Special Sessions

Special Sessions

In addition to Themes A through I (see webpage Themes and Topics) it also possible to submit abstracts to three Special sessions: S1, S2 and S3. A Special session gives a possibility to prominently discuss/present an issue that strictly speaking would not fit (fully) in either of the Themes A through I.

Session S1: Special Session on Monitoring, modelling and mitigating effects of the green shift on water and nature

The green shift is a commonly used word for the expected societal transformation from a fossil- based economy to an economy based on renewable resources (bioeconomy). In a world with bioeconomy we will (increasingly) use renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, tree biomass, fish, animals and micro-organisms. Thus, a more effective use of biomass is expected to support a sustainable production of food, materials and energy.

The green shift will most likely mean that the current land use will change in the future. We may use the forests in new ways, and the types of crops we grow may change. Also, the future management practices in both agriculture and forestry can be different from today as we might either reestablish more wetlands and buffer zones in the landscape, or instead use such marginal lands for biomass production. Together with on-going climate change, these land use alterations can have far-reaching effects on hydrology and water quality in both rural and downstream urban areas. So, how can a shift into a more bio-economically oriented world be sustainable?

BIOWATER (2017-2022) is a Nordic Centre of Excellence, funded by Nordforsk (www.biowater.info). BIOWATER aims to examine the effects of climate change and a green shift on land use change and industrial innovation, and to quantify the consequences of these changes on water quality and quantity.

In this session, results from the BIOWATER project will be presented, but we also invite other speakers to contribute to the session with oral or poster presentations. Our aim is to provide an arena for exchange of research methodologies and results within the BIOWATER topics as they are outlined below:

Topic S1-1
Setting up scenarios with stakeholders (land use changes, mitigation options, climate change) for a future with increased focus on bioeconomy.
Defining key scenarios for use in models to investigate such scenarios at different temporal and spatial scales (micro-catchment to river basins).

Topic S1-2
Effects on water resources of climate and the green shift: use of long-term monitoring data
What evidence can be extracted from long-term datasets on water quantity and quality to assess effects of changes in land use (agriculture, forestry, peatlands) and climate for flow, nutrients, carbon, pesticides, etc.

Topic S1-3
Effects on water resources of climate and the green shift: modelling
Results of model predictions of changes in land use (agriculture, forestry, peatlands) and climate on water quantity and quality effects.

Topic S1-4
Can we mitigate the effects that climate change and land use may have on water resources?
Can we introduce new mitigation measures that at the same time mitigate impacts of climate change and current land use and assist in a shift towards an economy based on renewable resources (bioeconomy)?

Topic S1-5
Effects of the green shift on the ecosystem services provided by water
Freshwater ecosystems can serve humans in many ways, for example as providers of food and energy, drinking water supply, and/or serve as sites for recreation and sports. How will the green shift affect these services?

This Special Session S1 will be convened by:

  • Eva Skarbøvik, NIBIO - Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norway
  • Jan Vermaat, NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway
  • Brian Kronvang, Department of Bioscience – Catchment Science and Environmental
    Management, Aarhus University, Denmark (bkr@bios.au.dk)

Session S2: Special Session to review current approaches and measures for protection of drinking water resources against nitrate and pesticide pollution in the EU (FAIRWAY)

Safe drinking water is vital for human health and the economy. Throughout the EU, diffuse pollution of nitrogen and pesticides from agriculture is the main obstacle to meeting the drinking water quality targets.

The general objective the project FAIRWAY (https://www.fairway-project.eu/) is to review current approaches and measures for protection of drinking water resources against nitrate and pesticide pollution in the EU, and to identify and further develop innovative measures and governance approaches for a more effective drinking water protection. FAIRWAY is part of the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. FAIRWAY will increase the understanding for the barriers to practical implementing of measures and deliver innovative measures, tools government approaches to solve these barriers.

During the LuWQ2021 conference on Land Use and Water Quality, in this special session the final results of the FAIRWAY project (2017-2021) will be presented.

