Call for Abstracts - Water International Special Issue on Source-to-Sea Management

News Dec 19, 2019

In collaboration with the Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management, Water International will produce a special issue on Source-to-Sea Management. Published by a major international publisher, Taylor & Francis, on behalf of IWRA, Water International (WI) is a leading source of information on international water resources research and policy. Submissions are now welcome and selected submissions will be invited to submit a full paper for review and potential inclusion in the journal.


Background and content
The dynamic interface between land and oceans captures a key development and environmental challenge of our time. Unsustainable human activities are imposing a heavy burden on the ecosystems at this interface. This can be seen in numerous areas. It is seen in the form of the millions of tons of plastic that enter the ocean from land-based sources each year. It is seen in the eutrophication and spread of dead zones in our coastal and marine waters that are caused by excessive nutrient loads from unmanaged agricultural runoff and inadequate wastewater treatment. It is seen in areas where the flows of rivers are so highly diverted that little water actually reaches the sea, robbing coastal ecosystems of the water, sediment and nutrients they need. The resulting degradation of freshwater and marine environments has a direct impact on crucial ecosystem services and thereby on livelihoods and food security, especially for the poorest people. The impacts of climate change amplify the challenges faced.

Source-to-sea is an emerging concept to improve understanding on the linkages between freshwater, coastal and marine systems and support efforts towards the effective and coordinated governance of these systems. The special issue will explore the multi-disciplinary aspects required for successful S2S management. Specific issues include; (i) coordination on policy and regulations for surface and ground water, land, coastal and marine management; (ii) the collection and assessment of data on the effects of marine pollution and the efficacy of source to sea programs; and, (iii) successful strategies, both natural and engineered, for different locations to manage specific pollutant flows.

The issue will contain 8-10 articles in the following thematic areas:

1. Governance
Review of governance structures for land use planning and freshwater management bodies for river basins connected to marine waters. Submissions that address the following questions are encouraged;

  1. To what extent does land-use planning and freshwater management consider impacts on oceans?
  2. What governance models are working that connect and protect freshwater and marine ecosystems?
  3. What opportunities exist to expand upstream and downstream stakeholder engagement in freshwater and coastal/marine water management?

2. Data collection and analysis
Successful S2S programs depend on robust data collection and analysis. Submissions on the following topics are encouraged;

  1. The potential of physical data science for improved S2S management
    1. Can land spatial planning systems (GIS) be linked with management of marine ecosystems?
    2. Advances in remote sensing for S2S management platforms
  2. The use of economic data to make the case for improved S2S coordination.
    1. What is the impact of marine debris of terrestrial origin on economic activity?

  3. Advancements of new tools/modeling/ simulation with potential application to S2S management

3. Linking science and policy / S2S and the science-policy interface

  1. How is science on S2S taken up by governments / incorporated in policy & governance?
  2. Challenges faced in incorporating science into policy and operationalizing scientific recommendations

4. Success stories
Selected case studies on S2S programs are encouraged that highlight strategies which achieve improved ecological and economic outcomes for specific pollutant flows with different governance, cultural and geographic settings. Areas of interest include;

  1. Examples of improved jurisdictional coordination
  2. Examples of policy/regulatory driven ouctomes
  3. Examples of engineered and natural solutions
  4. Community engagement and role of citizen science
  5. Examples of restoration of ecosystem services and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable downstream communities

How to submit
Please send a submission of title, abstract (up to 250 words), key words and corresponding topic (from the four listed above) for a proposed paper to by January 31, 2020. Authors will be notified during the following month if their abstract was selected for invitation to submit a full paper due in May 2020.

Questions regarding the special issue or submission process can be sent to Josh Weinberg, Programme Manager, SIWI
About Water International

Published by a major international publisher, Taylor & Francis, on behalf of IWRA, Water International (WI) is a leading source of information on international water resources research and policy. WI articles and technical notes focus on water management, policy and governance based on rigorous scholarship for a broad, interdisciplinary audience. Read more at