There is scientific evidence of accelerated sea level rise and saline intrusion. Some impacts, such as stratification and estuarine circulation, are subtle; others are dramatic including shifts in salt-sensitive habitats and limited water availability of suitable quality for industrial and municipal uses. These results have become a remarkable reality resulting in a set of integrated surface water organisation issues. Tremendous population increases overwhelming many coastal areas have expanded the problem. These challenges have been studied from many perspectives using various objectives and methodologies, and then arriving at different findings. However, all research assured that significant rises in sea level have influenced estuaries and tidally affected rivers, and these observations are expected to become rapidly worse in the future. This study introduces, categorises, critically investigates, and synthesises the most related studies regarding accelerated sea level rise and challenges of the development associated with the resources of surface water in estuaries and tidally-affected rivers. This critical review reveals that there is a need for research that focuses on the development of sustainable surface water resources.