About this Research Topic
Managing unconventional water resources has become a necessity to ensure water security and sustainable development, especially in light of the changes in the hydrological cycles (e.g. spatial distribution of precipitation that will directly affect freshwater resources) due to global climate change and the strengthening of the water-energy-food nexus. This means that any changes in one of the water, energy and food sectors will initiate complex responses in the other two and the interplay between them. Un-conventional water resources are a product of the water-energy-food nexus, as well as an opportunity to address emerging challenges in coordinated and sustainable development of all three sectors. Un-conventional water resources include two primary categories: (1) saline waters, both seawater and those from geological formations that can be produced as a byproduct of subsurface energy and resource extraction, and (2) efflux of agricultural fields, energy production (e.g., flowback of hydraulic fracturing), and industrial wastes. These water resources cross the boundaries of multiple sectors and disciplines, thus managing them requires an interdisciplinary approach.
In this collection, we seek studies that improve our capabilities of assessing the quality and quantity of unconventional water resources, advance technologies for pre-use treatment, and evaluate the economic feasibility of different management plans as part of the water-energy-food nexus. Collectively, studies in this collection will help identify the economical-technological challenges and opportunities to inform the society for better management of unconventional water resources.
Topics of interests include but are not limited to:
• Fundamental understanding of (geo)chemistry of waters with high salinity or of emerging chemicals.
• High fidelity models (e.g., molecular dynamic modeling, reactive transport modeling, water cycle modeling) that inform technological designs (e.g., of membrane and treatment reactors).
• New water treatment technologies and designs of unit processes.
• Scenario analyses that evaluate the socioeconomic and/or environmental implications of different management designs (e.g., integrated assessment modeling with consideration of technological details).
Keywords: salinity, emerging chemicals, modelling, Water Resources, resource management, socioeconomic, desalinization, water-energy-food nexus, groundwater recharge, agricultural water, economic-technological assessment.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.