IWA Publishing are delighted to welcome the new Editors-in-Chief of Water Supply: Gabriele Freni, Nektarios Kourgialas and Pawan Labhasetwar, following the recent update to the journal’s Aims & Scope.

The updated scope of the journal falls within three distinct areas: Water Quality, Water Management and Design & Modelling with each editor leading a specific topic.

Pawan will lead the journal on Water Quality/Water Treatment, Design & Modelling will fall under Gabriele’s remit and Nektarios will focus on content regarding Water Management.

We spoke with them to hear about their vision for the journal moving forward.

A Successful Journal

What have been the highlights of working on Water Supply so far for each of you?

GF: Water Supply followed the change of methodologies and technologies in the field of water science, and it was thrilling for me to have the possibility to work on an evolving Journal keeping, at the same time, its traditional themes and formats. Water Supply has become a guiding light for scientists and practitioners willing to implement new methods and propose novel solutions to technical challenges.

NK: I am very delighted to serve as an Editor-in-Chief on the water management topic of Water Supply.  The concept of “Water supply” as a term is inextricably linked, throughout time and even more so in modern times, to food security, the sustainability of ecosystems and well-functioning societies. In line to this, and considering that this journal focuses on all aspects of water supply promoting the applied research and including new scientific and technological advances, for me working on Water Supply is a source of motivation and excitement. Also, the assistance of the Water Supply (IWA Publishing) staff who contribute and ensure a reliable, effective and fast review process is notable.

PL: I enjoyed working in the Editorial Role of Water Supply; the experience was enriching. The journal keeps me up-to-date with developments in the water supply sector. Topics in the Water Supply journal are fairly broad, whereas geographical representation is extensive. Water Supply has a valuable blend of manuscripts for varied audiences, such as researchers/academics and practitioners.

Following the updates to the Aims & Scope in 2022, what areas of research are you excited to see become more prominent in the journal?

GF: Information and Communication Technologies are becoming prominent in many scientific fields and water science is no exception. Digital technologies and artificial intelligence will contribute to water supply design and management providing more efficient services, reducing the impact of water supply on the environment and mitigating climate change. After some decades from the first applications of mathematical modelling to water supply, numerical approaches are becoming more detailed and able to picture the complexity of the real world. The availability of new intelligent monitoring and control tools will provide unparalleled possibilities for tailored management solutions and Water Supply will have a prominent role in guiding the change.

NK: Currently the water management topic of Water Supply has more than 20 specific scientific fields. All these fields are significantly unique covering all the context of innovation in water management from the recognition of the problem to the applied solution through strong scientific documentation as well as the usability of the results by the stakeholders and/or their integration into the educational process. So, if I have to select some areas of research to be more prominent in the journal, I will mention the areas of a) water–energy–food nexus, b) water supply for irrigation in agriculture, c) environmental education and communication for improving water management, and d) smart water supply systems. All these areas contribute to a broad discussion and demonstration of state-of-the-art multifunctional role of water resources and are key approaches closely related to the adaptability of water supply to changing environment.

PL: Due to consistent deterioration in water quality and limited availability of water in the major parts of the world, the provision of safe water, particularly to those at the bottom of the pyramid, is getting more challenging. Climate change further exacerbates water quality and quantity concerns. The health impacts of unsafe water are pronounced, mainly due to pathogens. Improvement in analytical techniques helps us analyse even emerging contaminants. Currently, water treatment is relatively complex due to various factors and conventional treatment plants need retrofitting for safe water due to several contaminants in the source water. Energy and land footprints of water treatment technologies are also being reduced in addition to making these technologies cost-effective. Water Supply already addresses these critical thematic areas, including manuscripts from diverse authors, and will continue to do so in the future. A set of new topics will be added as the research related to water quality and water treatment progresses in the future.  

What type of research currently stands out in Water Supply?

GF: The availability of large amounts of data provided by new approaches and technologies for monitoring is pushing the research on data-driven strategies in water supply system design and management. Real-time availability of monitoring data allows the development of new models able to guide system operation and maintenance.

