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Sustainable Water Treatment: Engineering Solutions for a Variable Climate

Sustainable Water Treatment: Engineering Solutions for a Variable Climate

Автором Miklas Scholz

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Sustainable Water Treatment: Engineering Solutions for a Variable Climate

Автором Miklas Scholz

Длина:
657 pages
6 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Aug 28, 2018
ISBN:
9780128162477
Формат:
Книге

Описание

Sustainable Water Treatment: Engineering Solutions for a Variable Climate covers sustainable water and environmental engineering aspects relevant for the drainage and treatment of storm water and wastewater. The book explains the fundamental science and engineering principles for the student and professional market. Standard and novel design recommendations for sustainable technologies, such as constructed wetlands, sustainable drainage systems and sustainable flood retention basins are provided to account for the interests of professional engineers and environmental scientists. The book presents the latest research findings in wastewater treatment and runoff control that are ideal for academics and senior consultants.

The book offers a challenging, diverse, holistic, multidisciplinary, experimental and modelling-orientated case study, covering topics such as natural wetlands, constructed treatment wetlands for pollution control, sustainable drainage systems managing diffuse pollution, specific applications, such as wetlands treating dye wastewater and ecological sanitation systems recycling treated waters for the irrigation of crops.

  • Explains the fundamental science and engineering principles behind each topic
  • Provides an easy-to-understand, descriptive overview of complex ‘black box’ drainage and treatment systems and general design issues involved
  • Includes a comprehensive analysis of asset performance, modelling of treatment processes, and an assessment of sustainability and economics
Издатель:
Издано:
Aug 28, 2018
ISBN:
9780128162477
Формат:
Книге

Об авторе

Prof. Miklas Scholz, cand ing, BEng (equiv), PgC, MSc, PhD, CWEM, CEnv, CSci, CEng, FHEA, FIEMA, FCIWEM, FICE, Fellow of IWA holds the Chair in Civil Engineering at The University of Salford. He was previously working at The University of Edinburgh. He is the Head of the Civil Engineering Research Group in Salford. He has shown individual excellence evidenced by contributions to world-leading publications, postgraduate supervision, and research impact. His main research areas in terms of publication output are treatment wetlands, integrated constructed wetlands, sustainable flood retention basins, permeable pavement systems, decision support systems, ponds, and capillary suction time. About 45% and 40% of his research is in water resources management and wastewater treatment, respectively. The remaining 15% is in capillary processes and water treatment. He has published four books and more than 176 journal articles covering a wide area of topics. Between 2009 and 2015, he topped the publication list in terms of numbers for all members of staff at The University of Salford. Prof. Scholz’s full journal article publications in recent years are as follows: 2009 (13), 2010 (19), 2011 (13), 2012 (21), 2013 (17), and 2014 (15). He has total citations of more than 2845 (above 2122 citations since 2010), resulting in an H-Index of 28 and an i10-Index of 64. Prof. Scholz is Editor-in-Chief of 13 journals, including the Web of Science-listed journal Water (impact factor for 2014: 1.428). He has membership experience on over 35 influential editorial boards. His new guidelines on sustainable flood retention basins (SFRB) and integrated constructed wetlands (ICW) have led to the international uptake of both the novel SFRB and ICW concepts. This work has particularly benefited the British Isles, Central and Northern Europe, and has an excellent uptake potential for large regions in America, Asia and Africa.

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Chapter 1

Introduction to Sustainable Water Management

Abstract

The water industry is changing rapidly, adapting to increased population pressure and climate change. There is considerable pressure on industry and academia to develop sustainable water management strategies and technologies. This chapter briefly highlights a selection of cutting edge research projects highly relevant to sustainable water management. The recognition that droughts and floods will put more strain on society has also been highlighted. Indicating the need for adequate adaptation and mitigation strategies supported by sustainable technology and engineering principles is a special purpose of this chapter. For example, the recycling of wastewater should help to address water shortages in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, a new concept to learn to life with flooding has been introduced. For example, Sustainable Flood Retention Basins have both a flood and diffuse pollution control function. Finally, an integrated approach to sustainable water management in urban and rural areas has been advocated.

