Coupled terrestrial-aquatic approaches to watershed-scale water resource sustainability
Coupled terrestrial-aquatic approaches to watershed-scale water resource sustainability
Editor(s): X. Zhang, R. Srinivasan, Z. Shen, A. van Griensven, F. Hao, and S. Uhlenbrook
Freshwater is a rare resource that is vital for both environmental integrity and socio-economic viability; the intensification of agriculture, increasing energy needs, and rapid global urbanization, accompanying swift population growth, are also dramatically transforming the cycle of water. Practices associated with water management vary widely across the globe, but most fulfill human needs such as food and energy production, while having an often negative impact on the natural ecosystems, such as groundwater depletion, soil salinization, desertification, water quality degradation (e.g. algal bloom), and loss of recreational value and biodiversity. Accelerating anthropogenic climate change adds additional uncertainty to changes in the spatial and temporal distributions and the quantity and quality of water resources. To ensure that the water we enjoy today will still be clean and usable for the next generations, innovations and community-scale coordination in water use, assessment, and management are urgently needed.

As the fundamental unit of water management and planning, watersheds often comprise both terrestrial (e.g. grassland, forests, urban, and cropland) and aquatic ecosystems (e.g. streams, wetlands, and lakes), and water cycling is influenced by both land management (e.g. land use change and conservation) and riverine interventions (e.g. diversion and impounding). The proposed special issue (SI) particularly seeks novel contributions that couple terrestrial and aquatic processes to advance fundamental knowledge, analytic tools, assessment methods, and linkages between science and decision/policy making in watersheds with varying natural and socio-economic conditions. Given the interdisciplinary nature of water cycling and its management, the SI welcomes a broad array of topics that include, but are not limited to, climate change impacts on water cycle, surface–groundwater interactions, nutrients and carbon cycling along the land–river continuum, agricultural water management, the water–energy nexus, biofuel sustainability, and socio-economic assessment of water sustainability. Approaches combining process-based watershed models with in situ and large-scale geospatial data, as well as spanning multiple disciplines, are of particular interest.

By systematically rounding up and examining the latest advances in watershed-scale water resource studies across Earth’s critical regions facing diverse pressing water challenges, this SI is intended to provide the scientific community, water resource managers and policy makers with a repository of cutting-edge knowledge pertinent to water resource sustainability.

Research themes include but are not limited to
  1. model development to better represent coupled terrestrial–aquatic processes influencing water cycling at the watershed scale;
  2. water, nutrients, and carbon cycling in response to human interventions (e.g. anthropogenic climate change, land use/land cover change, and hydro-engineering);
  3. the food–water–energy nexus at the watershed scale; and
  4. socio-economic assessment of best water management practices.
The theme of the proposed SI is well in line with the scope of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS), which “encourages and supports fundamental and applied research that seeks to understand the interactions between water, earth, ecosystems, and humans”. Particularly, the SI is intended to attract novel interdisciplinary research, thereby contributing to HESS-encouraged “cross-fertilization across disciplinary boundaries” and enabling “a broadening of the hydrologic perspective and the advancement of hydrologic science”.

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03 Aug 2018
Improvement of model evaluation by incorporating prediction and measurement uncertainty
Lei Chen, Shuang Li, Yucen Zhong, and Zhenyao Shen
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4145–4154,,, 2018
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07 Sep 2018
Modeling freshwater quality scenarios with ecosystem-based adaptation in the headwaters of the Cantareira system, Brazil
Denise Taffarello, Raghavan Srinivasan, Guilherme Samprogna Mohor, João Luis Bittencourt Guimarães, Maria do Carmo Calijuri, and Eduardo Mario Mendiondo
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4699–4723,,, 2018
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18 Jul 2018
Developing a decision support tool for assessing land use change and BMPs in ungauged watersheds based on decision rules provided by SWAT simulation
Junyu Qi, Sheng Li, Charles P.-A. Bourque, Zisheng Xing, and Fan-Rui Meng
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3789–3806,,, 2018
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07 Feb 2018
The river absorption capacity determination as a tool to evaluate state of surface water
Paweł Wilk, Paulina Orlińska-Woźniak, and Joanna Gębala
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1033–1050,,, 2018
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12 Dec 2017
A coupled modeling framework for sustainable watershed management in transboundary river basins
Hassaan Furqan Khan, Y. C. Ethan Yang, Hua Xie, and Claudia Ringler
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 6275–6288,,, 2017
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19 Apr 2018
Incorporation of the equilibrium temperature approach in a Soil and Water Assessment Tool hydroclimatological stream temperature model
Xinzhong Du, Narayan Kumar Shrestha, Darren L. Ficklin, and Junye Wang
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2343–2357,,, 2018
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20 Dec 2017
Spatiotemporal response of the water cycle to land use conversions in a typical hilly–gully basin on the Loess Plateau, China
Linjing Qiu, Yiping Wu, Lijing Wang, Xiaohui Lei, Weihong Liao, Ying Hui, and Xianyong Meng
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 6485–6499,,, 2017
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24 Jan 2018
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Minimum forest cover required for sustainable water flow regulation of a watershed: a case study in Jambi Province, Indonesia
Suria Tarigan, Kerstin Wiegand, Sunarti, and Bejo Slamet
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 581–594,,, 2018
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13 Nov 2017
Evaluating climate change impacts on streamflow variability based on a multisite multivariate GCM downscaling method in the Jing River of China
Zhi Li and Jiming Jin
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5531–5546,,, 2017
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25 Jan 2018
Comparative analyses of hydrological responses of two adjacent watersheds to climate variability and change using the SWAT model
Sangchul Lee, In-Young Yeo, Ali M. Sadeghi, Gregory W. McCarty, Wells D. Hively, Megan W. Lang, and Amir Sharifi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 689–708,,, 2018
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13 Dec 2017
Modeling the potential impacts of climate change on the water table level of selected forested wetlands in the southeastern United States
Jie Zhu, Ge Sun, Wenhong Li, Yu Zhang, Guofang Miao, Asko Noormets, Steve G. McNulty, John S. King, Mukesh Kumar, and Xuan Wang
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 6289–6305,,, 2017
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24 Nov 2017
Stream flow simulation and verification in ungauged zones by coupling hydrological and hydrodynamic models: a case study of the Poyang Lake ungauged zone
Ling Zhang, Jianzhong Lu, Xiaoling Chen, Dong Liang, Xiaokang Fu, Sabine Sauvage, and José-Miguel Sanchez Perez
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5847–5861,,, 2017
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07 Sep 2017
An improved SWAT vegetation growth module and its evaluation for four tropical ecosystems
Tadesse Alemayehu, Ann van Griensven, Befekadu Taddesse Woldegiorgis, and Willy Bauwens
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 4449–4467,,, 2017
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14 Nov 2017
Assessment of integrated watershed health based on the natural environment, hydrology, water quality, and aquatic ecology
So Ra Ahn and Seong Joon Kim
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5583–5602,,, 2017
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08 Jan 2018
Comparison of performance of tile drainage routines in SWAT 2009 and 2012 in an extensively tile-drained watershed in the Midwest
Tian Guo, Margaret Gitau, Venkatesh Merwade, Jeffrey Arnold, Raghavan Srinivasan, Michael Hirschi, and Bernard Engel
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 89–110,,, 2018
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