Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water

Cover image for Vol. 2 Issue 5

Edited By: Stuart N. Lane

Online ISSN: 2049-1948


WIREs Water

  • An important new forum to promote cross-disciplinary understanding of the water environment, and the severe challenges that it faces during the 21st Century
  • An authoritative, encyclopedic resource addressing key topics from the perspectives of earth sciences, biology, engineering, social sciences, and humanities
  • High-quality content commissioned from expert contributors and peer-reviewed to a rigorous standard
  • Content is fully citable, qualifying for abstracting, indexing, and ISI ranking

For more information, please go to wires.wiley.com/water.

Aims and Scope

The scope of WIREs Water is at the interfaces between five very different intellectual themes: the basic science of water, its physics and chemistry, flux, and things that it transfers and transforms; life in water, and the dependence of ecosystems and organisms on water to survive and to thrive; the engineering of water to furnish services and to protect society; the people who live with, experience and manage the water environment; and those interpretations that we, as a society, have brought to water through art, religion, history and which in turn shapes how we come to understand it. These interfaces are not simply designed to be ways of looking at water through what necessarily must be interdisciplinary perspectives. They are also designed to be outward facing in terms of how water can help to understand wider questions concerning our environment and human-environment interactions.


Engineering Water

The contributions made by the engineering sciences to the ways in which we engineer and plan water: water, health and sanitation, including water supply, waste and disposal, infectious and waterborne diseases, public health, environmental standards: the sustainable engineering of water, including source protection, water conservation and recycling, resilience to natural hazards, waste and drainage systems, waterproofed urban landscapes, enhancing ecosystems through engineering; planning water including planning concepts, path dependency, retrodiction and prediction, forecasting, holistic analysis of water.

Human Water

Perspectives from the social sciences and humanities on our water condition: water governance, including decision-making processes, rules, customs, laws and accountability in water management; the value of water, including water pricing, more-than-economic valuation of water, hidden and embedded water (e.g. in energy, food), alternative definitions of the ‘clean’ and the ‘safe’; the rights to water, including distributive justice, entitlements and their definition, water conflicts across spatial scales; water as imagined and represented, in the creative arts, across world views, in memory and through communication.

Science of Water

The physics and chemistry of water: hydrological processes throughout the hydrological cycle; stocks and flows of water and the matter that it entrains, transports and deposits, at different spatial and temporal scales; water extremes in stocks and flows and there distributions in space and time; water quality, including solutes, sediment and temperature and its control by water flow pathways and transit times; water and environmental change, including climate, land use and flow regulation.

Water and Life

The ecology and biology of freshwater environments: the nature of freshwater ecosystems, including their structure and organisation, inter-connectivity, emergent properties, sensitivity and resilience; stresses and pressures on ecosystems, at the scales of species, habitats and ecosystems, and including multiple stressors; conservation, management and awareness including restoration, the analysis of ecosystem services, questions of spatial and temporal scale and public engagement with freshwater ecosystems.


The titles in the WIREs series, launched in 2009, are cutting-edge interdisciplinary forums that combine the most powerful features of online reference works and review journals. All WIREs titles include article topics and authors selected by internationally renowned Editorial Boards, ensuring that the highest scientific and presentational standards are maintained; all content is peer-reviewed and edited by experts. New and updated reviews are constantly added, providing access to the most up-to-date information in the field. Reviews are structured into different article types:

  • Opinions – provide a forum for thought-leaders to offer a more individual perspective
  • Overviews – provide a broad and non-technical treatment of important topics suitable for advanced students and for researchers without a strong background in the field
  • Advanced Reviews – examine key areas of research in a citation-rich format suitable for researchers and advanced students
  • Focus Articles – present specific real-world issues, examples and implementations
  • Editorial Commentaries – allow WIREs editors to comment on broad research trends in a less formal style

Abstracting and Indexing Information

  • CAS: Chemical Abstracts Service (ACS)