Keywords

Domestic wastewater; drought; graywater; hydrology; pond; sustainable drainage; Sustainable Flood Retention Basin; variable climate; water resources engineering; wetland

Summary

The water industry is changing rapidly, adapting to increased population pressure and climate change. There is considerable pressure on industry and academia to develop sustainable water management strategies and technologies. This chapter briefly highlights a selection of cutting-edge research projects highly relevant to sustainable water management. The recognition that droughts and floods will put more strain on society has also been highlighted. Indicating the need for adequate adaptation and mitigation strategies supported by sustainable technology and engineering principles is a special purpose of this chapter. For example, the recycling of wastewater should help to address water shortages in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, a new concept to learn to life with flooding has been introduced. For example, Sustainable Flood Retention Basins (SFRB) have both a flood and diffuse pollution control function. Finally, an integrated approach to sustainable water management in urban and rural areas has been advocated. As an example, the concept of integration of trees into sustainable drainage systems within urban areas has been outlined.

1.1 Water Resources Engineering Solutions for a Variable Climate

The world is changing rapidly. This is also the case for the water industry, which has to adapt to increased population pressure, lack of finances, and climate change. Traditional water resources engineering solutions are often expensive and unsustainable for many case studies. Therefore, there is considerable pressure on industry and academia to develop sustainable water management strategies and technologies.

The author and his research team have acknowledged in this book that traditional civil engineering approaches to water resources management need to be questioned, and more smart answers to a changining world need to be found with the help of other subject disciplines such as ecology, economics, sociology, and computer science. This book can not cover the entire spectrum of sustainable water engineering and management solutions for a variable climate. Therefore, only highlights of cutting-edge research projects relevant to the topic have been selected in this book to outline the topic to interested readers.

The basis of water resources engineering is a good understanding of applied hydrology. The recognition that droughts and floods will put more strain on society should motivate engineers to find alternative sustainable solutions to wastewater treatment and recycling. Recycling of wastewater such as urban water will certainly help to address water shortages in agriculture. The challenge is to produce crops that require less water and do not pose any health risks to the public and animals.

On the other hand, new strategies to learn to life with flooding need to be developed. It has to be recognized that watercourses have multipurpose usages, and that stakeholders have to share these resources more in the future. The same is the case for smaller waterbodies such as ponds in urban areas. An integrated approach to urban water management is likely to benefit society in the long-term.

1.2 Drought Indices and Impacts

A sound understanding of hydrology is essential to practice sustainable water management. Climate change and variability have impact on many decision-making processes. The impact of climate variability on water demand and availability estimations in drylands is substantial. Establishing methods to analyze precipitation and evapotranspiration data sets may generate useful tools that assist in drought recognition and regional variations therein. Therefore, the development of an index that simultaneously integrates both these variables in a climate variability analysis is important.

Mohammed and Scholz (2017) have proposed the alpha and normalized forms of the reconnaissance drought index (RDI) as a single climatic index for the recognition of geographical areas with differing drought characteristics and potential weather variability. The prime application is that the RDI combines in a single index both precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. A more consistent trend of climate variability can be identified by applying time series of different durations of RDI compared to using time series of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration separately.

Sustainable water management of transboundary watersheds is a particular challenge. Recent increases in human activities in shared river basins have unquestionably raised concerns about potential hydrological impacts, especially impacts of dams and large-scale water withdrawal schemes in the highlands. Anthropogenic pressures twinned with drought impacts have exacerbated water management challenges. Chapter 2, Reconnaissance Drought Index, provides a more detailed discussion.

Al-Faraj and Scholz (2014) have assessed the cumulative consequences of upstream anthropogenic pressures and drought spells on temporal river flow regimes for downstream areas (see Chapter 3: Hydrologic Anomalies Coupled with Drought Impact for a River Flow Regime). They were particularly concerned with transboundary challenges and tried to develop a technical framework supporting decision-makers. Findings indicated that anthropogenic river-regulation coupled with the impact of drought periods have noticeably modified the natural flow paradigm. The yearly average runoffs, which are no longer available for the downstream country, have soared to very high levels. More adverse impacts were detected in the nonrainy season. Findings also reveal that damming and considerable water diversion to large-scale irrigation projects in the upstream state are the main regulations affecting the management of shared water resources in the downstream country. The findings will help decision-makers to develop sustainable water management frameworks for shared watersheds.

