Access our Journal and become
part of the IWHA community



IWHA goes to South Africa in 2021

The IWHA Executive is pleased to announce that the 2021 meeting of the International Water History Association will be hosted by Stellenbosch University's Water Institute (SUWI).  The theme of the conference is, "Water’s ‘Day Zero’ alerts and responses: Pasts, presents and futures," and the meeting is scheduled for 29 June to 2 July 2021.

The local organising committee is comprised of Prof. Wessel Visser (History), Dr. Willem de Clercq (SUWI), and Prof. Johann Tempelhoff (North West University). They write:

In light of Cape Town’s recent three year drought, prolonging drought in the north-western interior of South Africa and rising temperatures due to climate change, it became imperative to specifically focus the attention of international water research also on the drier regions of the globe and Southern Africa in particular. Hitherto, the IWHA’s conference papers predominantly focussed on water issues in the northern hemisphere. After Cape Town’s near-missed “Day Zero” scenario, where the city’s water mains were on the brink of literary running dry, the idea was contemplated by the local organising committee to host an international conference where the focus will be on actual water crises in those parts of the globe where the threat of desiccation is quite imminent. Therefore it was decided that the conference theme should be “Water’s ‘Day Zero’ alerts and responses: Pasts, presents and futures”. Due to the importance of this conference in the light of the serious deteriorating world climate scenario, the Stellenbosch conference shall not pertain to academics in the social sciences alone, but on the widest field possible of researchers and scientists including hydraulic engineers and natural scientists engaged in the water sector.

The local organising committee was professionally assisted in their bid by INNOVUS and Wesgrow, the official Tourism, Trade & Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.  

For more information about this Water History Conference, please contact your IWHA Executive

Water History in Delft, June 24-26 2020

Long-time friend of the IWHA, Dr. Maurits Ertsen, is hosting a Delft Water History conference with the Water Resources Group at Delft University of Technology.

The 2020 Delft Water History meeting in the Netherlands will be a unique opportunity to exchange existing and develop new insights on the history of our most precious resources. The conference is hosted by the Water Resources Group at Delft University of Technology.

For questions, please feel free to approach Maurits Ertsen at

Abstracts and sessions

Details will follow, but proposals for individual papers and complete sessions are most welcome. As always, the conference does not predefine topics for abstracts and sessions, as long as the subjects are related to water (are “wet”) and historical/archaeological (are “old”).

Rough time schedule