Water Security aims to publish papers that contribute to a better understanding of the economic, social, biophysical, technological, and institutional influencers of current and future global water security. At the same time the journal intends to stimulate debate, backed by science, with strong interdisciplinary connections. The goal is to publish concise and timely reviews and synthesis articles about research covering the following elements of water security:

  • Shortage
  • Flooding
  • Governance
  • Health and Sanitation

Reviews should reflect on the ever changing mosaic of water shortage, that is, variations in availability and the mismatch between availability, on the one hand, and access and demand for ever more water, on the other. Reviews may scrutinize concepts, models, sets of data, etc. that have been used, what results have been achieved, what kind of understanding is missing and reliability and validity of results. Reviews are welcome of the links between academic and other kinds of knowledge systems, e.g. research from the corporate sector (that has considerable research capacity) and how the (joint) understanding evolves about significant challenges and how to deal with them, like competition, conflict, collaboration and how to best use the varying water resources.

This includes all types of flooding, such as coastal floods, river floods, flash floods or glacier outburst floods, and encompasses the causes, development and impacts of flood events. Contributions scrutinize the understanding and quantification of flood hazard, exposure and vulnerability, the interactions and feedbacks between different components, and the dynamic nature of flood risk systems. Emerging issues, such as large-scale and long-term consequences of flooding, e.g. via supply chain interruptions, are covered. The variety of risk reduction measures from precautionary measures, forecasting and early warning to emergency measures and reconstruction, and how these measures are embedded in the political, cultural and economic context are reflected. Reviews on the uncertainty and validation of risk assessments given the scarcity of observations about extreme events are of particular interest.

Water security is conditioned by institutions, policy, and management. This theme primarily addresses human dimensions of water security in relation to surface water, groundwater, wastewater, and desalination. It considers politics, economics and finance, access, social equity, ethics, risk, adaptation, ecosystem services, and related topics. Because water, energy, food, ecosystems, and climate security are inextricably linked, this theme also addresses nexus challenges.

Health and Sanitation
Reviews within this theme explore linkages between public health and the quality, quantity, and reliability of water supplies, as well as the public-health impacts of excreta and wastewater management and re-use. It also intersects with the themes of shortage and flooding by focusing on the public-health impacts of both extreme events and gradual shifts in climate. Reviews within this theme may also explore more indirect water security-health connections, such as the public health impacts of productive water use, conflict over water resources, and water source development.

Editorial board


  • Upmanu Lall
    Dept. of Earth & Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, New York, New York, 10027, USA

Section Editors

  • Susan Elliott
    University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  • Bruno Merz
    GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • Brian Richter
    Sustainable Waters, Crozet, USA
  • Christopher A. Scott
    University of Arizona, Tucson, USA

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Karen Bakker
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Paul Bates
    University of Bristol, Clifton, Bristol, UK
  • Daniel Bena
    Pepsico International, New York, USA
  • Giulio Boccaletti
    The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, USA
  • Nicholas Brozović
    University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, USA
  • Xi-Ming Cai
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Greg Characklis
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CHAPEL HILL, USA
  • Anders Jagerskog
    World Bank, Washington, USA
  • Wendy Jepson
    TAMU, College Station, USA
  • Frans Klijn
    Deltares and Delft University of Technology – TPM, Delft, Netherlands
  • Heidi Kreibich
    Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • Bruce Lankford
    University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • Roberto Lenton
    University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, USA
  • Hui Lu
    Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • Aditi Mukherji
    International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Sally Priest
    Middlesex University, London, UK
  • Will Sarni
  • Olcay Ünver
    FAO of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
  • Olli Varis
    Aalto University, Aalto, Finland
  • Mark Zeitoun
    University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • Fan Zhang
    Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China