1.3 Recycling of Domestic Wastewater Treated by Wetlands for Irrigation

The availability of freshwater in many dry regions is an increasing challenge. Therefore, due to water scarcity in many arid countries, there is considerable interest in recycling wastewater streams such as treated urban wastewater for irrigation in the agricultural sector.

Almuktar and Scholz (2016) assessed the contamination of soil and the example crop Capsicum annuum (chilies grown in pots) irrigated by domestic wastewaters and treated by different wetland types (Chapter 4: Mineral and Biological Contamination of Soil and Crops Irrigated With Recycled Domestic Wastewater). Ortho-phosphate-phosphorus, ammonia-nitrogen, potassium, and manganese concentrations in the irrigation water considerably exceeded the thresholds. High water contamination levels by total coliforms, Salmonella spp. and Streptococcus spp. were detected. No mineral contamination was observed in the soils due to irrigation with treated wastewater.

Results also showed that slight to moderate zinc contamination was detected in some vegetables. Potassium accumulation in the yield showed the highest values followed by zinc. In contrast, the lowest mineral accumulation of the yield was observed for iron. No bacterial contamination was detected for fruits harvested from plants irrigated by wetland outflow water. In contrast, fruits harvested from those plants irrigated by preliminary treated wastewater showed high contamination by total coliforms, Streptococcus spp. and Salmonella spp. especially for fruits, which were located close to the contaminated soil surface. However, findings indicate that vegetables receiving wastewater treated with wetlands can be considered as safe compared to those receiving only preliminary treated wastewater. High yields in terms of economic return were associated with tap water and an organic growth medium, and a wetland with a small aggregate size and a low contact time (Almuktar and Scholz, 2016).

The creation of crop cultivars used to contaminated irrigation waters is a special challenge as discussed in Chapter 5, Recycling of Domestic Wastewater Treated by Wetlands for Irrigation of Two Crop Generations. Therefore, Almuktar et al. (2017) evaluated, if domestic wastewater treated by various wetland systems can be successfully recycled to irrigate generations of commercial crops such as chili grown in compost within a laboratory environment to obtain a cultivar adapted to domestic wastewater. The vertical-flow wetlands treated domestic wastewater well, meeting the irrigation water quality standards for most water quality parameters, except for phosphorus (4.2 mg/l), ammonia-nitrogen (4.2 mg/l), potassium (7.0 mg/l), and total coliforms (69,647 CFU/100 ml), which showed high values significantly exceeding common thresholds set for irrigation applications of 2 mg/l, 5 mg/l, 2 mg/l, and 1000 CFU/100 ml.

Chili generations were grown successfully when applying wastewater treated by wetlands and organic soil. High chili generation yields concerning economic returns were linked with wetlands containing small aggregates with long contact and resting times and fed with a high inflow loading rate (undiluted wastewater), releasing more nutrients into their effluent producing the best fruit quality with respect to weight, length, and width resulting in a greater marketable profit of about 46% compared with the others. First generation chili plants were grown with considerably shorter heights and produced abundant fruit numbers, which were harvested earlier than their mothers due to the reduction (approximately 55%) of irrigation water volume used for them compared to their mothers. However, excessive nutrients (particularly nitrogen) applied on mother plants via irrigation water resulted in better fruit quality regarding dimensions and weights compared with their corresponding first generation plants, leading to a greater marketable profit by about 25% (Almuktar et al., 2017).

1.4 Constructed Wetlands and Ponds Treating Urban Wastewater

There is uncertainty about the potential benefits and shortcomings of mature constructed treatment wetlands. Therefore, Al-Isawi et al. (2017) compared the performance, design, and operation variables of two wetland technologies treating domestic wastewater with each other. An experimental artificial pond system and a mature experimental vertical-flow constructed wetland system were operated in parallel. The wetland system planted with Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. (common reed) was operated between June 2011 and October 2015, while the pond system was only operated between July 2015 and October 2015. Three different types of ponds were compared: ponds with wastewater; ponds with wastewater and reeds; and ponds with wastewater, reeds, and aeration.

