Browsing by Subject "water"

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  • Marttunen, Mika; Mustajoki, Jyri; Sojamo, Suvi; Ahopelto, Lauri; Keskinen, Marko (MDPI, 2019)
    Sustainability 2019, 11, 2900
    Water security demands guaranteeing economic, social and environmental sustainability and simultaneously addressing the diversity of risks and threats related to water. Various frameworks have been suggested to support water security assessment. They are typically based on indexes enabling national comparisons; these may, however, oversimplify complex and often contested water issues. We developed a structured and systemic way to assess water security and its future trends via a participatory process. The framework establishes a criteria hierarchy for water security, consisting of four main themes: the state of the water environment; human health and well-being; the sustainability of livelihoods; and the stability, functions and responsibility of society. The framework further enables the analysis of relationships between the water security criteria as well as between water, energy and food security. The framework was applied to a national water security assessment of Finland in 2018 and 2030. Our experience indicates that using the framework collaboratively with stakeholders provides a meaningful way to improve understanding and to facilitate discussion about the state of water security and the actions needed for its improvement.
  • Bhattacharjee, Joy; Rabbil, Mehedi; Fazel, Nasim; Darabi, Hamid; Choubin, Bahram; Khan, Md. Motiur Rahman; Marttila, Hannu; Haghighi, Ali Torabi (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of the Total Environment 797 (2021), 149034
    Lake water level fluctuation is a function of hydro-meteorological components, namely input, and output to the system. The combination of these components from in-situ and remote sensing sources has been used in this study to define multiple scenarios, which are the major explanatory pathways to assess lake water levels. The goal is to analyze each scenario through the application of the water balance equation to simulate lake water levels. The largest lake in Iran, Lake Urmia, has been selected in this study as it needs a great deal of attention in terms of water management issues. We ran a monthly water balance simulation of nineteen scenarios for Lake Urmia from 2003 to 2007 by applying different combinations of data, including observed and remotely sensed water level, flow, evaporation, and rainfall. We used readily available water level data from Hydrosat, Hydroweb, and DAHITI platforms; evapotranspiration from MODIS and rainfall from TRMM. The analysis suggests that the consideration of field data in the algorithm as the initial water level can reproduce the fluctuation of Lake Urmia water level in the best way. The scenario that combines in-situ meteorological components is the closest match to the observed water level of Lake Urmia. Almost all scenarios showed good dynamics with the field water level, but we found that nine out of nineteen scenarios did not vary significantly in terms of dynamics. The results also reveal that, even without any field data, the proposed scenario, which consists entirely of remote sensing components, is capable of estimating water level fluctuation in a lake. The analysis also explains the necessity of using proper data sources to act on water regulations and managerial decisions to understand the temporal phenomenon not only for Lake Urmia but also for other lakes in semi-arid regions.
  • Kahiluoto, Joonas; Hirvonen, Jukka; Näykki, Teemu (Springer, 2019)
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 191, 259 (2019)
    Continuous sensor measurements are becoming an important tool in environmental monitoring. However, the reliability of field measurements is still too often unknown, evaluated only through comparisons with laboratory methods or based on sometimes unrealistic information from the measuring device manufacturers. A water turbidity measurement system with automatic reference sample measurement and measurement uncertainty estimation was constructed and operated in laboratory conditions to test an approach that utilizes validation and quality control data for automatic measurement uncertainty estimation. Using validation and quality control data for measurement uncertainty estimation is a common practice in laboratories and, if applied to field measurements, could be a way to enhance the usability of field sensor measurements. The measurement system investigated performed replicate measurements of turbidity in river water and measured synthetic turbidity reference solutions at given intervals during the testing period. Measurement uncertainties were calculated for the results using AutoMUkit software and uncertainties were attached to appropriate results. The measurement results correlated well (R2 = 0.99) with laboratory results and the calculated measurement uncertainties were 0.8–2.1 formazin nephelometric units (FNU) (k = 2) for 1.2–5 FNU range and 11–27% (k = 2) for 5–40 FNU range. The measurement uncertainty estimation settings (such as measurement range selected and a number of replicates) provided by the user have a significant effect on the calculated measurement uncertainties. More research is needed especially on finding suitable measurement uncertainty estimation intervals for different field conditions. The approach presented is also applicable for other online measurements besides turbidity within limits set by available measurement devices and stable reference solutions. Potentially interesting areas of application could be the measurement of conductivity, pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD)/total organic carbon (TOC), or metals.
