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In celebration of World Water Day, AGU has curated a special collection of articles across our journals that contribute to our understanding of the barriers to clean water access and sanitation globally and consider solutions that will ensure sustainable water management for all. This special collection was inspired by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #6: Water and Sanitation.

Table of Contents

Open Access

The Association Between Rainfall, Temperature, and Reported Drinking Water Source: A Multi-Country Analysis

  • First Published: 01 November 2022
Key Points

  • Access to and reported use of basic drinking water (BDW) is dependent on rainfall and temperature in The Gambia, Mozambique, Pakistan, and Kenya

  • Higher temperatures are associated with decreased access to and use of BDW

  • Climate change threatens access to safe drinking water in settings where infrastructure is vulnerable to rainfall and temperature

Open Access

Pulsed Demand Modeling for the Optimal Placement of Water Quality Sensors in Water Distribution Networks

Key Points

  • Nodal demand modeling in water distribution networks influences the fate of contaminants moving through the system

  • Layout and performance of a water quality sensor system differ if a stochastic bottom-up approach is used for the demand modeling

  • The extent of the influence of a different demand modeling depends on the monitoring target and on the water distribution network topology

Open Access

Lower Urban Humidity Moderates Outdoor Heat Stress

Key Points

  • Lower humidity and higher air temperature in cities compared to rural backgrounds compensate for each other to moderate daytime outdoor heat stress

  • Surface temperature is a poor proxy for both intra-urban heterogeneity and variability in urban-rural difference in outdoor heat stress

  • Vegetation is much less efficient at reducing heat stress than at reducing satellite-derived surface temperature

Open Access

Caught Between Extremes: Understanding Human-Water Interactions During Drought-To-Flood Events in the Horn of Africa

Key Points

  • Integration of semi-quantitative and qualitative methods in a bottom-up approach enhance understanding of dynamic event interactions

  • Flood and drought events do not act in isolation and fragile contextual conditions further aggravate their impacts

  • The close succession of drought and heavy rainfall triggers mechanisms that can increase or decrease disaster risk, both in time and space

Open Access

Graph Convolutional Recurrent Neural Networks for Water Demand Forecasting

Key Points

  • Novel and innovative methodology based on graph convolutional recurrent neural network for short-term water demand forecasting

  • The proposed approach provides a reliable prediction also during sensor's malfunction events, enabling new possible usage for this method

  • Multiple real-time series of water demand as a case-study

Open Access

Localizing Hydrological Drought Early Warning Using In Situ Groundwater Sensors

Key Points

  • Advancements in sensing technologies give renewed feasibility to in situ groundwater monitoring in data-scarce, drought-prone countries

  • Calibrating groundwater models with short observation records (weeks) substantially improves on satellite-based drought exposure indicators

  • Improved water availability assessment with in situ sensors provides opportunities for better drought early warning and early action

Open Access

Dispersed Urban-Stormwater Control Improved Stream Water Quality in a Catchment-Scale Experiment

Key Points

  • A long-term catchment-scale experiment strengthens inference that urban stormwater drainage increases stream contaminant concentrations

  • Extensive use of dispersed stormwater control measures can reverse stormwater-induced degradation of stream water quality

  • Achieving reference stream water quality requires retention, treatment and loss of runoff from nearly all catchment impervious surfaces, with high performance standards

Open Access

Aedes Aegypti—Insights on the Impact of Water Services

  • First Published: 15 November 2022
Key Points

  • Aedes vector-based diseases, urban water Infrastructure, and socio-economic variables were analyzed across comparable territories in Brazil

  • Aedes vector-based disease cases in urban areas are correlated with water supply irregularity and total urban population at water risk

  • Analysis per climate and population density allow to perceive the impact of faulty drainage services in Aedes vector-based diseases

Open Access

Drivers of Future Physical Water Scarcity and Its Economic Impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean

Key Points

  • The primary drivers of future water scarcity in Latin America and the Caribbean vary across space and among scarcity metrics

  • Both water supply and demand dynamics drive future severe water scarcity outcomes across Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Scenarios of future water scarcity in the region reflect complex dynamics between local and global energy, water, and land systems

Open Access

Microbial Contamination of Groundwater Self-Supply in Urban Indonesia: Assessment of Sanitary and Socio-Economic Risk Factors

Key Points

  • Risk factors for fecal contamination of groundwater self-supply assessed in two Indonesian cities

  • Contamination associated with lower socio-economic status, proximity to sanitation, and lack of well protection

  • Widespread boiling of self-supplied water significantly improves microbial quality between source and point-of-use

Inter-Basin Transfers Extend the Benefits of Water From Forests to Population Centers Across the Conterminous U.S.