NK: In my point of view, the combination of “Water supply for irrigation in agriculture” with “Environmental education and communication for improving water management” can be a milestone for Water Supply Journal. Considering that during the next decades our attention should be focused on finding proper solutions to support food security and sustainable agriculture worldwide, optimal water allocation, the newest developments in irrigation management and agronomic practices should be of high priority ensuring the adaptability of water supply and crop production systems. Also, the above should be linked with the education and be communicated to the end users, by providing evidence of the applicability of scientific findings and supporting multi-stakeholder dialogue by appraising response options. The stakeholders and the education process will in turn feedback the research on new challenges and need for improvement.

PL: Water supply focuses on research on development and localising water treatment applications. While geogenic contaminants such as fluoride, arsenic, etc., still attract the attention of researchers from the developing world, manuscripts on emerging technologies such as capacitive de-ionisation are also included. Research related to the analysis of contaminants such as PFAS also appears in the manuscripts of Water Supply.     

Water Supply was launched over 20 years ago, where do you see this title five years from now?

GF: Water Supply is renowned for being continuously in the field of water science and technology for so many years. The adoption of a complete open access approach increased its impact in the technical field enhancing the role of the Journal as a guide for practitioners and young researchers willing to find new solutions for real problems and a platform for documenting relevant case studies and applications. Continuing in the improvement of scientific quality, the Journal will consolidate its role and will enforce its reference role in the technical world.

NK: Water Supply is an international well-known timeline reputable scientist journal. Personally, this is not enough as I strongly believe that Water Supply has the potential to be a leading journal in the field of water science and this will be my target and my personal bet for the next years servicing as Editor-in-Chief.

PL: Thanks to the contributions of editors, reviewers, authors and readers, Water Supply has traversed the path of success for the past 20 years. Easy-to-read manuscripts covering various thematic areas are a hallmark of Water Supply. Considering the interests of early-age researchers and practitioners, Water Supply will place itself among one of the top journals related to water in the next five years. Water Supply being Open Access and without Article Processing Charges (APCs) offers an excellent opportunity to the authors. We will engage with authors by having Special Issues on various thematic areas from diverse geographical regions.

Water Supply flipped to Open Access back in 2021 thanks to the Subscribe to Open initiative launched by IWA Publishing, what do you think this continues to mean for the journal?

GF: This policy was a game changer in the field of water science journals requiring a delicate equilibrium for the publisher but offering a great value to the community and improving the spread of new scientific ideas to a wider community. This is one of the main causes making the journal increase its impact factor in the last years and this will probably continue in the future years.

NK: I think that by protecting the innovative character of the journal and taking advantage of full open access for all papers, these are key parameters that could widen the broad readership and establish the leading role of this journal in the field of water science.

PL: Water Supply has been the preferred choice for authors and readers over the past few years for various reasons. Open Access has significantly increased the reach of Water Supply to many researchers and practitioners, particularly from the developing world. An increasing number of submissions to Water Supply is testimony to the fact that Open Access has played a vital role in increasing the visibility of Water Supply. While the journal will continue to be Open Access, several other essential features, such as reducing the manuscript's decision time, will compound the journal's growth.  

What do you have to say to authors who want to submit to the journal?

GF: Water Supply, with its growing impact and increasing community of readers, is the perfect place to share your new research and edge applications aimed to show new paths in the solution of water systems design and modelling. The rigorous review process and the experience of the editorial board and of the publisher guarantees the improving quality of manuscripts and always helpful comments that will collaborate in enhancing your work. If you want to spread your ideas faster in the scientific community and in the wider group of readers, the Journal is waiting for your contributions.

NK: I think that three are the main components for a water related scientific journal to be attractive to authors, the first is the reliability, recognition and the multifunctional role of a journal, secondly the speed with which a correct and informed decision is taken and thirdly the possibility of open access which ensures the widespread readership throughout research institutions, universities and within industry. All of the above is provided by Water Supply, so for the water scientist authors the choice is clear.

PL: We encourage authors to submit manuscripts as the journal has already created a niche in water quality and treatment besides other thematic areas. We have a transparent and robust review process with access to over 1000 reviewers globally and well-known researchers and practitioners on the Editorial Board. We also believe in improving the manuscript by offering comments through the review process, which is a significant value addition. Water Supply, the journal of IWA Publishing (IWAP), comes with a brand value, and we believe that Water Supply will be the first destination for authors. We also encourage lead researchers and practitioners to submit proposals for Special Issues, and Water Supply will support publishing such issues. 

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