  • Iversen, L.L.; Winkel, A.; Baastrup-Spohr, L.; Hinke, A.B.; Alahuhta, J.; Baattrup-Pedersen, A.; Birk, S.; Brodersen, P.; Chambers, P. A.; Ecke, F; Feldmann, T.; Gebler, D.; Heino, J.; Jespersen, T. S.; Moe, S. J.; Riis, T.; Sass, L.; Vestergaard, O.; Maberly, S. C.; Sand-Jensen, K.; Pedersen, O. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2019)
    Science Vol. 366, Issue 6467, pp. 878-881
    Unlike in land plants, photosynthesis in many aquatic plants relies on bicarbonate in addition to carbon dioxide (CO2) to compensate for the low diffusivity and potential depletion of CO2 in water. Concentrations of bicarbonate and CO2 vary greatly with catchment geology. In this study, we investigate whether there is a link between these concentrations and the frequency of freshwater plants possessing the bicarbonate use trait. We show, globally, that the frequency of plant species with this trait increases with bicarbonate concentration. Regionally, however, the frequency of bicarbonate use is reduced at sites where the CO2 concentration is substantially above the air equilibrium, consistent with this trait being an adaptation to carbon limitation. Future anthropogenic changes of bicarbonate and CO2 concentrations may alter the species compositions of freshwater plant communities.
  • Marttunen, Mika; Mustajoki, Jyri; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Saarikoski, Heli (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)
    Environmental Management
    The ecosystem service (ES) concept has increasingly been applied in environmental planning, while there are several decades of experience in applying multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) in complex planning situations. The aim of this article is to assess how the ES concept has been used in water management projects together with MCDA and to examine the experiences gained and make recommendations to overcome any identified challenges. Our conclusions are based on a systematic analysis of 23 articles that were selected among 206 articles focused on water-related studies using, for example, the terms multi-criteria and ecosystem services in the title, abstract or keywords. Here, we explore (i) at what level of detail ESs are included in the decision hierarchy, (ii) the pros and cons of the complementary use of the two approaches, and (iii) how the potential challenges related to the use of MCDA, such as the large number of criteria, double-counting, or assigning criteria weights, are addressed in the selected cases. The results reveal large differences between the case studies. It is shown that only a few case studies used ES categories to classify criteria in the decision hierarchy, that these cases included different numbers of ES criteria and non-ES criteria, and that most case studies elicited stakeholder preferences in MCDA. Although the paper focuses on water management projects, the conclusions regarding the advantages and pitfalls of the complementary use of the methods, as well as our recommendations, are also applicable to other environmental management contexts
  • Marttila, H.; Tammela, S.; Mustonen, K.-R.; Louhi, P.; Muotka, Timo; Mykrä, Heikki; Klove, B. (IWA Publishing, 2019)
    Hydrology Research 1 June 2019; 50 (3): 878–885
    We conducted a series of tracer test experiments in 12 outdoor semi-natural flumes to assess the effects of variable flow conditions and sand addition on hyporheic zone conditions in gravel beds, mimicking conditions in headwater streams under sediment pressure. Two tracer methods were applied in each experiment: 2–5 tracer-pulse tests were conducted in all flumes and pulses were monitored at three distances downstream of the flume inlet (0 m, 5 m and 10 m, at bed surface), and in pipes installed into the gravel bed at 5 m and 10 m distances. The tracer breakthrough curves (total of 120 tracer injections) were then analysed with a one-dimensional solute transport model (OTIS) and compared with data from the gravel pipes in point-dilution pulse tests. Sand addition had a strong negative effect on horizontal fluxes (qh), whereas the fraction of the median travel time due to transient storage (F200) was determined more by flow conditions. These results suggest that even small additions of sand can modify the hyporheic zone exchange in gravel beds, thus making headwater streams with low sediment transport capacity particularly vulnerable to sediments transported into the stream from catchment land use activities.
