The world is not standing still, and so knowledge is spreading. The WWDR on  NBS gives a good overview of the current knowledge that is available on NBS. The case-studies shown here in this collection give much information on how it can be done. But to really know how to start applying all this knowledge, we need to be educated. Below we highlight some of the international (and often online) courses we are aware of. Perhaps they can be of use for you.

  • Webinar | Building nature-based, resilient water systems: Catalysing the role of Water Regulators | The International Water Association & The Nature Conservancy: This webinar is part of a series of webinars, and will present an overview of targeted benefits and constraints among regulators for implementing nature-based solutions for water management as basis for resilient and sustainable universal access to water and sanitation for all. More info here.
  • MOOC | Engineering | Building With Nature @ TU Delft: You’ll learn from leading Dutch engineers and environmental scientists who see the Building with Nature integrated design approach as fundamental to a new generation of engineers and ecologists. More info here.
  • Summer Course | Nature Based Solutions in Water Management @ IHE Delft Institute for Water Education: Get introduced to the basic design and operation principles of Nature Based Solutions and apply these principles in a concrete context (e.g. related to your home country). More info here.

The goal is that all case-studies in this collection can learn us something or give information about evidence of impact, enabling environment and the gains of NBS above grey solutions. Case-studies will elaborate on one or more of the following:

  1. What is the water management problem that you tackle with your case?
  2. What is your solution to this problem and how did it came to be?
    1. Nature-based solutions for flood risk management need to be tested, designed, and evaluated using quantitative criteria. [Principle 3: Standardized performance evaluation. Implementing nature-based flood protection I Principles and implementation guidance]
  3. Why is your solution a Nature Based Solution?
    1. Nature-based solutions for flood risk management should make use of existing ecosystems, native species, and comply with basic principles of ecological restoration and conservation. [Principle 4: Integration with ecosystem conservation and restoration. Implementing nature-based flood protection I Principles and implementation guidance]
    2. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are inspired and supported by nature and use, or mimic, natural processes to cost effectively contribute to the improved management of water. The defining feature of a NBS is, therefore, not whether an ecosystem being used is “natural” but whether natural processes are being proactively managed to achieve a water-related objective. A NBS uses ecosystem services to contribute to a water management outcome. A NBS can involve conserving or rehabilitating natural ecosystems and/or the enhancement or creation of natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems. They can be applied at micro- or macro- scales. [WWDR2018]
  4. What is the gain of your solution above so-called grey solutions? Why is it better to solve the local water problem with a nature-based solution? Improving water management productivity, aesthetics, other co-benefits, etc.?
    1. A thorough assessment of risks and benefits of the full range of possible measures should be conducted, covering risk reduction benefits as well as social and environmental effects. [Principle 2: Risk and benefit assessment of full range of solutions. Implementing nature-based flood protection I Principles and implementation guidance]
  5. What hydrological and socio-economic evidence did your case-study provide that the current and/or projected impacts have or will be established?
    1. NBS will need a strengthened science and knowledge base to support their accelerated uptake. But perhaps more importantly there is a need to identify common criteria and indicators against which both green and grey solutions can be equitably assessed. [WWDR2018]
    2. Addressing nature-based solutions for climate change. Adaptation or disaster risk reduction should start with a system-wide analysis of the local socio-economic, environmental, and institutional conditions. [Principle 1: System-scale perspective. Implementing nature-based flood protection I Principles and implementation guidance]
  6. Why is this case a sustainable solution for the system – in other words: How does your case study add to the implementation of the SDGs and to water management as a benefit for people, ecosystems and values to the rest of the system as a whole.
    1. NBS embody the three basic principles of implementing the SDGs: indivisibility–one goal cannot be achieved at the expense of any others; inclusion–leave no one behind; and, acceleration–by focusing on actions that have multiple development dividends. [WWDR2018]
    2. There is the need for a much improved systems approach to water resources management. Traditional perspectives are that water is a linear problem (upstream-downstream) and largely to do with managing surface and groundwater demand and principally for direct human use. Trade-offs with ecosystems are recognised but secondary to water for people. Water is managed for a sub-set of its values, not its delivery of maximum system wide benefits. [WWDR2018]
  7. What was the enabling environment (policy makers, governance, financers, and other stakeholders) that enabled and possibly improved possibilities to implement and manage the NBS? What were (if any) the bottle necks? And how is the return of investment (financial close) compared to financers?Are NBS challenging to implement, and why, or is the business case for their deployment not made well enough or just delusional?
    1. On-going investment in water is still overwhelmingly dominated by grey infrastructure approaches. An opportunity, therefore, is to transform investments so that NBS can fully contribute to efficiency gains, including maximising co-benefits and potential system wide improvements. The core issue, therefore, is the enabling environment for further uptake of NBS. Where NBS are considered fully and objectively, alongside alternatives using common criteria, under a system wide approach to water resources policy, there is confidence they can meet their full and significant potential. [WWDR2018]
    2. Nature-based solutions for flood risk management need adaptive management based on long-term monitoring. This ensures their sustainable performance. [Principle 5: Adaptive management. Implementing nature-based flood protection I Principles and implementation guidance]