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Published on: 14/03/2018

Nature-based solutions for water. Illustration for World Water Development Report 2018

In line with this year’s World Water Day 2018 theme ‘Nature for Water’, Andy Narracott speaks to IRC’s CEO Patrick Moriarty in episode 13 of WASH Talk about using green infrastructure to effectively manage and conserve water resources.

As water supplies come under increasing pressure from both human and climate-related stresses, we are reaching the limits of our existing concrete-based “grey” water infrastructure. Green infrastructure proposes to instead use holistic nature-based solutions to craft systems that not only work to restore ecosystems, but compliment and provide relief to water infrastructure in a cost-effective manner. Some of these solutions include upland forestry restoration to reduce flooding or permeable pavements to absorb runoff and recharge aquifers.

In order for both green and grey infrastructures to work together, more management responsibilities are required. You cannot just let green infrastructure take over. Management is key in integrated water resource management (IWRM) as well as governance. Also politics play a major role since decisions are needed that effect society at large. Especially because the water demand will always be greater than the available resources.

The EMPOWERS project developed useful tools around inclusive governance and political decision making, to help with making choices. Watershed – empowering citizens is helping non-governmental (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) to engage in decision making processes.

What role will green infrastructure have in the future and what types of challenges impede its application? Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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