figure a

I am writing this column in early May, which in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania means that Spring has finally arrived. And at least in this portion of the world, things are good. I sincerely hope that you can say the same, wherever you are.

First, I want to give you some news about our journal. Suddenly this year, we have seen a substantial downturn in submissions. We are still seeing almost the same number of manuscripts arriving from China, but very few coming in from elsewhere in the world. We don’t know how much we should be concerned, but I’d appreciate hearing from more of you about how we should deal with this. Please send me an email and let me know how things are looking from where you sit. Is this just a temporary downturn, possibly associated with the pandemic? Does it reflect a shifting of interest away from mine water issues, or is there something else going on? We would definitely like to hear from you regarding possible ways to address this issue. All ideas are welcome!

Also with respect to this journal, I am pleased to announce that Anne Weber’s title is now Vice-Editor-in-Chief. I had actually wanted to make us both co-Editors-in-Chief, since she has gradually taken on half of my workload, but that was not possible without changing IMWA’s by-laws. Please take a moment to congratulate Anne on her new role.

I hope you are planning to attend and participate in our upcoming IMWA conference, November 6–10, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ann (my wife) and I are very much looking forward to seeing all of you there, and to doing some sightseeing before and after the conference. It has been too long since we were all able to assemble! We trust there won’t be another wave of Covid between now and then to disrupt the organizers’ efforts. Please do not let that hold you back; instead, buy travel insurance. For more up-to-date information, e.g. on the conference program, please go to: www.IMWA2022.info.

Finally, I think it would be cavalier of me not to mention the invasion of Ukraine, which is still dominating the evening news every night. It would be nice to think that the war will have ended by the time you read this, but that certainly does not seem likely. I know that many of our members in Poland and Germany and elsewhere are doing all that they can to help the refugees fleeing from the horrors of the war, while many of the rest of us are donating to charities supporting such efforts. A couple of you have asked if we are going to take any actions in response to the invasion, such as preventing our Russian members from receiving this journal or from being published in it. The answer is no. IMWA was formed during the height of the Cold War, with the specific goal of reaching across that “Iron Curtain” and joining together to learn from each other. I recognize that the current situation is much worse than that Cold War era, in terms of deaths, destruction, and sheer brutality. But our battle is still with mine water, not with each other. It was only a few years ago that many of us were so warmly welcomed to IMWA’s annual meeting in Perm, Russia. I cannot stress this too strongly – IMWA and this journal exist to unite all of us involved with the various challenges of mine water. Nothing we do or say will influence those who are making barbaric decisions. All we can do is to work together, as reasonable people, to make the world a better place – IMWA and this journal is one way we do that.

Best Regards,

figure b

Editor-in-Chief, editor@MWEN.info