  • Pilla, Rachel M.; Williamson, Graig E.; Adamovich, Boris V.; Adrian, Rita; Anneville, Orlane; Chandra, Sudeep; Colom-Montero, William; Devlin, Shawn P.; Dix, Margaret A; Dokulil, Martin T.; Gaiser, Evelyn E.; Girdner, Scott F.; Hambright, David K.; Hamilton, David P.; Havens, Karl; Hessen, Dag O.; Higgins, Scott N.; Huttula, Timo H.; Huuskonen, Hannu; Isles, Peter D. F.; Joehnk, Klaus D.; Jones, Ian D.; Keller, Wendel Bill; Knoll, Lesley B.; Korhonen, Johanna; Kraemer, Benjamin M.; Leavitt, Peter R.; Lepori, Fabio; Luger, Martin S.; Maberly, Stephen C.; Melack, John M.; Melles, Stephanie J.; Müller-Navarra, Dörthe C.; Pierson, Don C.; Pislegina, Helen V.; Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Richardson, David C.; Rimmer, Alon; Rogora, Michela; Rusak, James A.; Sadro, Steven; Salmaso, Nico; Saros, Jasmine E.; Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Schindler, Daniel E.; Schmid, Martin; Shimaraeva, Svetlana V.; Silow, Eugene A.; Sitoki, Lewis M.; Sommaruga, Ruben; Straile, Dietmar; Strock, Kristin E.; Thiery, Wim; Timofeyev, Maxim A.; Verburg, Piet; Vinebrooke, Rolf D.; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Zadereev, Egor (Rebekah A. Canada, 2020)
    Scientific Reports 10, 1 (2020), 20514
    Globally, lake surface water temperatures have warmed rapidly relative to air temperatures, but changes in deepwater temperatures and vertical thermal structure are still largely unknown. We have compiled the most comprehensive data set to date of long-term (1970–2009) summertime vertical temperature profiles in lakes across the world to examine trends and drivers of whole-lake vertical thermal structure. We found significant increases in surface water temperatures across lakes at an average rate of + 0.37 °C decade−1, comparable to changes reported previously for other lakes, and similarly consistent trends of increasing water column stability (+ 0.08 kg m−3 decade−1). In contrast, however, deepwater temperature trends showed little change on average (+ 0.06 °C decade−1), but had high variability across lakes, with trends in individual lakes ranging from − 0.68 °C decade−1 to + 0.65 °C decade−1. The variability in deepwater temperature trends was not explained by trends in either surface water temperatures or thermal stability within lakes, and only 8.4% was explained by lake thermal region or local lake characteristics in a random forest analysis. These findings suggest that external drivers beyond our tested lake characteristics are important in explaining long-term trends in thermal structure, such as local to regional climate patterns or additional external anthropogenic influences.
  • Kettunen, Ilkka Henrikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Aim of this study is to develop biogeochemical exploration methods for cobalt. Several different samples were collected from study area, analyzed, and compared to each other. This study took place at Rautio village at North Ostrobothnia and more accurately over the Jouhineva mineralization. Jouhineva is well-known high-grade cobalt-copper-gold mineralization. Elements examined in this study are cobalt, copper, arsenic, zinc, selenium, and cadmium. Samples were collected from three different study profiles from the area. From these three profiles samples collected are: soil, pine, lingonberry, birch, rowan, and juniper. Water samples were collected around the study area from every location possible. Soil samples were analyzed with four different methods: Ionic leaching, aqua regia, weak leaching and pXRF. Ionic leaching and aqua regia had both elevated concentrations of cobalt, but in different locations depending on study profile. Ionic leaching detects rising ions from the ore and therefore elevated concentrations are found at different locations compared to aqua regia. Aqua regia results proved how different orientation of study profile, direction of the ore and glacial flow can affect to the anomalies of elemental concentration. Profile-2 was oriented differently to ore and glacial flow than Profile-1, and therefore elevated concentrations of cobalt and copper were not drifted away from the ore on Profile-2 like they were on Profile-1. Aqua regia and pXRF have very similar copper, arsenic and zinc results. Pine and lingonberry turn out to be the most promising plant species applied for cobalt exploration, and rowan appears to be most suitable for copper exploration. Lower detection limit could significantly improve pine analyses as exploration method and more extensive sampling could remove some of the uncertainties about the method. Lingonberry samples have elevated concentration of copper and arsenic. Birch and juniper produced somewhat unclear results. Despite this, cobalt and copper concentrations in birch leaves were elevated when compared to concentrations found in other studies. In addition to this birch is suitable for arsenic exploration. Juniper had elevated copper concentration in the study area compared to other studies. Water samples collected from the Jouhineva area yielded concentrations of cobalt, copper and arsenic that were above the average concentration in the Kalajoki area waters. Copper and arsenic were above the average concentration of the Kalajoki area in every sample collected from the study area. Cobalt was above the average concentration in all samples that were not collected directly from the pond formed in the old test mine. Zinc concentration was below the average limit in all samples collected from the area. Zinc concentration in the water samples collected from the pond is significantly lower compared to the other samples collected from the area.