Findings regarding the performances of mature wetlands showed that the wetland systems improved the water quality except for ortho-phosphate-phosphorus, where the treatment performance reduced slightly over time. In general, the aerated pond systems showed better treatment performances in terms of ammonia-nitrogen and ortho-phosphate-phosphorus. Both systems were linked with medium to high levels of 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) removal. The highest chemical oxygen demand (COD) and suspended solids (SS) removals were observed for wetlands in comparison to ponds. Moreover, mature wetlands were better in removing ammonia-nitrogen and ortho-phosphate-phosphorus than ponds unless the ponds were aerated. The nitrate-nitrogen concentration increased in the aerated ponds reflecting the high oxygen availability (Al-Isawi et al., 2017). Readers might refer to Chapter 6, Comparative Study of Domestic Wastewater Treatment by Wetlands and Ponds, for more details.

There is considerable pressure on the waste industry to find sustainable technology applications recycling their waste economically (see also Chapter 7: Graywater Treatment Using Pelletized Mine Water Sludge). Therefore, Abed et al. (2017) considered precipitated ochre waste sludge obtained from a mine water treatment plant as an adsorbent substance for pollutants, since ochre is relatively free from problematic levels of toxic elements, which could impair on the quality of water to be treated. Artificially created ochre pellets from mixing Portland cement with raw ochre sludge were utilized to remediate either high or low contaminated (HC or LC) synthetic graywater (SGW) in mesocosm-scale stabilization ponds at 2-day and 7-day contact times under real weather conditions in Salford, United Kingdom. After a specific retention time, treated SGW was agitated before sampling to evaluate pollutant removal mechanisms (other than sedimentation) such as adsorption by ochre pellets, before replacing the treated water with new inflow SGW.

The results showed that cement-ochre pellets have a high ability to adsorb ortho-phosphate-phosphorous significantly by 71% and 56% at 7-day contact time for HC-SGW and LC-SGW, respectively. After the experiment, an analysis revealed that elements such as boron, cadmium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, and zinc accumulated significantly within the ochre pellets. The notable accumulation of cadmium within ochre pellets reflects the significant remediation of graywater during the first 35 and 20 successive times of treatment for HC-SGW at 2- and 7-day contact times, respectively. Cadmium was still adsorbed significantly during the treatment of LC-SGW. However, the calcium content decreased significantly within ochre pellets treating both types of graywaters due to mobilization. The corresponding increases of calcium in graywater were significant (Abed et al., 2017).

1.5 Dye Wastewater Treatment

The cost-effective and sustainable treatment of industrial wastewaters is a challenge. A higher demand on textile materials has resulted in an increase of the number of textile factories particularly in the developing world, which consequently negatively effects the environment due to their contaminated effluents. Textile industry processes are among the most environmentally unsustainable industrial processes, because they produce colored effluents in large quantities polluting water resources. Textile effluents are highly colored and mixed with different chemicals and pollutants. Wetlands have long played an important role as natural purification systems, but are not commonly used for textile wastewater treatment. Chapters 8, Dye Wastewater Treatment by Vertical-Flow Constructed Wetlands, and 9, Shallow Pond Systems Planted With Duckweed Treating Azo Dyes, are dedicated to dye wastewater treatment.

Hussein and Scholz (2017) fed the azo dyes (Acid Blue 113 (AB113) and Basic Red 46 (BR46)) as part of a synthetic wastewater recipe to a laboratory-scale vertical-flow constructed wetland set-up comprising wetlands with gravel media as controls and wetlands planted with common reed for each dye. Two different concentrations (7 mg/l and 215 mg/l) were used for each dye at two different hydraulic retention times (48 h and 96 h).