Topics within Special Session S2

  • Decision support tools for reduction of nitrate and pesticide pollution from agriculture
  • Measures to reduce pesticide pollution to groundwater and surface waters
  • Measures to decrease nitrate pollution of drinking water
  • Innovative governance approaches to protect drinking water resources against nitrate and pesticide pollution from agriculture
  • Role of Multi-Actor Platforms in addressing challenges to protect drinking water supplies
  • Agri-drinking water indicators (ADWIs): Linkage between agricultural practice and good drinking water quality
  • Integrated assessments and recommendations of most promising measures, policies and tools at national and EU level

This Special Session S2 will be convened by

  • Gerard Velthof, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • Rozalija Cvejić, Department of Agronomy, Biotechnical faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Session S3: Special Session on Real-time water quality monitoring: From scientific play tool to applications in real-life world of water quality management

Monitoring of water quality is traditionally based on laboratory measurements of water samples taken in the field. Emerging technologies are now enhancing possibilities of water quality monitoring. This is due to upcoming availability of high-resolution monitoring information received from sensors, drones and satellites, to be widely available in real time in near future. The large amount of high-resolution monitoring information requires automatic checking, processing and visualising of the required information by means of big-data artificial intelligence algorithms.

Innovation of the water quality monitoring can make monitoring cheaper, although field experience with sensor technology shows that this may not always be the case. The main advantage of using new technology is that, due to the larger resolution in time and space, monitoring data can be more accurate, can be available in real time, and will give more information on pollution sources and hydrochemical processes.

The anthropogenic impact on surface water quality is often concealed due to natural variability in water temperature, sunlight radiation, and precipitation. Continuous monitoring of water quality with sensors will give a far better average concentration than sampling discontinuously since peak events will be monitored as well. Groundwater quality does not usually change that rapidly in time, but the spatial variability is often high. Soil is a heterogenous medium and groundwater quality (for example nitrate concentrations) can be totally different within several metres. Sensors that can cover a large surface area (like soil scanners from precision agriculture or geophysics) may increase the accuracy in comparison to only taking groundwater samples from boreholes or monitoring wells.

Real-time water quality monitoring using in situ and/or remote sensors is the subject of numerous scientific research programs. However, in the current practice of regional water quality monitoring and everyday water quality management, the application of real-time sensor data is far from common. In this session we want to examine what the consequences and opportunities are when real-time water quality monitoring data are made available for decision makers. What next steps are needed to bring sensor technology from the scientific arena into the real-life world of water management?

The following topics will be discussed:

  • What should be done to incorporate real-time water quality monitoring with sensors and remote sensing into regional monitoring networks and everyday water quality management?
  • What opportunities appear for water managers when reliable high resolution, real-time water quality data are made available for them?
  • What are current barriers for the uptake of real-time water quality technology by water authorities and how can scientist help to overcome these barriers?
  • Is this practice of sensor data fusion already used and will the power of persuasion be just as high as lab analyses? Most nutrients cannot be measured by a small and affordable sensor and are subject to field laboratories or auto-analyzers. The sensors that can be easily applied and are affordable measure the generic parameters like EC, oxygen, pH and turbidity. Sensor data fusion is estimating or modelling the difficult/expensive parameters (like phosphate) using the easy/cheap ones (like conductivity, oxygen, temperature and acidity).
  • Can policy makers rely on estimates of sensor data fusion or proxies or will lab analyses still be equally important?
  • Sensor technology is often used in dynamic environments, like surface water. For monitoring in groundwater, the main challenge is not the variation in time but in space. How can we benefit from the combination of spatial sensors, remote sensing, and precision agriculture technology?
  • What is, given a certain monitoring objective, the most efficient combination of lab analyses, modelling, and high frequency monitoring? Can a smart combination of real-time monitoring, conventional monitoring, and modelling make monitoring networks more efficient?
  • What agreements should be made to increase the accuracy of sensors and exchangeability of sensor data? Measurements with sensors are often less accurate than laboratory results. Laboratory protocols, work instructions and proficiency testing ensure a high standard in accuracy. Here and there initiatives exist to develop protocols for the use of water-quality sensors. However, these protocols are not yet fully developed and formalised and, therefore, not used in daily practice like they are used in laboratories.

This session will comprise solicited talks, ask for new innovating contributions, and provide particular room for in depth discussion. It is planned to summarize the outcome of this session in a review paper.

This Special Session S3 will be convened by

  • Arno Hooijboer, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands (arno.hooijboer@rivm.nl)
  • Joachim Rozemeijer, Deltares, the Netherlands (Joachim.Rozemeijer@deltares.nl)
  • Michael Rode, Helmhoz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Germany (michael.rode@ufz.de)