Launching in January 2023, Nature Water will publish cutting-edge research in all areas related to water resources and society. Besides original research articles the journal will publish opinions, perspectives and reviews.
In this blog post, Chief Editor, Fabio Pulizzi, explains how the journal will meet the community’s needs.
Although water has always been at the heart of civilization, modern society faces tremendous challenges due to a growing population and climate change. Water availability is at risk and in turn the environment is impacted by human intervention. Ensuring a path towards a sustainable relationship with water resources requires the integrated contribution of natural, applied and social sciences. Nature Water will provide a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary forum to create that connection between scientists and practitioners of different backgrounds and stimulate coherent approaches aimed at providing solutions to water-related problems.
Nature Water wants to approach water-research from different perspectives and we prefer thinking about our articles as grouped in large thematic areas rather than specific topics. The below shows in a simplified way how we imagine our content being categorized.
Water resources research - hydrology, hydrogeology, limnology, modelling, water in a changing climate, flooding, droughts, etc.
Water and wastewater treatment - treatment processes for drinking water, industrial water, and wastewater; centralized and decentralized systems; pollution remediation in natural resources, etc.
Water for energy, food and climate - irrigation; water consumption in food and energy production; integrated clean water and energy production; sustainable and efficient water use, water sector decarbonisation, etc.
Water and public health - safe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); health risks; wastewater epidemiology; waterborne diseases; water availability and dehydration, etc.
Water resources planning and management - water governance; policies; planning and decision-making processes and tools; environmental, social and economic assessments of management options, etc.
Water and society – political, legal, economic and social aspects of water use and management; water justice; social acceptability; water conflicts; stakeholder involvement, etc.
The entire content of Nature Water will originate from the vision of the four editorial team members who have a strong passion for water and the way in which society uses and, sadly, abuses water resources. My background is not in water-related research as I am a condensed matter physicist, but in the last years as a Chief Editor of Nature Nanotechnology I have developed a strong interest for environmental issues, and my 17-years long experience as an editor at Nature journals will help me shape the way in which the journal interacts with the community. Yanhua Chen is an environmental engineer by training and she has specialised in earth sciences, hydrology and geochemistry and she is the driving force behind our efforts to interact with those communities and make sure that what the journal does satisfies their interests. Shujuan Zhang is an environmental scientist and engineer who has a solid understanding of the chemistry and technology behind water and wastewater treatment at fundamental and applied level. And Karin Sjöstrand, also an environmental engineer by training, has a long experience of working with public and private utility companies, looking at risk assessment and policy implementation, and is determined to make sure that the human aspect is an integral part of what we do. Most of all, the whole team has embraced the concept that all contributions are necessary, and we work in collaboration to ensure that that concept emerges also in the way we work.
All editors have started commissioning opinion pieces as well as perspectives and reviews that give a different flavour with respect to original research papers. Furthermore, we have started a series of online panel discussions, free to attend, with experts in a number of topics that are of interest for us. We are hoping in this way to provide a different format for our audience to enjoy, and to give them the chance to interact with the experts directly.
Fabio Pulizzi is Chief Editor of Nature Water.