According to results for the low concentration of BR46, there was no significant difference between wetlands (unplanted and planted) in terms of dye removal. The use of plants concerning the short contact time scenario for ammonia-nitrogen and a low concentration of AB113 is linked to good removal. In case of low dye concentrations, the presence of plants for the long contact time scenario impacted significantly positive on the removal efficiencies of nutrients. For COD, the removal percentages were 50%, 59%, and 67% for the control and for the wetlands with short and long retention times, respectively. All reductions were statistically significant. For the high concentration of BR46, the removal percentages for this dye and COD were 94% and 82%, and 89% and 74% for the long and short retention times in this order. For the low concentration of AB113, the percentage corresponding removals for the dye were 71%, 68%, and 80%. The COD removals were 4%, 7%, and 15% for the control, and the short and long retention times, respectively. Finally, for the high concentration of AB113, the percentage removals for the dye and COD were 71% and 73%, and 50% and 52% for the 48-h and 96-h retention times in this order (Hussein and Scholz, 2017).

As an alternative to constructed wetlands planted with reeds, Yaseen and Scholz (2016) regarded shallow pond systems as a promising, cheap, and effective technique for the treatment of contaminated wastewater. Therefore, they assessed the performance of pond systems vegetated by Lemna minor L. (duckweed) for textile dye removal under controlled laboratory conditions. The key objectives were to assess the influence of design variables on water quality parameters, the dye and COD removal of dyes, and the effect of dye accumulation as a function of the relative growth rate of L. minor.

Findings indicate that the simulated shallow pond system (as a polishing step) is able to remove only BR46 in low concentrations, and ponds containing L. minor significantly outperformed algae-dominated ponds and control ponds. The simple chemical structure, absence of sulfur group, and small molecular weight associated with neutral pH values enhanced the capacity of the uptake of BR46 molecules. Furthermore, the total dissolved solid concentrations were within the threshold set for discharge to the aquatic environment (Yaseen and Scholz, 2016).

1.6 Integration of Trees into Sustainable Drainage Systems

Nature-based solutions such as sustainable drainage systems are now common in many urban areas within Europe and North America. However, there is a possibility to enhance these systems by considering the integration of trees. The challenge is in the correct selection of the most suitable trees avoiding damage to nearby structures (see Chapter 10: Tree Species for Supporting Sustainable Water Management in Urban Areas in Temperate Climate).

Scholz et al. (2016) assessed the potential of trees for integration in urban development by evaluating the damage caused by trees in relation to various tree characteristics. Tree damage to permeable pavement systems and other urban structures such as impermeable pavements, kerbs, roads, retaining walls, footpaths, walls, and buildings were assessed to identify the most suitable trees for the urban environment. One hundred square sites of 100 m × 100 m were randomly selected in Greater Manchester (United Kingdom) for this representative example case study to demonstrate a novel assessment methodology.

Among tree species in this study, Acer platanoides L. (Norway maple) occurred most frequently (17%); others were Tilia spp. L. (Lime; 16%), Fraxinus excelsior L. (common ash; 12%), Acer pseudoplatanus L. (sycamore; 10%), and Prunus avium L. (wild cherry; 8%). The study concluded that 44% of the damage was to impermeable pavements and 22% to permeable pavements. Other damage to structures included kerbs (19%), retaining walls (5%), footpaths (4%), roads (3%), and walls (3%). Concerning the severity of damage, 66% were moderate, 21% light, and 19% severe. Aesculus hippocastanum L. (horse chestnut) caused the greatest damage (59%) expressed in percentage as a ratio of the tree number related to damage over the corresponding tree number that was found close to structures (Scholz et al., 2016).

1.7 Sustainable Flood Retention Basins

Flooding is a great challenge in many countries in Europe. Therefore, the European Union’s Flood Directive 2007/60/EC required member states to produce flood risk maps for all river basins and coastal areas at risk of flooding by 2013. As a result, flood risk assessments have become an urgent challenge requiring a range of rapid and effective tools and approaches. The SFRB concept has evolved to provide a rapid assessment technique for impoundments, which have a predefined or potential role in flood defense and diffuse pollution control. A previous version of the SFRB survey method developed by the author recommends gathering of over 40 variables to characterize an SFRB. Collecting all these variables is relatively time-consuming and more importantly, these variables are often correlated with each other. Chapters 11, Classifying Adaptive Sustainable Flood Retention Basins, and 12, Predicting Dam Failure Risk for Sustainable Flood Retention Basins, are dedicated to the SFRB concept.

