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
    Columbia University, Dept. of Earth & Environmental Engineering, 500 West 120th Street, New York, New York, 10027, United States

Section Editors

  • Susan Elliott
    University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  • Bruno Merz
    Helmholtz Consortium, Julich, Germany
  • Brian Richter
    Sustainable Waters, Crozet, United States
  • Christopher A. Scott
    University of Arizona, Tucson, United States

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Karen Bakker
    The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Paul Bates
    University of Bristol School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Daniel Bena
    PepsiCo Inc, Purchase, United States
  • Giulio Boccaletti
    The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, United States
  • Nicholas Brozović
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, United States
  • Xi-Ming Cai
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, United States
  • Greg Characklis
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, United States
  • Anders Jagerskog
    World Bank, Washington, United States
  • Wendy Jepson
    Texas A&M University College Station, College Station, United States
  • Frans Klijn
    Deltares, Delft, Netherlands
  • Heidi Kreibich
    Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • Bruce Lankford
    University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
  • Roberto Lenton
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, United States
  • Hui Lu
    Sun Yat-Sen University School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangzhou, China
  • Aditi Mukherji
    International Water Management Institute, New Delhi, India
  • Sally Priest
    Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
  • Will Sarni
  • Olcay Ünver
    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Land & Water Division, Rome, Italy
  • Olli Varis
    Aalto University, Aalto, Finland
  • Mark Zeitoun
    University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
  • Fan Zhang
    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China