The recent XXVIII Nordic Hydrological Conference was arranged at KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden from 11 to 13 August 2014. The aim of the conference was to provide an arena for applied scientists, decision makers and advisors from the private and public sectors to meet and address the challenges in: understanding of the scientific and administrative issues as well as data and scaling constraints; evaluating research projects for scientifically sound decision making; developing concepts for future cooperation and promoting a Nordic and Baltic way for scientifically based decision making, amongst other issues. The conference attracted over 100 participants from all over the world with presentations from a wide spectrum of current research.

This special issue of Hydrology Research covers many aspects of hydrological research with both traditional methodology and the new trends with new conditions, reflecting climate change and socio-economic development with water as its central focus. In this special issue, 15 papers were selected from the total of 32 submitted to the journal after the conference.

Without the great team work from many people it would be impossible to produce this special issue. We would like to thank all the authors for preparing papers to the journal specifications and deadlines, and the many anonymous reviewers for their timely and professional reviews which greatly enhanced the quality of this issue. We are also grateful for the support and patience of Emma Gulseven, Journals Manager, in the preparation of this issue.