have penetrated into the Ladakh area during the Holocene climatic optimum.

  15. Infrastructure Development and the Economics of Cooperation in the Eastern Nile

    Infrastructure Development and the Economics of Cooperation in the Eastern Nile
    Publisher:
    Taylor & Francis
    Author/s:
    Jeuland, M.; X. Wu; D. Whittington
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water International
    Excerpt:

    This article employs a hydro-economic optimization model to analyze the effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the distribution and magnitude of benefits in the Eastern Nile. Scenarios are considered based on plausible institutional arrangements that span varying levels of cooperation, as well as changes in hydrological conditions (water availability). The results show that the dam can increase Ethiopia’s economic benefits by a factor of 5–6, without significantly affecting or compromising irrigation and hydropower production downstream. However, increasing GERD water storage during a drought could lead to high costs not only for Egypt and Sudan, but also for Ethiopia.