Articles and viewpoints should be written in British English. Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscripts professionally edited before submission, as papers with poor readability will not be accepted. Articles should be between 6,000 and 12,000 words in length (including references and notes).
Readers can respond to articles and other contributions in the journal through the Response option. Responses should be in the range of 500 to 1000 words; longer responses should be submitted as articles.

For Book Reviews please refer to our dedicated webpage.

    document Click here to download the instructions to authors (108 KB)

There is no submission fee. To reduce the cost of formatting and copy-editing it is very important that authors carefully read and follow the guidelines; manuscripts with inconsistent use of standards will be returned to the authors. This MSWord template contains all the standard Water Alternatives formats and styles. In particular cases where contributors use a different word processor, the template file should be imported and the final text saved in RTF format.

    document Download WaA's template (211 KB)

To submit articles, please first register as a member of the Water Alternatives Network. Logging in will give you access to the user menu with links to the submission page. For more information about submission, please check our editorial policy below.

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Focus and Scope

Water Alternatives is an electronic, peer reviewed, interdisciplinary journal addressing issues of water, politics and development. Manuscript submission, peer review and publication are all online and there is no parallel print process. We do not charge publication fees. WaA welcomes contributions that address any dimension of water resources development, management and use, with a particular focus on their relationship to society and the environment (click here for more on subject coverage).
WaA publishes articles articles which may be empirical or theoretical in scope but are written in a style that is accessible to practitioners, decision makers and students.
The Response option allows readers to interact and further the debates and questions raised by a particular article. Responses are published in subsequent issues and linked to the relevant article.

We encourage readers to submit proposals for special ‘themed’ issues. A set of papers, for example, could be submitted from a common session in a conference or from a research project, or authors could send in manuscripts in response to a Water Alternatives call for themed papers. Papers must include a substantial introductory and/or summary manuscript.

Special Issue editors must collect and submit a minimum of five high-quality papers (in addition to the introductory article) which will go through the normal review process. The editors-in-chief retain the option (in coordination with guest editors) to reject a particular manuscript. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a Special Issue, please contact the Water Alternatives managing editor for more details:

Peer-Review Process

The editors take about one month to make an initial appraisal of each manuscript. If the topic and treatment are deemed appropriate for the journal, the manuscript is sent to three referees who are selected for their knowledge of both the subject matter and the region under discussion in the paper. Once the review process has been completed, the manuscript is either accepted, referred back to the author for revisions, or rejected. The final decision is made by the editors-in-chief. This procedure is designed to ensure that papers accepted for publication are of the highest scientific quality and reflect the wide interests of an international readership.

Water Alternatives has a ‘double blind’ review process: authors’ names are not revealed to reviewers nor reviewers’ names to authors (though a particular reviewer may wish to communicate their identity to an author or authors). An author can expect a decision on their manuscript within four to eight months of submission. Although the peer review process is accelerated by the use of electronic communication, conventional high quality peer review standards are applied to all manuscripts, and delays in obtaining reviews may thus prolong the process.

Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically and all correspondence takes place via email.

Publication Frequency

WaA publishes a new issue three times per year (including Special Issues). New issues come out in the first week of February, June and October.

Once the article is accepted in its final form and copy-edited, it is made accessible on the website under ‘Issue in Progress’ and then formally published in the subsequent issue. Following formal publication of the new issue, all persons registered as members of the Water Alternatives Network will receive an email alert with a detailed table of contents.

Open access Policy

Water Alternatives provides open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Such access is associated with increased readership and increased citation of an author's work. Rates of downloading from an open access ejournal like Water Alternatives are generally 10 to 15 times those of paid-for journals. There is no submission fee.


OpCreativeCommons.jpgen access: Water Alternatives is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License which permits any non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and source are credited  

As a result:

i) the copyright of the article remains with its author(s), and
ii) authors can reuse parts of their work (for example, figures) without restriction, provided mention is made of the first publication in Water Alternatives.