Five years ago the publication of this journal was passed from the Canadian Association on Water Quality (CAWQ) to IWA Publishing and the journal has certainly been faring well since, with a significant increase in impact factor and a growing number of submissions. This reflects its more global appeal, obtained thanks to IWA Publishing's international reach.

Transferring the publication to IWA Publishing had exactly that intent: attracting more international submissions and reaching a more global audience. And it has worked! Still, perhaps some potential authors and readers thought that our journal – given its name – was only publishing research from and for Canadian researchers. Also, up to 2014 the journal's scope included a statement that reinforced this notion: ‘Articles from outside of Canada are welcome provided that they are of interest to the Canadian water quality research community.’ This was, of course, a leftover of the journal's earlier vocation to serve CAWQ's membership.

In 2014, when the new Editors-in-Chief took office, one of the first decisions taken was to remove this sentence from the journal's scope, thus no longer rejecting papers upfront that were less relevant to a Canadian audience. The next, and final, step in this move towards a truly international journal is a very symbolic one: changing the journal's name to Water Quality Research Journal, dropping the reference to Canada. Well, we will keep some reference as we have agreed to retain the Canadian maple leaf on the journal's cover, a reminder of its 50 years history: Indeed, the journal was initiated in 1966 as mimeographed copies of the proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Water Pollution Research, the start of an annual Canadian conference. The name changed to Water Pollution Research Journal of Canada (WPRJC) in 1980 and as IAWPRC morphed into IAWQ it followed suit in 1995, becoming the WQRJC.

We consider that now the Water Quality Research Journal can start playing its true role within IWA Publishing's journal portfolio. It should no longer be considered a regional journal, but an international journal with global reach. How does WQRJ fit into IWAP's portfolio? For that, we would like to remind you of the journal's scope, which was revised 2 years ago:

  • Impact of current and emerging contaminants on aquatic ecosystems

  • Aquatic ecology (ecohydrology and ecohydraulics, invasive species, biodiversity, and aquatic species at risk)

  • Conservation and protection of aquatic environments

  • Responsible resource development and water quality (mining, forestry, hydropower, oil and gas)

  • Drinking water, wastewater and stormwater treatment technologies and strategies

  • Impacts and solutions of diffuse pollution (urban and agricultural run-off) on water quality

  • Industrial water quality

  • Used water: Reuse and resource recovery

  • Groundwater quality (management, remediation, fracking, legacy contaminants)

  • Assessment of surface and subsurface water quality

  • Regulations, economics, strategies and policies related to water quality

  • Social science issues in relation to water quality

  • Water quality in remote areas

  • Water quality in cold climates

While a number of classic topics in IWAP's journal themes resurface in the above list, our journal is especially open to the broader context of water quality in surface and groundwaters, non-urban waters such as water in forests, and mining and power generation areas. We want to be a true outlet for papers dealing with aquatic environments, ecology, and biodiversity, and the social science aspects of water that are receiving increasing attention since they interact so much with all other aspects of water issues.

We look forward to your submissions!

Peter A. Vanrolleghem and Ron L. Droste

Editors-in-Chief of Water Quality Research Journal