Water Alternatives' 48th issue (Vol. 17 Issue 1) is now available.Each year, we provide over 700,000 free downloads of our published papers, along with an equivalent number on personal and other websites.. You can access our latest issue and PDFs of individual articles, here:

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Special issue:

The Politics of Water Quantification

Guest Editors: François Molle, Bruce Lankford, Rebecca Lave

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Water Alternatives is now running the Water Dissensus Forum. This Forum is intended to provide space for critical debates and discussions about water issues. Existing dissensus, or antagonistic values and points of view, can be turned into a learning opportunity for the benefit of all and give way to reasoned debates that have the potential both to further understanding of complex water issues and to generate new ideas.

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Why this journal?

WaA is an interdisciplinary journal addressing the full range of issues that water raises in contemporary societies. Its ambition is to provide space for alternative and critical thinking on such issues (see our manifesto for more details).

WaA welcomes contributions that address any dimension of water resources development, governance, policy, management and use in their relations with society and the environment. Our editorial scope is focused on the analysis of institutional or policy issues and processes. We do not publish technical papers. Subject coverage includes (but is not limited to):

  • Water policy at global and national levels
  • Water governance and water reforms
  • The politics of everyday water management (irrigation, watershed, etc.)
  • Water knowledge systems, concepts and discourses
  • Water and economics
  • The politics of water provision and use
  • Water, environment and society
  • Water, technology and society
  • Water, globalization and geopolitics
  • Water, power and social divisions: gender, class, ethnicity

WaA offers four distinct rubrics:

  • Scholarly articles (Articles)
  • Short articles that are not academic in scope and may reflect some opinion (Viewpoints)
  • Book reviews (Reviews) [now moved to a dedicated webpage]
  • Responses to earlier articles (Responses).

As a worldwide high-quality peer-reviewed eJournal, WaA offers the following advantages:

  • No submission fee.
  • Full and free access to articles, ensuring worldwide outreach and intellectual multiplier effect.
  • Reduced time interval between acceptance of articles and their publication online: the time lag between final approval of articles and publication generally does not exceed 2 months. Articles are made available unde the 'Issue in progress' section before their official publication in the forthcoming issue.



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Special issue:
Unconventional Waters: a critical understanding of desalination and wastewater reuse

Guest Editors: Joe Williams, Ross Beveridge and Pierre-Louis Mayaux


SOAS- Water Alternatives

Webinar Series 2020-21

See detailed calendar here...

Special issue (closed):
Farmer-led irrigation development in Sub-Saharan Africa:
Investment, policy engagements and agrarian transformation

Guest Editors: Gert Jan Veldwisch, Hans Komakech, Jean-Philippe Venot


Special issue:
Assessing the European Water Directive Framework

Guest Editors: Gabrielle Bouleau, Tim Moss, José Albiac, Lenka Slavíkova


Special issue:
Irrigation management in East Asia: Institutions, socioeconomic transformation and adaptations

Guest Editors: Raymond Yu Wang, Jinxia Wang and Wai Fung Lam

WaA's website experienced some technical problem during the first half of August. Access to all articles is now restored. We apologize for the inconvenience. The WaA Team.

February 2015


Special issue: Critical Thinking on the ‘New Security Convergence’ in Energy, Food, Climate and Water: Is the Nexus Secure … and for Whom?
Guest editors: Jeremy Allouche, Carl Middleton, Dipak Gyawali


Technical veil, hidden politics: Interrogating the power linkages behind the nexus
Jeremy Allouche, Carl Middleton and Dipak Gyawali

Water Alternatives 8(1): 610-626               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


The rise and implications of the water-energy-food nexus in Southeast Asia through an environmental justice lens
Carl Middleton, Jeremy Allouche, Dipak Gyawali and Sarah Allen

Water Alternatives 8(1): 627-654               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Node and regime: Interdisciplinary analysis of water-energy-food nexus in the Mekong region
Tira Foran

Water Alternatives 8(1): 655-674               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


The 'nexus' as one step on the road to a more coherent water resource management paradigm
Mike Muller

Water Alternatives 8(1): 675-694               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Securitising sustainability? Questioning the 'water, energy and food-security nexus'
Matthias Leese and Simon Meisch

Water Alternatives 8(1): 695-709               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Tackling complexity: Understanding the food-energy-environment nexus in Ethiopia’s Lake Tana sub-basin
Louise Karlberg, Holger Hoff, Tedasse Amsalu, Kim Andersson, Taylor Binnington, Francisco Flores-López, Annemarieke de Bruin, Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot, Birhanu Gedif, Oliver Johnson, Friedrich zur Heide, Maria Osbeck, Chuck Young

Water Alternatives 8(1): 710-734               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


The water-energy-food security nexus through the lenses of the IAD framework and value chain analysis
Sergio Villamayor-Tomas, Philipp Grundmann, Graham Epstein, Tom Evans and Christian Kimmich