  • Broman, Elias; Asmala, Eero; Carstensen, Jacob; Pinhassi, Jarone; Dopson, Mark (2019)
    Coastal zones are important transitional areas between the land and sea, where both terrestrial and phytoplankton supplied dissolved organic matter (DOM) are respired or transformed. As climate change is expected to increase river discharge and water temperatures, DOM from both allochthonous and autochthonous sources is projected to increase. As these transformations are largely regulated by bacteria, we analyzed microbial community structure data in relation to a 6-month long time-series dataset of DOM characteristics from Roskilde Fjord and adjacent streams, Denmark. The results showed that the microbial community composition in the outer estuary (closer to the sea) was largely associated with salinity and nutrients, while the inner estuary formed two clusters linked to either nutrients plus allochthonous DOM or autochthonous DOM characteristics. In contrast, the microbial community composition in the streams was found to be mainly associated with allochthonous DOM characteristics. A general pattern across the land-to-sea interface was that Betaproteobacteria were strongly associated with humic-like DOM [operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to family Comamonadaceae], while distinct populations were instead associated with nutrients or abiotic variables such as temperature (Cyanobacteria genus Synechococcus) and salinity (Actinobacteria family Microbacteriaceae). Furthermore, there was a stark shift in the relative abundance of OTUs between stream and marine stations. This indicates that as DOM travels through the land-to-sea interface, different bacterial guilds continuously degrade it.
  • Finér, Leena; Lepistö, Ahti; Karlsson, Kristian; Räike, Antti; Härkönen, Laura; Huttunen, Markus; Joensuu, Samuli; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Mattsson, Tuija; Piirainen, Sirpa; Sallantaus, Tapani; Sarkkola, Sakari; Tattari, Sirkka; Ukonmaanaho, Liisa (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 762 (2021), 144098
    More reliable assessments of nutrient export to surface waters and the Baltic Sea are required to achieve good ecological status of all water bodies. Previous nutrient export estimates have recently been questioned since they did not include the long-term impacts of drainage for forestry. We made new estimates of the total nitrogen (N), total phosphorus (P) and total organic carbon (TOC) export from forests to surface waters at different spatial scales in Finland. This was done by formulating statistical equations between streamwater concentrations and climate, soil, forest management and runoff variables and spatial data on catchment characteristics. The equations were based on a large, long-term runoff and streamwater quality dataset, which was collected from 28 pristine and 61 managed boreal forest catchments located around Finland. We found that the concentrations increased with temperature sum (TS), i.e. from north to south. Nitrogen, P and TOC concentrations increased with the proportion of drained areas in the catchment; those of N and TOC also increased with the proportion of peatlands. In contrast, with the increasing concentrations of N and TOC with time, P concentrations showed a decreasing trend over the last few decades. According to our estimates, altogether 47,300 Mg of N, 1780 Mg of P and 1814 Gg of TOC is transported from forest areas to surface waters in Finland. Forest management contributes 17% of the N export, 35% of the P export and 12% of the TOC export. Our new forest management export estimates for N and P are more than two times higher than the old estimates used by the environment authorities. The differences may be explained by the long-term impact of forest drainage. The spatial results indicate that peatland forests are hotspots for N, P and TOC export, especially in the river basins draining to the Gulf of Bothnia.
