About the Journal

Water SA has been in publication since 1975, and is funded and published by the South African Water Research Commission.  The journal is issued quarterly (January, April, July, October).

Water SA is a multidisciplinary international journal publishing refereed original research and review articles on all aspects of water science, technology, engineering and policy. This includes: water resource development; the hydrological cycle; surface hydrology; geohydrology, hydropedology and hydrometeorology; hydraulics; limnology; freshwater and estuarine ecology; salinisation; treatment and management of municipal and industrial water and wastewater; treatment and disposal of sewage sludge; environmental pollution control; environmental and drinking water quality; drinking water treatment; water services, including domestic water supply and sanitation services; agricultural water; aquaculture in terms of its impact on the water resource; water policy and governance; water economics; water as a social good. 

The primary focus of the journal is on content that is relevant to the needs of the Southern African/SADC region, which includes research that is of broad international interest.  Submissions that are mainly or solely of interest within a single country will not be considered, except in the case of studies of particular importance to South Africa and/or its direct neighbours.

Contributions may take the form of a research paper, a critical review, a short communication, a rapid communication, a technical note or comments on papers already published.  A research paper is a comprehensive contribution to the subject, including introduction, experimental information and discussion of results.  (Technical accounts involving application of well-known techniques, and situation assessment/observation/sampling papers reporting results of work not carried out as a research activity, cannot be considered.)  A review is an authoritative, critical account of recent and current research in a specific field to which the author has made notable contributions.  A short communication is a concise account of new and significant findings to inform readers of preliminary or limited research results.  A rapid communication is an original contribution which merits prompt publication to publicise the findings of very recent research with immediate significance.  A technical note describes an original process or technique without necessarily including extensive data, theory or critical evaluation.  Comments on papers already published are sent to the authors of the paper for reply and both the comments and the authors’ reply will be published in the upcoming issue of Water SA.


SCI Impact Factor

Water SA is indexed by Clarivate Analytics Web of Science in the Science Citation Index (SCI). Recent SCI Impact Factors for Water SA were as follows:

2022 Impact Factor – 1.5; 2022 5-year Impact Factor – 1.8

2021 Impact Factor – 1.586; 2021 5-year Impact Factor – 1.856

2020 Impact Factor – 1.247; 2020 5-year Impact Factor – 1.589

2019 Impact Factor – 1.094; 2019 5-year Impact Factor – 1.206

2018 Impact Factor – 0.896; 2018 5-year Impact Factor – 1.098

2017 Impact Factor – 0.783; 2017 5-year Impact Factor – 1.077

2016 Impact Factor – 0.958; 2016 5-year Impact Factor – 1.116

2015 Impact Factor – 0.851; 2015 5-year Impact Factor – 1.052

2014 Impact Factor – 0.640; 2014 5-year Impact Factor – 0.962


Rejection rate

Manuscript rejection rates for 2022 were as follows:

Upfront rejection rate – 63.0%; overall rejection rate – 68.3%


Publishing platforms

Water SA is an open access journal published under a CC BY 4.0 licence, and meets the criteria to be listed on the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Water SA is re-published on a number of other platforms:

  • SciELO
  • African Journals Online (AJOL)
  • Sabinet African Journals
  • Informit