« More than two billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities » – Why water research matters

Published: vendredi 20th mars 2020
Category: Blog

This Sunday, 22 March, is World Water Day, a UN initiative to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater. To celebrate this day, we are highlighting IWA Publishing, the London-based publishing arm of the International Water Association, which focuses entirely on water research. IWA Publishing’s 17 peer-reviewed journals, 850 books and other information resources are available through Research4Life. We sat down with Rod Cookson, Managing Director at IWA Publishing, for a chat about the importance of something that many in the world take for granted.

« There is a huge amount of work still to be done before the world has access to safe, healthy drinking water and sanitation. »

Rod Cookson, IWA Publishing

Why is water research so important?

« Water research focuses on several overlapping research areas: providing clean drinking water, giving everyone access to safe sanitation, managing river basins so that they contain high-quality water resources and dealing effectively with all these questions while global warming is changing rainfall (and drought) patterns out of all recognition. »

« Technology has solved many problems in the past fifty years. Despite this, more than two billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines today. Even more people don’t have clean drinking water at home. There is a huge amount of work still to be done before the world has access to safe, healthy drinking water and sanitation. »

Who is the target audience for your publications?

« Our journals generally contain scientific papers aimed at researchers. We also publish Water Practice & Technology, which contains practical work relevant for workers in utility firms, and Water Policy, which focuses on policy matters for regulators and government officers. Across our journals, we are always looking at ways to make it easier for people in utilities to find articles of value to them. The Highlights we have recently started adding to articles – five bullet points which summarise an article’s key findings – are an example of this. »

Why did IWA join Research4Life?

« IWA’s mission is to improve drinking water and sanitation for all people, worldwide. We are conscious that our traditional reach is primarily in Europe, North America and Australia. That is shifting rapidly to Asia in particular. We are delighted to work with Research4Life to extend readership of our journals in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America, and help important research travel to all who might benefit from it. »

IWA Publishing has a lot in store for this year’s World Water Day. To complement the UN’s theme for this year’s World Water Day, water and climate change, the publisher is making all publications from their Journal of Water & Climate Change freely available to all from 15–29 March. IWA has also published a fun quiz in partnership with UN Water to test your knowledge about water and climate change!
Find out more on IWA Publishing’s website


Check out the following journals, specially recommended by IWA Publishing for Research4Life users, along with some of their most downloaded papers in 2019:

Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development

  • “Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools: results from a process evaluation of the National Sanitation Campaign in Tanzania”, doi: 10.2166/washdev.2017.159
  • “The cost of urban sanitation solutions: a literature review”, doi: 10.2166/washdev.2017.058

Journal of Water & Health

  • “Evolution of regulatory targets for drinking water quality”, doi: 10.2166/wh.2014.242

Journal of Water & Climate Change

  • “Implication of climate change and variability on stream flow in Iringa region, Tanzania”, doi: 10.2166/wcc.2016.238

Journal of Water Reuse & Desalination

  • “Feasibility of on-site grey-water reuse for toilet flushing in China”, doi: 10.2166/wrd.2016.086 

To access IWA Publishing’s journals and books via Research4Life, log in via your preferred portal or via the link in our toolbar above. If you perform an advanced search, you can find publications of a specific journal searching on ‘Publication title’. You can find specific articles by using the ‘DOI’ search field.

Are you considering to publish open access in one of the journals by IWA Publishing? Research4Life users qualify for an article processing fee waiver (users in Group A countries) or 50% discount (users in Group B countries). Read the guidelines to get started. You can find out which category your country falls under on our website.

Hinari