Special Issue "Overcoming the Implementation Gap for Water Infrastructure: Directions for the Decade of Action"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jeroen Rijke
Guest Editor
HAN University of Applied Sciences, Sustainable River Management Group, Ruitenberglaan 26, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Interests: climate adaptation; resilience; implementation; rivers and deltas
Dr. Nguyen Hong Quan

Guest Editor
Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCMC), Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED) and Center of Water Management and Climate Change (WACC), 01 Str. 6, VNU campus, Quarter 6, Linh Trung, Thu Duc Dist., HCM city, Vietnam
Interests: circular economy; climate adaptation; cities; deltas; sustainable livelihoods
Prof. Dr. Chris Zevenbergen
Guest Editor
IHE Delft, Flood Resilience Chair Group, Westvest 7, Delft, Netherlands
Interests: climate adaptation; strategic planning; water finance; flood resilience; cities
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The political declaration of the SDG Summit on 24-25 September 2019 in New York identified the coming decade as a “decade of action and delivery of sustainable development”. This message also resonates in the report of the Global Commission on Adaptation and the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid.

Yet, the implementation of water infrastructure falls behind to what is needed and aspired. Water infrastructure is pivotal for the delivery of sustainable development, as it provides essential services to public health, safety, ecosystems and the economy.  The UN World Water Development Report 2020 highlighted that improved water management offers opportunities in terms of climate adaptation and mitigation. However, water infrastructure management is a complex affair due to systems change, competing claims for space and resources, socio-economic pressures, and governance challenges.

Over the last decades, new approaches have emerged to face the complexity of water infrastructure management: for example, connections between disciplines are strengthened through integrated planning and design, collaboration across jurisdictions and sectors is stimulated through multi-level governance, and the inherent uncertainties of complex social-ecological systems are addressed by adaptive planning and management approaches. This has led to a multitude of visions, strategies and plans, but is often not yet reflected by the availability and performance of water infrastructure, as well as the management thereof. 

There is a wide variety of implementation challenges ahead that need to be tackled such as, closing the finance gap, uptake of evidence-based practice and research into routine practice, institutional, legislative and regulatory reform, developing a workforce with the required competencies and skills, establishment of political leadership and persistence, and behavioural change.

This special issue aims to provide directions for successful implementation of water infrastructure across the globe. We invite contributions from a broad range of disciplines, including planning, finance, economics, behavioural science, implementation science, public participation, governance, transition management,  project management, ecology and engineering.

Dr. Jeroen Rijke
Dr. Nguyen Hong Quan
Prof. Dr. Chris Zevenbergen
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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.


  • Water infrastructure
  • climate adaptation
  • mitigation
  • implementation gap
  • decade of action

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop