New Special issue Announcement on Governance of climate change adaptation in the water sector


New Special issue Announcement 

SI Editors

1. Leon Hermans, IHE Delft

2. Ellen Minkman. TU Delft and

3. Alex López Alberola, TU Delft

4. Kirsty Holstead, Wageningen University

Governance of climate change adaptation in the water sector

It is essential to understand society's resilience to the ongoing climate crisis, particularly in relation to water systems, given the growing threats of drought, climate extremes and other water-related hazards. Also, building resilience requires adaptation to changing environments, as well as more transformative changes across diverse domains and actors. This implies change to relationships between actors (i.e., practitioners and communities), actors and water (i.e., how we see, think about, and relate to water), and policymaking (i.e., how policy is made, who we learn from, and what knowledge is deemed important for policies). All of which have implications for systems and the involved (private, public, community-based) actors.

Governance, understood broadly, is a crucial component of this change. Governance can enable and support incremental as well as more transformational changes, potentially contributing to greater adaptivity and resilience of society. Decision-making must consider climatic and societal shifts, which requires appropriate (water) governance structures in place. Moreover, appropriate governance can foster a more inclusive, just, and participatory approach to decision-making for the future.

But how do, can, and should different actors work together across sectors and policy levels in planning, designing, and implementing climate-adaptive water solutions? What work does this entail? And where are the effects of these efforts most felt? This special issue examines how different actors work to foster adaptive, transformative, or resilient governance and build adaptive capacity for affected communities, ultimately contributing to greater resilience in water systems. We concentrate on the governance of climate change adaptation and transformations in the area of water. This ranges from the challenges faced, conditions for, and actual experiences with climate change adaptation. We focus on, but are not limited to, the governance of water services, flooding, water security, circular water management, and wastewater management.

We hope this special issue will welcome diverse contributions from across the Global North and South to generate debate around and move beyond the state-of-the art in water governance. In accordance with this, we greatly welcome critical and reflexive dialogue, and coupled approaches, with the goal of generating unique knowledges. The International Journal of Water Governance (IJWG) aims to be an important source of knowledge on governance in the domain of water and water-related issues. For more information on the journal, please visit:


We welcome empirical, theoretical, and methodological contributions on assorted topics and from diverse settings. We are, amongst others, interested in:

  • Theoretical contributions that advance our understanding of governance of water adaptation, be it, for instance, adaptive governance, transition management, transformative pathways in the water sector or any other (novel) conceptual perspective on governance of climate adaptation.
  • Methodological contributions on how to monitor and/or evaluate governance of climate adaptation.
  • Empirical or normative studies into governance practices. For example, studies into collaboration, cooperation, and conflict in governance; research on the mechanisms in which individuals and groups (policy makers, communities etc.) shape water governance; or single or comparative case studies that discuss the (in)effectiveness of climate change adaptation.
  • We particularly welcome contributions that bridge short-term challenges with long-term perspectives.

Manuscript type and submission procedure

As the IJWG is open to a broad set of voices from research and practice, we welcome several types of contributions: Research Articles (7000 words), Perspectives (5000 words), Commentaries (3000 words) and Practitioner Outlooks (3000 words). For more information on submissions, manuscript templates, and other information see:

If you wish to contribute to the special issue, please keep two deadlines in mind:

  • The call for abstracts will close on the 30th of April 2024.
    Please send in an extended abstract (max. 1 A4) to [], so that we know how many submissions to expect. The one-pager should describe your topic of study, methods used and contribution to the special issue.
  • The submission deadline for full paper manuscripts is 1st of July 2024.

Please submit your paper through the journal's online submission system, ensuring that you mention that your manuscript is intended for the special issue in your cover letter.