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Special Issue "Monitoring and Governance of Water and Sanitation Services and Water Resources for Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Use and Scarcity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Agustí Pérez-Foguet

Engineering Sciences and Global Development Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering School of Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. c/Jordi Girona 1-3, C2-310, Barcelona E-08034, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34 610 006 536
Interests: sustainable development; water resources management; multivariate statistics; muticriteria decision-making; non-linear mathematical programming; uncertainty; social choice
Guest Editor
PhD. Eng. Ricard Giné Garriga

Engineering Sciences and Global Development Research Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering of Terrassa. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Carrer de Colom, 1, TR1, Terrassa, Spain E-08222
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34 652193657
Interests: water engineering; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); human right to water and sanitation; water poverty; monitoring and evaluation; data collection, validation and reporting; data analysis and interpretation
Guest Editor
PhD. Eng. Alejandro Jiménez Fernández de Palencia

Program Manager, Water Governance, Stockholm International Water Institute – SIWI, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +46 8 12 13 60 41
Interests: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); human right to water; governance of water and sanitation services; accountability in service delivery; decision-making processes related to water allocation, and water use; regulation of water and sanitation services; participation
Guest Editor
Prof. Anna Tengberg

Adjunct Professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Box 170, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +46 760 060406
Interests: water resources management; water governance; integrated natural resources management (INRM); ecosystem-based management; monitoring and evaluation
Guest Editor
PhD. Daniel Camós

Senior Infrastructure Economist. The World Bank, Water Global Practice, Middle East & North Africa Region
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +212(0) 5 37 54 42 00
Interests: network utilities; regulation; benchmarking utilities; private sector participation in infrastructure; infrastructures and growth
Guest Editor
PhD. Luis Alberto Andrés

The World Bank, Washington, D.C., Water Global Practice
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1(202)473-0819
Interests: impact evaluations; regulation; private sector participation in infrastructure water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); microeconometrics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Monitoring and Governance of Water and Sanitation Services and Water Resources for Sustainable Development” invites papers that report on recent developments in monitoring and modelling of water services and resources, sanitation services—including collection and treatment of wastewater and faecal sludge—and hygiene, and associated institutional arrangements, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and particularly related to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 aiming to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” (SDG6) with linkages to several other SDGs, such as SDGs 11, 13, 14 and 15.

Safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene are pillars of human health and well-being. Water is also needed for food production, energy generation and industrial processes and goods, uses that are highly inter-connected and potentially conflicting. Non-safely managed wastewater put at risk healthy ecosystems, crucial to ensure quantity and quality of freshwater, and to maintain resilience to climate change. Integrated water resources management is essential to harness synergies as well as to manage potential trade-offs, to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The 8 targets and 11 indicators defining SDG6 cover all these dimensions, and the so called means of implementation (expand international cooperation and capacity-building, and support and strengthen the participation of local communities).

This Special Issue will include innovative case studies focusing on different regions and geographical scales, as well as the participation of different actors (public, utilities, providers, non-governmental). We look for innovations in the measurement of the SDG6 goal and targets at national and international levels, as well as local illustrative experiences that could be scaled-up or even influence future refinements of “Monitoring Water and Sanitation for Sustainable Development” from a Sustainable Development Goals perspective.

We welcome theoretical and applied analyses about monitoring of SDG6, procedures and indicators, as well as field studies and lessons learnt from actual monitoring experiences. We invite you to submit papers that involve innovative methods to deal with the analysis of multiple geographical scales, missing data, disaggregated comparative analyses, relationships and models linking SDG6 indicators and technological, economic and socio- environmental variables. We are particularly open to contributions that demonstrate novel developments and applications in any step of the data management cycle (data collection, pre-process, modelling and inference, post-process/visualization, analysis, decision-making), specifically at national and local scales.

Prof. Eng. Agustí Pérez-Foguet
PhD. Eng. Ricard Giné Garriga
PhD. Eng. Alejandro Jiménez Fernández de Palencia
Prof. Anna Tengberg
PhD. Daniel Camós
PhD. Luis Alberto Andrés
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Sustainable Development Indicators
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Water 4.0
  • Data collection, management and analysis
  • Statistical modelling
  • Econometric modelling
  • Support information systems
  • Performance and benchmarking