Yang et al. (2011) explored the correlation among variables to find the most important ones to represent different SFRB types. Three feature selection techniques (Information Gain, Mutual Information, and Relief) were applied on a large SFRB data set to identify the importance of the variables in terms of classification accuracy. Four benchmark classifiers (Support Vector Machine, K-Nearest Neighbors, C4.5 Decision Tree, and Naïve Bayes) were subsequently used to verify the effectiveness of the classification with the selected variables and automatically identify the optimal number of variables.

Experimental results indicate that the proposed approach provided a simple, rapid, and effective framework for variable selection and SFRB classification. Only nine important variables are sufficient to accurately classify SFRB. Finally, six typical cases were studied to verify the performance of the identified nine variables on different SFRB types. The findings provided a rapid scientific tool for SFRB assessment in practice. Moreover, the generic value of this tool allows also for its wide application in other areas (Yang et al., 2011).

The SFRB concept was also applied to assess the risk of dam failure. For example, Danso-Amoako et al. (2012) provided a rapid screening tool for assessment of SFRB to predict corresponding dam failure risks. A rapid expert-based assessment method for dam failure of SFRB supported by an artificial neural network (ANN) model has been presented. Flood storage was assessed for 110 SFRB and the corresponding Dam Failure Risk was evaluated for all dams across the wider Greater Manchester study area.

The results showed that Dam Failure Risk can be estimated by using the variables Dam Height, Dam Length, Maximum Flood Water Volume, Flood Water Surface Area, Mean Annual Rainfall (based on Met Office data), Altitude, Catchment Size, Urban Catchment Proportion, Forest Catchment Proportion, and Managed Maximum Flood Water Volume. A cross-validation R² value of 0.70 for the ANN model signified that the tool is likely to predict variables well for new data sets.

Traditionally, dams are considered safe, because they have been built according to high technical standards. However, many dams that were constructed decades ago do not meet the current state-of-the-art dam design guidelines. Spatial distribution maps show that dam failure risks of SFRB located near cities are higher than those situated in rural locations. The proposed tool could be used as an early warning system in times of heavy rainfall (Danso-Amoako et al., 2012).

1.8 Conclusions and Recommendations

This chapter provides an overview of the content of this book highlighting the featured sustainable water management concepts, strategies, and technologies. Selected research and representative case studies have been presented for illustration purposes. However, this book can only be seen as an introduction to the subject matter, and further reading is therefore recommended to those readers interested in more details.

References

1. Abed SN, Almuktar SAA-AN, Scholz M. Treatment of contaminated greywater using pelletized mine water sludge. J Environ Manage. 2017;197:10–23.

2. Al-Faraj FAM, Scholz M. Assessment of temporal hydrologic anomalies coupled with drought impact for a transboundary river flow regime: the Diyala watershed case study. J Hydrol. 2014;517:64–73.

3. Al-Isawi R, Ray S, Scholz M. Comparative study of domestic wastewater treatment by mature vertical-flow constructed wetlands and artificial ponds. Ecolog Eng. 2017;100:8–18.

4. Almuktar SAA-AN, Scholz M. Mineral and biological contamination of soil and Capsicum annuum irrigated with recycled domestic wastewater. Agricult Wat Manage. 2016;167:95–109.

5. Almuktar S, Abed S, Scholz M. Recycling of domestic wastewater treated by vertical-flow wetlands for irrigation of two consecutive Capsicum annuum generations. Ecol Eng. 2017;107C:82–98.

6. Danso-Amoako E, Kalimeris N, Scholz M, Yang Q, Shao J. Predicting dam failure risk for Sustainable Flood Retention Basins: a generic case study for the wider Greater Manchester area. Comput Environ Urban Syst. 2012;36:423–433.

7. Hussein A, Scholz M. Dye wastewater treated by vertical-flow constructed wetlands. Ecolog Eng. 2017;101:28–38.

8. Mohammed R, Scholz M. The Reconnaissance Drought Index: a method for detecting regional arid climatic variability and potential drought risk. J Arid Environ. 2017;144:181–191.

9. Scholz M, Uzomah V, Al-Faraj FAM. Potential tree species for use in urban areas in temperate and oceanic climates. Heliyon. 2016;2:e00154.

10. Yang Q, Shao J, Scholz M, Plant C. Feature selection methods for characterizing and classifying adaptive Sustainable Flood Retention Basins. Wat Res. 2011;45(3):993–1004.

