We are delighted to announce that Georgia (Gia) Destouni, Professor of Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Water Resources, and Head of the Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University in Sweden, has just taken over as Editor in Chief of Water Resources Research, following Martyn Clark’s four year tenure. Sina Khatami, hydrology researcher at Stockholm University asked her some questions about her research interests and her vision for the journal.
What are your own areas of scientific interest?
I want to understand how Earth’s interconnected water system works in different parts of the world and on different scales, up to global scale. I’m interested in the processes and the variability and change that characterize and drive the fluxes, availability and quality of water, and how they interact with society, climate, and ecosystems. I’m also interested in how improved scientific understanding can guide society’s management of critical water resources and water-related risks, for example, of droughts, floods, water pollution, and disease spreading.
I use both data-driven and model-based approaches to study and decipher these water aspects and interconnections. For example, I currently work on the flux, quality, and management interactions of linked inland-coastal-marine water systems in an EU project (COASTAL), and on the shifts in water-related spreading of infectious diseases under climate change over the Nordic-Arctic region in a Nordic project (CLINF). I also work with partners outside academia, for example, in an IoT innovation project (iWater) on continuous water quality monitoring with machine-learning interpretation and cloud-linked communication of automatic sensor data, and in a multi-stakeholder participatory project on the impacts and management of freshwater under current and future climate change, urbanization and other land-use changes.
What does it mean to you to serve as Editor in Chief of Water Resources Research (WRR)?
It is an honor, privilege, and inspiration to get this opportunity to influence the direction and enhance the quality and impact of water science. I’m excited to see and continue promoting the top-quality and interdisciplinary water research in WRR, focus attention on emerging hot topics and the grand challenges that this research can address, and contribute to communicating the key advances to the broader science community and society.
What makes WRR special?
Hydrology and water resources are essential parts in how our planet and its ecosystems and human societies and communities around the world function and evolve. The science of hydrology and water resources is also central and critical for building capacity to understand, predict, manage, and achieve sustainability in this evolution. As AGU’s flagship water science journal, WRR is a world leading actor in advancing this capacity.
How do you plan to take the journal forward in the coming years?
The plan is for WRR to continue to be the “journal of choice” for high-quality water science. I also want to enhance the promotion of key advances made by the research published in the journal, and the communication of its relevance and value and how it contributes to meet grand challenges in science and society.
The many sub-disciplines of water science need to feel at home in WRR. To address grand challenges, the sub-disciplines also need to be linked, with more articles crossing sub-disciplinary and sub-system boundaries, as well as decreasing the fragmentation of Earth’s interconnected water system.
The WRR path forward should include more research on key system interactions, such as human-nature, climate-water, and water-land-food-energy interactions. It should also include more research on the links of water availability, quality and security, and associated societal effects, risks and opportunities. Such links need be made on various scales, and with applicability, transferability, and implications for various parts of the world, up to global scale. As space exploration “follows the water” to find life outside Earth, the science in WRR “follows the water” to understand life conditions and their variability and change on Earth.
—Gia Destouni ([email protected]; 0000-0001-9408-4425), incoming Editor in Chief, Water Resources Research, and Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Sweden; with thanks to Sina Khatami ( 0000-0003-1149-5080), Hydrology Researcher, Stockholm University, Sweden