  • Luoma, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Plantation forestry has increased dramatically in Uruguay during the past 25 years. Thus, planted forests have an increasing importance in providing other ecosystem services in addition to wood provision in landscape scale. Forest sector company UPM owns more than 250 000 hectares of Eucalyptus plantations in Uruguay. UPM seeks to enhance their systems to measure and monitor ecosystem services, to better understand sustainable provision of ecosystem services in their plantation landscapes, and to mitigate negative and maximize positive impacts. Benefits of monitoring and incorporating ecosystem services at management level include strengthened decision-making and communication, license to operate in long-term and better corporate image. Four ecosystem services were selected for analysis based on their relevance in UPM’s corporate strategy: wood provision, climate regulation, water provision and biodiversity maintenance. Provision of the ecosystem services were estimated quantitatively and compared to a pasture land baseline. Provision of ecosystem services was also linked to product level, tonne of pulp, when applicable. Data for the analysis was partly provided by UPM and partly by literature meta-analysis. Climate benefit of converting pasture to Eucalyptus is 8–31 MgC/ha or 29–115 MgCO2/ha depending on species and rotation number. Planting 40% of a micro water-shed with Eucalyptus reduces water streamflow approximately by 20–27%, while reducing streamflow of peak rainfall months by up to 40%, potentially alleviating floods. Pastures in UPM’s landscapes are well connected, but provided little core habitats. Native riparian forests are fragmented and maintain biodiversity poorly. Suggestions for future monitoring and measuring are presented. This thesis works as a waypoint for future studies of holistic ecosystem services provision in UPM assets.
  • Kujansuu, Eila; Kujansuu, Leena; Paassilta, Marita; Mustonen, Jukka; Vaarala, Outi (2019)
    Background The hygiene hypothesis suggests that a decreased microbial load contributes to an increased risk of allergies. In the Finnish municipality of Nokia, sewage water was accidentally mixed with drinking water for 2 days. We studied the association between exposure and the emergence of allergies in children. Methods Children aged 2-5 years living in the accident area and an age-matched cohort from the control municipality were recruited. Based on the questionnaires, we identified 139 children exposed to the contaminated water and selected age- and sex-matched controls for them (mean age 16.59 months at the time of the accident). Allergic symptoms and diseases were recorded by ISAAC questionnaires and skin prick tests (SPTs) performed 2 and 5 years after the accident. Results SPT positivity at 5 years of follow-up was decreased in the children exposed to the sewage water below 1 year of age (OR 0.311, 95% CI 0.118-0.820; P = 0.019), particularly in children who did not develop gastroenteritis at exposure. In contrast, the children over 1 year of age at the exposure tended more likely to be SPT-positive at 5 years of follow-up (OR 1.997, 95% CI 0.963-4.143; P = 0.070). Conclusions Sewage water exposure during the first year of life, but not later, decreased the risk of IgE sensitization emphasizing the importance of age as a modulator. The modulation of IgE sensitization by the presence of clinical gastroenteritis at the exposure suggests that the nature of microbial load may have importance or alternatively shared host defense mechanisms protect from infection and atopic sensitization.
  • Siren, Heli; El Fellah, Sandra (2019)
    Microemulsion gels were synthetized from macadamia, linseed, olive, walnut, rapeseed, sesame, and coconut oils and frying oil made from sunflower, palm, and rapeseed oils. The gels were similar as polyacrylamide-based gels with exception of replacing dodecyl sulfate with vegetable oils. The gels were modified with celluloses, cotton, or lignin to make the emulsions sustainable for water purification. They were used to compare sorption properties when they were used as solid-phase adsorbents in isolation of steroids from water. Hydrophobicity features of the gels were compared by detecting adsorption and extraction efficiency of nonpolar androstenedione, testosterone, and progesterone, which exist in wastewater and drinking water. Quantification was done with partial filling-micellar electrokinetic chromatography with 29.5 mM sodium dodecyl sulfate-3.4 mM sodium taurocholate as the micelle and 20 mM ammonium acetate (pH 9.68) as the electrolyte. UV-detection was used. Methanol was the best eluent for extraction of steroids from gels. The highest recoveries were from frying oil and rapeseed oil gels modified with celluloses. They also possessed the best floating properties on water surface. Lignin modified gels were too hydrophilic, when in touch with water they filled up with water. They also had the lowest capacity.
  • Kuprijanov, Ivan; Väli, Germo; Sharov, Andrey; Berezina, Nadezhda; Liblik, Taav; Lips, Urmas; Kolesova, Natalja; Mannio, Jaakko; Lips, Inga; Junttila, Ville (Macmillan, 2021)
    Marine Pollution Bulletin, 170 (2021), 112642
    Contamination by hazardous substances is one of the main environmental problems in the eastern Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea. A trilateral effort to sample and analyse heavy metals (HMs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and organotins from bottom sediments in 2019–2020 were conducted along with harvesting historical data in Russian, Estonian and Finnish waters. We suggest that the input of organotins still occurs along the ship traffic routes. The tributyltin content exceeded the established quality criteria up to more than 300 times. High contamination by PAHs found near the ports, most likely originate from incomplete fuel incineration processes. The Neva River Estuary and Luga Bay might potentially suffer from severe cadmium contamination. The high ecological risk attributed to the HMs was detected at deep offshore areas. The simulated accumulation pattern qualitatively agrees with field observations of HMs in sediments, demonstrating the potential of numerical tools to tackle the hazardous substances problems.
