Open Access Case Study

Impact Assessment of Household Demand Saving Technologies on System Water and Energy Use

Aisha Bello-Dambatta, Zoran Kapelan, David Butler

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 243-260
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2014/4533

Climate change, population growth, migration, urbanisation, and ageing infrastructure will all impose significant strains on the urban water services in Europe, and cities across Europe will experience increasingly frequent shortfalls in supply/demand balance. It is widely accepted that the mitigation of these and other emerging challenges should be sensitive to increasing energy prices, the environment, and the desire for low carbon intensity solutions. This paper presents the development of a new methodology for assessing the impact of household water savings from different water demand management interventions based on their water-related energy use and cost, as well as their impact on the supply/demand balance. The methodology has been applied to the water distribution system of a European city to demonstrate its application using different water demand management interventions for different types of water savings. Sensitivity analysis for different population growth rates that are representative of the different growth rates across the EU was carried out. The results show different degrees of water, energy, and cost savings can be achieved depending on the type (s) and proportion of household micro-component appliances and fittings considered. In all the intervention strategies considered, there are important trade-offs to be made between the different performance indicators as not all interventions will result in water savings and/or reductions in water-related energy use and costs or have a positive impact on supply/demand balance.

Open Access Short Research Article

Topographic Effects on Vegetation Biomass in Semiarid Mixed Grassland under Climate Change Using AVHRR NDVI Data

Zhaoqin Li, Xulin Guo

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 229-242
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2014/11146

The topography effects on vegetation biomass under climate change impact have been ignored in prairie regions as it is not as significant as in mountain areas. This paper aims to investigate the topographic effects on vegetation biomass under climate change in semiarid Canadian mixed grass prairie. The study site is Grasslands National Park (GNP) and the study period is from 1985 to 2007. Data used include dry green biomass data sampled from June to July of 2003 to 2005, 10-day Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) 1km Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) composites of 1985 to 2007, and Global Digital Elevation Model derived from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER GDEM) data with 90 m resolution. To achieve the objective, the applicability of AVHRR NDVI data being a proxy of vegetation biomass was investigated. Then, the range and standard deviation (SD) of each individual vegetation patch in both valley and upland grasslands were calculated. In addition, the variation trend of valley and upland vegetation was analyzed respectively using the Mann-Kendall (M-K) test and the Sen’s slope. The results indicate that the inter-annual variation of vegetation biomass at GNP can be fairly well represented by AVHRR 1 km NDVI data. Although some patches in valley grassland have similar NDVI range and SD values as those in upland grassland, the others have much smaller range and SD values than the highest range (0.154) and SD (0.045) of upland grassland. The M-K test and Sen’s slope analyses indicate that NDVI had an increase trend with a larger slope (0.0005) in upland and a smaller slope (0.0002) in valley grassland. It is concluded that climatic variation has more effects on upland grassland than valley grassland in GNP. Topography effects in prairie regions should not be ignored.

Open Access Original Research Article

Climate Change and the Risk of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreaks in Birds

Jianhong E. Mu, Bruce A. McCarl, Ximing Wu, Michael P. Ward

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 166-185
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2014/8888

In this paper, we examine the association between climate change and outbreak probability of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A virus (HPAI H5N1) in birds. Climate change is a potential factor for the recent spread of H5N1 outbreaks because it can directly alter the conditions involved in persistence of the virus and disease transmission. Also it can contribute indirectly by changing wild bird migration patterns. Econometric analyses using a dynamic Probit model over monthly data from January 2004 to December 2008 found that a 1% rise in winter total precipitation increases the risk of HPAI H5N1 outbreaks by 0.26%. Spring mean temperature was also found to have positive and significant impacts. Our findings are robust across different model specifications and under out-of-sample tests. Using historical data we find the realized climate change of the last 20 years partly explains the recent expansion in outbreaks. Under future climate change projections, we find that countries having higher projected spring temperature or more winter precipitation or both, such as Japan and Romania, will have large increases in outbreak probabilities. This suggests that climate change may play an even greater role in the future, although magnitudes will vary across countries and climate projections. From a policy perspective, future climate conditions may give rise to a need for different disease control and prevention strategies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Open Data Flood Mapping of Chao Phraya River Basin and Bangkok Metropolitan Region

Richard T. Cooper

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 186-216
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2014/11872

Aims: To examine the utility of open data for flood mapping of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region and Chao Phraya River basin. The region is particularly vulnerable to flooding, having experienced recurrent major flooding events, including the some of the most extensive and prolonged in 2011.
Study Design: Novel methodologies were innovated utilising open spatial data and open source geographical software to generate flood extent/hazard maps of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region and Chao Phraya River basin. Key geospatial data were sourced from the Thai Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency and NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.
Methodology: Given limited resources for conducting detailed hydrological-hydraulic analyses, two alternative approaches were examined for flood extent/hazard mapping of the basin and city. The first method made use of publicly available historical flood data to produce an up-to-date composite flood extent/hazard map. The second approach, using the latter output as a reference source, examined the utility of a modified topographic index for delineating flood-prone areas, as integrated into the r.hazard.flood module of the open source GRASS GIS application.
Results: Compilation of multi-year historical data enabled generation of a relatively fine-scale (~100m spatial resolution) flood extent/hazard map for the basin and city. The optimal tau threshold for delineating flood exposed cells from the modified topographic index was linearly related to the sub-basin mean slope. The four most northerly sub-basins of the Chao Phraya basin, those with higher mean slopes, gave lowest total errors, ranging from 17.5 to 35.9 percent.
Conclusions: Open data in the form of multi-year spatial flood layers were effectively combined to generate a relatively fine-scale flood extent/hazard map for the Chao Phraya River basin and Bangkok Metropolitan Region, and the modified topographic index showed promise as an alternative means for identifying flood exposed areas.

Open Access Original Research Article

Long-Term Precipitation Trends in Eastern Slovakia

Martina Zeleňáková, Pavol Purcz, Helena Hlavatá

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 217-228
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2014/10655

The objective of this study was to investigate precipitation trends in climatic stations in eastern Slovakia. We investigated 20 climatic stations in Slovakia. The studied period was from 1981 to 2010. Monthly precipitation trends were detected by nonparametric Mann-Kendall statistical test. Positive trends of annual as well as monthly precipitation were found in the analyzed rainfall gauging stations in eastern Slovakia. March was observed to have the highest decreasing trends. All other months displayed mostly increasing trends. In quartile research mostly the summer period shows positive trends in precipitation. In conclusion, Slovakia has an increasing trend of precipitation time series.