Key Points

  • National Forest System and other forested lands comprised 28.7% of the total land area but contributed 46.0% of the total water yield

  • Approximately 125.5 million and 83.1 million people received more than 10% and 50% of their surface drinking water supply from forested lands, respectively

  • Without considering inter-basin transfer, benefits of forests to water supply would be underestimated

Free Access

The Sustainability of Treated Wastewater Irrigation: The Impact of Hysteresis on Saturated Soil Hydraulic Conductivity

Key Points

  • Hysteresis-based results show higher degradation risk and slower rehabilitation when irrigating with saline and sodic treated wastewater

  • Actual degradation risk results from dynamic interplay between a soil's susceptibility to degradation and its ability to rehabilitate

  • SOTE model is first to consider effects of hysteresis on changes in saturated soil hydraulic conductivity under saline and sodic conditions

Open Access

Crafting Spaces for Good Water Governance in Pakistan

Key Points

  • We present a stylized model of irrigation water resource planning that delineates management from governance

  • We identify requirements for scaling up irrigation from small to large scale, in the context of Pakistan’s recently ended efforts at irrigation management transfer

  • We propose a problemshed approach to identifying communities of common interest, rather than a reliance on hydraulic boundaries

Institutions and the Economic Efficiency of Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Mitigation Strategy Against Drought Impacts on Irrigated Agriculture in California

Key Points

  • Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is economically efficient for the region, and its value depends on institutional design and aquifer hydrogeological properties

  • Institutional arrangements matter, affecting optimal water management strategies and their economic impact across the region

  • Cooperation among stakeholders is fundamental for the economic efficiency of MAR

  • Property rights to groundwater introduced through recent legislation in California incentivizes MAR related arrangements

A Water Resource Equilibrium Regulation Model Under Water Resource Utilization Conflict: A Case Study in the Yellow River Basin

Key Points

  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory was introduced to improve the water resource regulation model from the demand side

  • Different from fairness, the equilibrium is a stable state under the influence of diversity of interests and other factors

  • Based on the satisfaction function and Gini coefficient, an equilibrium function was constructed to guide the regulation of water resources

Open Access

Economic Sustainability of Irrigation-Dependent Ecosystem Services Under Growing Water Scarcity. Insights From the Reno River in Italy

Key Points

  • We assess economic performance of conservationist (sustain irrigation-dependent ecosystems) v. irrigation modernization strategy in NE Italy

  • Under most models and scenarios, the conservationist strategy has a superior economic performance; and is also found more robust

  • Unless sensible incentives are set (remove infrastructure subsidies, deploy PWS), irrigators may modernize nonetheless

Free Access

Post-Drought Groundwater Storage Recovery in California's Central Valley

Key Points

  • Groundwater storage recovery during post-drought periods ranged from 34% (2007–2009 drought) to 19% (2012–2016 drought)

  • Projected drought recovery times decrease by a factor of 3.6–7.8 with post-drought periods containing no drought years or wet years only

  • Overdraft recovery time decreased by a factor of 2 with implementation of modest pumping restrictions under no-drought post-drought climate

Free Access

Influences of Extreme Events on Water and Carbon Cycles of Cropland Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Exploration Combining Site and Global Modeling

Key Points

  • CLM5 simulated evapotranspiration (ET) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) dynamics well for six crops, including the newly added rice

  • Influencing magnitudes of precipitation shortage on ET and NEE are clearly affected by the occurring time of drought in the growing season

  • The proportional influencing magnitudes of precipitation shortage on ET, NEE, and yield increased sequentially for rain-fed crops

Open Access

Water Footprints, Intra-National Virtual Water Flows, and Associated Sustainability Related to Pork Production and Consumption: A Case for China

Key Points

  • Over 80% of the blue water footprint of pork production in China is unsustainable

  • One-third of pork-related scarce water is consumed in low-water-scarce provinces

  • One-fifth of the north-to-south virtual water embodied in feed returns by pork

Open Access

Optimizing Rural Drinking Water Supply Infrastructure to Account for Spatial Variations in Groundwater Quality and Household Welfare in Coastal Bangladesh

Key Points

  • Multi-objective optimization is applied to explore competing water infrastructure trade-offs in coastal Bangladesh

  • The analysis uses groundwater salinity measurements, an extensive household survey and an audit of drinking water infrastructure

  • The findings reveal alternative scenarios to improve water security and the implications for budget allocation and policy delivery