Water Alternatives 8(1): 735-755               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Water governance in a comparative perspective: From IWRM to a 'nexus' approach?
D. Benson, A. Gain and J. Rouillard

Water Alternatives 8(1): 756-773               Abstract | Full Text - PDF



Understanding the political in groundwater management: Comparing Yemen and Ethiopia
Frank van Steenbergen, Assefa Kumsa and Nasser Al-Awlaki

Water Alternatives 8(1): 774-799               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Competition, conflict, and compromise: Three discourses used by irrigators in England and their implications for the comanagement of water resources
Luke Whaley and Edward K. Weatherhead

Water Alternatives 8(1): 800-819               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Power sharing in the English lowlands? The political economy of farmer participation and cooperation in water governance
Luke Whaley and Edward K. Weatherhead

Water Alternatives 8(1): 820-843               Abstract | Full Text - PDF


Social norms in water services: Exploring the fair price of water
Ossi Heino and Annina Takala

Water Alternatives 8(1): 844-858               Abstract | Full Text - PDF

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Special issue: The (Re)turn to Infrastructure for Water Management

Call for papers (closed)


Special Issue on

Information and Knowledge for Water Governance in the Networked Society

With the financial support of the SWAN Project (Sustainable Water ActioN: Building Research Links between the US and the EU)

Guest Editors :
Belén Pedregal (Department of Human Geography, University of Seville)
Leandro del Moral (Department of Human Geography, University of Seville)
Nuria Hernández-Mora (Department of Human Geography, University of Seville)

Water management goals, conceptual approaches and institutional frameworks have evolved significantly over the past 30 years. More recently this transformation has been accompanied—and enhanced—by the explosion of available information and communication technologies that enable new and rapidly evolving means of generating, sharing and disseminating information, of relating to one another, and of creating new conditions for social and political change.

Information and knowledge requirements for natural resources management today are conditioned by numerous factors: increasing possibilities provided by polycentric and changing sources of information generation; rapid development of earth observation technologies; different avenues for sharing and disseminating data and information; policies and legislations that enhance the harmonization and reutilization of publicly produced information; and growing demands for information and transparency in natural resources management from increasingly critical social actors. In this context of change it becomes relevant to reflect upon how particular information and knowledge is generated, reproduced and becomes predominant or hegemonic. To what degree can we expect higher levels of citizen engagement with decision-making processes to emerge in this new context? Will social actors take advantage of the new political participation potential provided by new technologies or are new control mechanisms being constructed to avoid it?

Water Alternatives will publish a special issue on Information and Knowledge for Water Governance in the Networked Society. The special issue will first build upon contributions to an International Conference organized by the SWAN project at the University of Seville in June 2014 under that title. The Conference aims to contribute to the debates on data, information and knowledge generation, dissemination and application, emphasizing the concepts of poly-centricity and collaborative generation of information, public participation, open data generation and the re-use of information in the context of the networked society. In addition, and for this Special Issue, contributions will be accepted from other interested parties, focusing on two thematic areas:

  • Power, information and the policy process. Rapidly developing New Information and Communication Technologies are indeed (or should be) influencing discussions on water policy paradigms and are affecting the way water governance is happening in different geographical settings. Nevertheless these effects are conditioned or contextualized by wider socio-political processes (neoliberal globalization, post-political age, post-democracy, etc.) and thus they must be understood in that context. Papers should focus on discussions about the key theoretical and policy issues that can help us understand how the emerging ways of generating, accessing, and managing information reshape social relations of power in water use, management and governance.
  • Polycentric information for water governance: Generation, quality control, sustainability and potential for social and political transformation. New practices of collaborative and distributed generation of information are facilitated by the New Information and Communication Technologies. How are they helping to meet the demands of transparency, open data and the new information needs for water management and governance? Attention will be paid to information quality control, ensuring the consistency of information on water throughout its life cycle. The issue of information sustainability will also be addressed, that is, guaranteeing its continuity through time, free access, optimizing generation efforts and minimizing overlaps. How is this information transformed into useful knowledge for water governance in the era of big data? What is the role of knowledge and information in relation to unequal social relations, legitimation of hegemonic positions and/or key politically contentious issues?


  • Abstract by April 20, 2014
  • Notification of authors by June 15, 2014
  • Full papers by November 15, 2014
  • Peer reviewed comments by February 15, 2015
  • Final version of paper by April 15, 2015 for publication on the first of June 2015

Contact the guest-editors

Belén Pedregal (Department of Human Geography, University of Seville) bpedregal@us.es
Leandro del Moral (Department of Human Geography, University of Seville) lmoral@us.es
Nuria Hernández-Mora (Department of Human Geography, University of Seville) nhernandezmora@us.es

or send your abstract to: managing_editor@water-alternatives.org