  • Päivänen, Juhani (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1973)
  • Salminen, Jani M.; Veiste, Pekka J.; Koskiaho, Jari T.; Tikkanen, Sarianne (2019)
    Water Resources and Economics
    This paper introduces a novel procedure for the compilation of highly disaggregated water accounts by using Finland as a case example. The procedure is based on combining the use of existing standard economic statistics and other registers and databases with a dataset on water supply and use collected in the present study. As an outcome, water supply and use accounts are presented for 195 industries in the Finnish economy in 2010. The water accounts presented are based primarily on actual water supply and use rates and distinguish between various raw water sources and uses: groundwater, fresh surface, brackish water self-abstracted for own use, and mains-water supply and use. Separate accounts for cooling water are presented. The paper covers flow accounts from the environment to the economy and within the economy excluding all return flows. Data coverage issues and potential sources of error are reported in detail and discussed together with the applicability of the procedure in other countries. Implications for the System of Economic-Environmental Accounting for Water (SEEA-Water) framework are assessed.
  • Holman, Ian P.; Brown, Calum; Carter, Timothy R.; Harrison, Paula A.; Rounsevell, Mark (Springer, 2019)
    Regional Environmental Change 19, 711–721 (2019)
    Climate change adaptation is a complex human process, framed by uncertainties and constraints, which is difficult to capture in existing assessment models. Attempts to improve model representations are hampered by a shortage of systematic descriptions of adaptation processes and their relevance to models. This paper reviews the scientific literature to investigate conceptualisations and models of climate change adaptation, and the ways in which representation of adaptation in models can be improved. The review shows that real-world adaptive responses can be differentiated along a number of dimensions including intent or purpose, timescale, spatial scale, beneficiaries and providers, type of action, and sector. However, models of climate change consequences for land use and water management currently provide poor coverage of these dimensions, instead modelling adaptation in an artificial and subjective manner. While different modelling approaches do capture distinct aspects of the adaptive process, they have done so in relative isolation, without producing improved unified representations. Furthermore, adaptation is often assumed to be objective, effective and consistent through time, with only a minority of models taking account of the human decisions underpinning the choice of adaptation measures (14%), the triggers that motivate actions (38%) or the time-lags and constraints that may limit their uptake and effectiveness (14%). No models included adaptation to take advantage of beneficial opportunities of climate change. Based on these insights, transferable recommendations are made on directions for future model development that may enhance realism within models, while also advancing our understanding of the processes and effectiveness of adaptation to a changing climate.
  • Assmuth, Timo; Simola, Antti; Pitkänen, Tarja; Lyytimäki, Jari; Huttula, Timo (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2016)
    Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 12(1): 160-173
    Integrated assessment and management of water resources for the supply of potable water is increasingly important in light of projected water scarcity in many parts of the world. This article develops frameworks for regional-level waterborne human health risk assessment of chemical and microbiological contamination to aid water management, incorporating economic aspects of health risks. Managed aquifer recharge with surface water from a river in Southern Finland is used as an illustrative case. With a starting point in watershed governance, stakeholder concerns, and value-at-risk concepts, we merge common methods for integrative health risk analysis of contaminants to describe risks and impacts dynamically and broadly. This involves structuring analyses along the risk chain: sources—releases—environmental transport and fate—exposures—health effects—socio-economic impacts—management responses. Risks attributed to contaminants are embedded in other risks, such as contaminants from other sources, and related to benefits from improved water quality. A set of models along this risk chain in the case is presented. Fundamental issues in the assessment are identified, including 1) framing of risks, scenarios, and choices; 2) interaction of models and empirical information; 3) time dimension; 4) distributions of risks and benefits; and 5) uncertainties about risks and controls. We find that all these combine objective and subjective aspects, and involve value judgments and policy choices. We conclude with proposals for overcoming conceptual and functional divides and lock-ins to improve modeling, assessment, and management of complex water supply schemes, especially by reflective solution-oriented interdisciplinary and multi-actor deliberation.
