Frontiers in Water Research Topic:
Assessment of the Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Water, Environment and Related Ecological and Human Systems
Water bodies, natural and built environment, and related sociological systems such as policy and governance, have experienced significant impact from the economic slowdown resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. While human health and life are our primary and immediate concerns to address, water and environmental systems from local to regional scales have seen discernible positive impacts due to the reduction of pollutant loading from industries, vehicle emission, and other sources. Anecdotal evidence indicates reduction in biochemical oxygen demand and coliform levels in rivers, improvement in air quality as a result of reduction in the loading of nitrous oxide, particulate matter, and other pollutants. The extent of recovery seen would not have been possible without extreme measures that have been forced on the society due to the pandemic, at the cost of several trillions of dollars across the globe. This enormous unintended experiment offers opportunities for unprecedented insights about the dynamics of our natural and built environment, and societal systems that can lead to feasible paths for preservation of recovered systems and new recovery pathways through sensible policies and practices.
The goal of the special collection is to develop insights into the link between human activities and impact on water and associated ecological, environmental, and built and sociological human systems, both during the recovery of the natural systems during the pandemic and possible subsequent degradation pathways as economic activities pickup up, including assessment of niche habitats that may provide long residence times for the virus and/or adverse impacts on ecosystems.. The rapid transient response presents an opportunity to capture the behavior of large, degraded, vulnerable but societally valuable systems both during the recovery and/or subsequent degradation, develop insights leading to hypothesis, theories, and predictive models, documented through compelling case studies and supporting data sets. Both direct and indirect impacts are possible. Direct impacts include water quality improvements owing to reduced industrial effluents while indirect impacts include changes in urban climate or land-atmosphere interactions owing to reduction in atmospheric pollution. Opportunities for assessing the cause and consequences of existing policies and practices, and development of alternate effective policies to preserve the recovered systems or guide systems for recovery, mitigate adverse impacts or enhance resilience are also possible.
This special section invites the following submission types: original research, preliminary insights, hypothesis and theory, new methods, perspective, conceptual analysis, data report and case studies, policy brief, brief research report, and opinion (for details of article types see https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/water#article-types)
Potential topics of interest are (we are open to other suggestions):
- Impact on water bodies
- Impact on water infrastructure
- Effluent management and water quality
- Impact on land-atmosphere interaction including vegetation activity and hydrometeorology
- Virus transport in the terrestrial and atmospheric environment
- Abstract: 26 June 2020
- Manuscript: 15 December 2020