Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1029/2018WR024614
Title (Primary) Spatial organization of human population and wastewater treatment plants in urbanized river basins
Author Yang, S.; Büttner, O.; Jawitz, J.W.; Kumar, R. ORCID logo ; Rao, P.S.C.; Borchardt, D.
Source Titel Water Resources Research
Year 2019
Department ASAM; CHS
Volume 55
Issue 7
Page From 6138
Page To 6152
Language englisch
Keywords Wastewater treatment plants; Spatially hierarchical distribution; River networks; Basin‐scale spatial patterns; Scale‐invariance
Abstract Discharge from multiple wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) distributed in urbanized catchments contributes to impairments of river water‐quality and aquatic ecosystem integrity, with size and location of WWTPs determined by population distribution within a river basin. Here, we used geo‐referenced data for WWTPs in Germany to investigate the spatial organization of three attributes of interest in this study: population (POP), population equivalents (PE; the aggregated population served by each WWTP), and the number/sizes of WWTPs. To this end, we selected as case studies three large urbanized river basins (Weser, Elbe, Rhine), home to about 70% of the population in Germany. We employed fractal river networks as structural platforms to examine the spatial patterns from two perspectives: spatial hierarchy (stream order) and patterns along longitudinal flow paths (width function). Moreover, we proposed three dimensionless scaling indices to quantify: (1) human settlement preferences by stream order, (2) non‐sanitary flow contribution to total wastewater treated at WWTPs, and (3) degree of centralization in WWTPs locations. Across the three river basins, we found scale‐invariant distributions for each of the three attributes with stream order, quantified using extended Horton scaling ratios. We found a weak downstream clustering of POP in the three basins. Variations in PE clustering among different class‐sizes of WWTPs reflected the size, number, and locations of urban agglomerations in these catchments. We discussed the applicability of this approach to other large urbanized basins to analyze spatial organization of population and WWTPs.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Yang, S., Büttner, O., Jawitz, J.W., Kumar, R., Rao, P.S.C., Borchardt, D. (2019):
Spatial organization of human population and wastewater treatment plants in urbanized river basins
Water Resour. Res. 55 (7), 6138 - 6152 10.1029/2018WR024614