  • Sivander, Linda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This thesis discusses what it means to live with breaking water supply in rural northern Uganda, focusing on boreholes and their governance. The study is based on ethnographic fieldwork consisting of participant observation and interviews conducted mostly in the centre of a rural sub-county in central Acholiland, Uganda, in spring 2015. In development discourse, boreholes are perceived as a viable technology to increase access to safe water in the Global South. However, they are known to have high rates of failure, often seen to lead to their abandonment by the communities who manage them. The thesis argues that this perception has a limited view of borehole failure and uses overtly passive terms to describe the communities. Instead, the study intends to expand the understanding of the ways in which boreholes can fail, and show how borehole users try to cope with and overcome breakage. The main research questions revolve around infrastructural failure and its management: What does it mean when infrastructures break down? How is this breakage experienced, managed and lived? In the 2000s, in anthropology and other disciplines, (non-human) materiality has resurfaced as a significant focus of study. In many of such approaches, assemblage theory has garnered increasing popularity. Assemblage brings together heterogeneous elements, such as people, objects, discourses and events, and includes an understanding of the unexpected elements remaining in the peripheries of networks. Utilizing this framework, the thesis aims to broaden the view of infrastructural breakage, often predominated by a notion of failure as a particular moment, where the infrastructure moves between two categories of functionality. The thesis argues that the breakdown of boreholes is processual, anticipated, and embodied, and a consequence of multiple nonhuman and human factors. This thesis participates in another growing anthropological discussion; vulnerability and its management, often accomplished by seeking relations with others. The thesis shows that the research participants’ lives were penetrated by material and financial precariousness, which is why they hoped for support in borehole maintenance from those more powerful. This has been seen as evidence of their passivity and dependency, which are seen as hindering lasting change in the sustainable development discourse. The study illustrates why hoping for support made sense for the research participants by recounting the socio-historical developments impacting northern Uganda and water governance. It is suggested that instead of perceiving such hopes as passive neglect of responsibility, they can be better understood as active coping strategies, often relating to past NGO projects’ material sustainability. Besides asking for support, the communities and borehole mechanics were embarking upon various other means of navigating borehole failure and sustaining their water points in order to stabilize the assemblage. It is argued that these mechanisms were utilized due to the motivation that “water is life”, which is seen in the thesis alike to desire or wish, the human force capable of bringing relations in assemblages into existence. The thesis shows that the communities’ understanding of water as life as well as their strategies of coping, however, tend to be obscured in many of the descriptions of borehole breakage, which perceive the low sustainability of boreholes to be largely related to social factors. The study illustrates that a focus on the lived reality of breaking water supply reveals the politics surrounding predominant ideas of infrastructural failure; when the processual and cyclical nature of borehole breakage is neglected, the social factors become perceived as the main issues worth tackling to improve sustainability. Yet, for the water users, the boreholes held immense value as the suppliers of vital water, which is why it was crucial to try to maintain them. The thesis thus demonstrates how a more comprehensive focus on breakage and its management can help us to readjust the ways in which we perceive failures, as well as shed light on the politics in their discursive utilizations.
  • Lotsari, Eliisa; Dietze, Michael; Kämäri, Maria; Alho, Petteri; Kasvi, Elina (MDPI, 2020)
    Water 12 7 (2020)
    Macro-turbulent flows (i.e., coherent flow structures reaching through the whole water column), have not been studied widely in northern seasonally frozen rivers during both open-channel and ice-covered flow conditions. Thus, we aim: (1) to detect and compare the macro-turbulent flow, both at open-channel and ice-covered flow conditions; (2) to explore spatial variation of macro-turbulent flow characteristics within a meander bend; and (3) to detect the effects of near-bed layer velocity fluctuation on bedload transport during differing overall flow conditions. The analyses are based on 5–10 min-long acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements from a subarctic river. The ice-covered low flow, and open-channel higher and lower flow conditions were measured over the period of 2016 to 2020. This study found that macro-turbulent flow existed at all measurement locations under both open-channel and ice-covered flow conditions. Macro-turbulent flow was most consistent and obvious in the streamwise velocity component, and in particular at the inlet and outlet of the investigated meander bend. During all seasons, the near-bed velocities consistently exceeded the sufficient amount for sediment transport. At inlet and outlet areas, the greatest near-bed velocity fluctuation across the critical threshold for sediment transport coincided with the measurement times having frequent macro-turbulent flow.