11. Yaseen DA, Scholz M. Shallow pond systems planted with Lemna minor treating azo dyes. Ecol Eng. 2016;94:295–305.

Chapter 2

Reconnaissance Drought Index

Abstract

Establishing methods to analyze precipitation and evapotranspiration data sets may generate useful tools that assist in drought recognition and regional variations therein. This chapter outlines the development of an index that simultaneously integrates both these variables in climate variability analysis. This study proposes the alpha and normalized forms of the reconnaissance drought index (RDI) as a single climatic index for the recognition of geographical areas with differing drought characteristics and potential weather variability. The prime application is that the RDI combines in a single index both precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. A more consistent trend of climate variability can be identified by applying time series of different durations of RDI compared to using time series of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration separately. This approach is explored by using meteorological data from 24 locations representing arid, semiarid (Mediterranean, tropical, and continental), and humid climatic conditions.

Keywords

Climate change; decision-making; drought indicator; hydrological processes; potential drought risk; potential evapotranspiration; precipitation; regional arid climatic variability; trend detection; water resources management

Summary

The impact of climate variability on water demand and availability in drylands is substantial. Establishing methods to analyze precipitation (P) and evapotranspiration data sets may generate useful tools that assist in drought recognition and regional variations therein. This chapter outlines the development of an index that simultaneously integrates both these variables in climate variability analysis. This study proposes the alpha and normalized forms of the reconnaissance drought index (RDI) as a single climatic index for the recognition of geographical areas with differing drought characteristics and potential weather variability. The prime application is that the RDI combines in a single index both P and potential evapotranspiration (PET). A more consistent trend of climate variability can be identified by applying time series of different durations of RDI compared to using time series of P and PET separately. This approach is explored by using meteorological data from 24 locations representing arid, semiarid (Mediterranean (MD), tropical (TR), and continental (CN)), and humid climatic conditions. The method is then tested through application to the semiarid Lower Zab River basin (LZRB) in Iran and Iraq. Findings show that many regions such as the LZRB will face major droughts, indicating that there is an urgent requirement to advance water management strategies. This chapter is based on findings by Mohammed and Scholz (2017a), and should be read before moving on to Chapter 3, Hydrologic Anomalies Coupled With Drought Impact for a River Flow Regime.

2.1 Introduction

2.1.1 Background

Long-term trends in hydrological processes are potentially influenced by changing climate and anthropogenic interventions (Al-Ansari, 2013; Al-Ansari et al., 2014). Investigating such trends might support identification of such changes. Defining the climate of a region is normally based on the long-term pattern of variations in meteorological variables such as mean air temperature, P, humidity, and wind. The long-term impacts of climate change (CC) are expected to affect land use, agriculture, water resources, society, and environmental sustainability. Accordingly, such changes can strengthen present pressure and extreme events, thus increasing water resources system hazards and overall uncertainty (Loukas et al., 2008; Logan et al., 2010).

The fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explained that the impacts of global warming on natural and human systems are observed on all continents and across the oceans (IPCC, 2014). Hydrological cycle alterations are considered to be one of the greatest CC impact such as floods, droughts, and storms (IPCC, 2007; Michel and Pandya, 2009). By the end of the 21st century, it is more likely that the global mean air temperature will increase by 1.4°C to nearly 5.8°C (IPCC, 2001). However, the Middle East and North Africa will likely encounter decreases in rainfall and runoff between 10% and 25%, and between 10% and 40%, respectively, and an increase in evaporation between 5% and 20% (World Bank, 2009).

Both P and mean air temperature can be basic parameters to characterize regional climate and designate alterations in climate. However, these parameters display changeable trends for various regions. Accordingly, a compound index that integrates these parameters can be very critical for analysis of the overall climate. Evapotranspiration is considered as a more descriptive weather parameter for replacing air temperature in water resources management owing to its involvement in water balance studies. Analyzing long-term time series of both P and PET of a region can result in one of the following combinations: ++, +0, +–, 0+, 00, 0–, –+, –0 and ––, where + indicates a rise, – indicates a decline, and 0 indicates no alteration for the considered

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