Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water

Cover image for Vol. 3 Issue 6

Edited By: Stuart N. Lane

Online ISSN: 2049-1948


The award-winning WIREs (Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews) series combines some of the most powerful features of encyclopedic reference works and review journals in an innovative online format. They are designed to promote a cross-disciplinary research ethos while maintaining the highest scientific and presentational standards, but should be viewed first and foremost as evolving online databases of cutting-edge reviews.

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.


Each WIREs title was established in response to the urgent need to publish current, comprehensive reviews of the pioneering research that is being done in an interdisciplinary and complementary set of fields. Reviews are structured into different Article Types, each with its own description and intended audience.

Our goal is to support the research and teaching needs of advanced students, scientists, healthcare providers, governmental and policy analysts, and other professionals in these rapidly developing areas with article types catered to different readers, collections on hot topics, and freely available PowerPoint downloads of each article’s figures.

Additionally, Wiley participates in the Research4Life initiative, which provides people at more than 7,700 institutions in the developing world with free or low cost access to scientific content.

Abstracting and Indexing Information

  • CAS: Chemical Abstracts Service (ACS)
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (Thomson Reuters)
  • Web of Science (Thomson Reuters)