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Nitrate in Wells and Springs in the North Central Ethiopian Highlands
Water 2018, 10(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040476
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
PDF Full-text (14181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Under the auspices of the UN Millennium Development Goals, access to safe drinking water in the developing world, including the Ethiopian highlands, has improved greatly. However, in many cases, it is not known how safe the water is. With the intensification of agriculture
[...] Read more.
Under the auspices of the UN Millennium Development Goals, access to safe drinking water in the developing world, including the Ethiopian highlands, has improved greatly. However, in many cases, it is not known how safe the water is. With the intensification of agriculture and increasing applications of fertilizers, high levels of nitrate are a concern. The objective of this study is to assess the nitrate levels in drinking water supply systems. To assess nitrate levels, we sampled 213 water supply points in a 4880 km2 area in the northwest Ethiopian highlands. The results show that the average concentration was below the World Health Organization (WHO) health standard of 10 mg N-NO3/L. The average concentration in wells was 3.3 mg N-NO3/L and in springs was 1.8 mg N-NO3/L. Only in three wells, that were in agricultural cropped areas, was the WHO standard exceeded. Wells in the agricultural fields had an average nitrate concentration of 3.6 mg N-NO3/L, which was almost twice that on grazing land and four times that in upland wells. Spatially, the groundwater nitrate concentrations were greater in the moderately sloped parts of the study area where agriculture was intensive and denitrification limited. Thus, although current nitrate levels are safe, in the future, the nitrate concentration could exceed the WHO health standard when fertilizer use increases. Full article

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Open AccessArticle Modified Principal Component Analysis for Identifying Key Environmental Indicators and Application to a Large-Scale Tidal Flat Reclamation
Water 2018, 10(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010069
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Identification of the key environmental indicators (KEIs) from a large number of environmental variables is important for environmental management in tidal flat reclamation areas. In this study, a modified principal component analysis approach (MPCA) has been developed for determining the KEIs. The MPCA
[...] Read more.
Identification of the key environmental indicators (KEIs) from a large number of environmental variables is important for environmental management in tidal flat reclamation areas. In this study, a modified principal component analysis approach (MPCA) has been developed for determining the KEIs. The MPCA accounts for the two important attributes of the environmental variables: pollution status and temporal variation, in addition to the commonly considered numerical divergence attribute. It also incorporates the distance correlation (dCor) to replace the Pearson’s correlation to measure the nonlinear interrelationship between the variables. The proposed method was applied to the Tiaozini sand shoal, a large-scale tidal flat reclamation region in China. Five KEIs were identified as dissolved inorganic nitrogen, Cd, petroleum in the water column, Hg, and total organic carbon in the sediment. The identified KEIs were shown to respond well to the biodiversity of phytoplankton. This demonstrated that the identified KEIs adequately represent the environmental condition in the coastal marine system. Therefore, the MPCA is a practicable method for extracting effective indicators that have key roles in the coastal and marine environment. Full article

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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Using In-Situ and Remote Sensing Technologies to Monitor Water and Sanitation Interventions [Feature Paper]

Luis Andres, Kwasi Boateng, Christian Borja-Vega, and Evan Thomas

Luis A. Andres: World Bank Water Global Practice, landres@worldbank.org [Corresponding author].

Kwasi Boateng: Portland State University, kboateng@pdx.edu. Christian Borja-Vega: World Bank Water Global Practice, cborjavega@worldbank.org. Evan Thomas: Portland State University, evthomas@pdx.edu. 


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), announced in September 2015, present a vision of achieving a higher level of human health and well-being worldwide by the year 2030. The SDG targets specific to water and sanitation call for more detailed monitoring and supervision to understand the coverage and quality of safely managed sources. It is hoped that the improved monitoring of water and sanitation interventions will reveal more cost-effective and efficient ways of meeting the SDGs. Emergent technologies, analysis methods, and data-sharing platforms are being used to this end. In this paper, we review the landscape of approaches that can be used to support and improve on the water and sanitation targets SDG 6.1, “By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all,” and SDG 6.2, “By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.”


Improving water resources governance globally: experiences from SDG indicator 6.5.1 monitoring of integrated water resources management [Feature Paper]

 Provisional Author List: Paul Glennie, Maija Bertule, Peter Koefoed Bjørnsen, Gareth James Lloyd (all with UN Environment-DHI Centre on Water and Environment, Denmark), Marianne Kjellen (UNDP), James Dalton (IUCN), Alistair Rieu-Clarke (UNECE).


In the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improved water resources governance supports a number of social, economic and environmental targets. However, measuring water resources governance at the global level presents a significant challenge. This paper describes the official SDG approach to monitoring indicator 6.5.1 on implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM). Firstly, it discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the selection of IWRM as a measure of water resources governance, and the methodology used to determine a single indicator value for IWRM implementation in each country. Secondly, it presents the key findings of the baseline assessment for SDG indicator 6.5.1 on IWRM implementation. Globally the implementation of IWRM is about 50%, though country scores range from 10 to 100%. The ability to disaggregate the data by country and by aspect of water resources governance provides a relatively quick diagnostic tool to identify areas of high or low progress.  

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