Project

NATWIP - NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE PERIURBAN: LINKING ECOLOGICAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS

Goal: NATWIP will contribute to closing the water cycle gap by exploring the potential that NBS offer to address water management challenges in landscape areas that have been neglected because they lie in the transition zones between the urban and the rural, commonly referred to as peri-urban areas. The overall purpose is to exchange learning experiences among the partnership and promote the debate between science and society in order to increase awareness among practitioners and users on the application of NBS to manage different hydrological challenges such as water scarcity, pollution, and risks related to extreme events like flood and drought.

Date: 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2022

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Project log

Nandita Singh
added an update
We've published a Handbook that aims to provide guidance on nature-based solutions for supporting water sustainability in peri-urban areas. The reader is presented with an innovative, holistic and operational framework that has been developed through transdisciplinary processes. The reader is further provided detailed guidelines about how to use the framework for a more holistic framing of nature-based solutions for water in peri-urban and even other contexts. The framework may be used for designing, implementing, as well as monitoring and evaluation purposes. The Handbook targets practitioners, researchers or anyone else who shares an interest in designing and implementing nature-based solutions for water.
 
Nandita Singh
added a research item
Recent efforts to achieve social, economic, and environmental goals related to sustainability emphasize the importance of nature-based solutions (NBS), as grey infrastructure alone is insufficient to address current challenges. The majority of frameworks proposed in the literature fail to address the full potential of NBS, neglecting long-term results, unintended consequences, co-benefits, and their contribution to achieving global environmental agreements, such as the Agenda 2030, especially for water management in a peri-urban context. Here we present an innovative framework that can be applied to both NBS project planning and evaluation for several water-based challenges, giving practitioners and researchers a tool not only to evaluate ongoing projects but also to guide new ones. The framework considers three main stages of a NBS project: (1) context assessment, (2) NBS implementation and adaptation process, and (3) NBS results. This tool has the potential to be used to evaluate whether NBS projects are aligned with sustainability dimensions through a set of adaptable sustainability indicators. The framework can also highlight how the NBS targets are related to the sustainable development goals (SGDs) and contribute to catalyzing the 2030 Agenda. The framework is an important tool for water management and other NBS types.
Nandita Singh
added an update
In this transnational project, nine interesting cases of nature-based solutions (NBS) for water management in the periurban were studied in the global North as well as the global South. These cases were located in Brazil, India, Norway, Southafrica, Spain, and Sweden. The case studies examined the sustainability of the NBS in question, considering questions of water quality as well as water quantity, applying an assessment framework that was earlier developed within the project. This assessment framework integrates all the three dimensions of sustainability, namely, environmental, social and economic. Each case study offers different but interesting lessons.
A "Case Study Brief" outlining the main findings of each study has been recently published on the project's website.
Read more on www.natwip.solutions
 
Nandita Singh
added an update
In this transnational project, nine interesting cases of nature-based solutions (NBS) for water management in the periurban were studied in the global North as well as the global South. These cases were located in Brazil, India, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. The case studies examined the sustainability of the NBS in question, considering questions of water quality as well as water quantity, applying an assessment framework that was earlier developed within the project. This assessment framework integrates all the three dimensions of sustainability, namely, environmental, social and economic. Each case study offers different but interesting lessons.
A "Case Study Brief" outlining the main findings of each study has been recently published on the project's website.
Read the Briefs on www.natwip.solutions
 
Nandita Singh
added an update
In this transnational project, nine interesting cases of nature-based solutions (NBS) for water management in the periurban were studied in the Global North as well as the Global South. These cases were located in Brazil, India, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. The case studies examined the sustainability of the NBS in question, considering questions of water quality as well as water quantity, applying an assessment framework that was earlier developed within the project. This assessment framework integrates all the three dimensions of sustainability, namely, environmental, social and economic. Each case study offers different but interesting lessons.
A "Case Study Brief" outlining the main findings of each study has been recently published on the project's website.
Read about the case studies on www.natwip.solutions or download the Briefs here.
 
Nandita Singh
added an update
Authors: Nicola S. du Plessis , Alanna J. Rebelo , David M. Richardson , Karen J. Esler
Research Article in: Ambio, December 2021
ABSTRACT:
Restoring riparian ecosystems in human-dominated landscapes requires attention to complexity, and consideration of diverse drivers, social actors, and contexts. Addressing a Global North bias, this case study uses a mixed-method approach, integrating historical data, remote sensing techniques and stakeholder perceptions to guide restoration of a river in the Western Cape, South Africa. An analysis of aerial photographs of the riparian zone from 1953 to 2016 revealed that although anthropogenic land conversion happened primarily before the 1950s, several land use and land cover classes showedmarked increases in area, including: waterbodies (+ 1074%), urban areas (+ 316%), alien weeds (+ 311%) and terrestrial alien trees (+ 79%). These changes have likely been driven by land fragmentation, disturbance, and agricultural intensification. Stakeholder interviews revealed that despite the clear need for restoration, several barriers exist to successful implementation; these stem from inadequate financial resources, inappropriate funding models, institutional challenges, and a lack of techno-scientific knowledge. We give several recommendations to overcome these barriers.
 
Nandita Singh
added an update
NATWIP organized a session titled "NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR WATER SUSTAINABILITY: THE PERI-URBAN CHALLENGE" at the prestigious forum "World Water Week" on August 25, 2021. This event showcased our interesting project findings.
For all those who missed the session at the conference, but are interested in learning from the session, a recording is now available on YouTube. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/HdyTFeF9Qw0
 
Andrea Ramirez-Agudelo
added a research item
Urban water management has recently been questioned because of the fragmented nature of the urban water system and its linear model. The integration and management of water systems are currently recognized as a socio-technical challenge that must be addressed for a more sustainable urban water management. In the short term, a key factor for its transition will be integration of alternative practices that allow for experimentation, learning, and scaling up. This study aims to identify potential shifts supported by two alternative practices for water reuse: nature-based solutions and water reuse technologies, using circular economy principles as analytical categories. The research uses a case study, the Besòs river of the Barcelona metropolitan area, to show that: i) improving biodiversity and water quality helps to regenerate natural capital; ii) water reuse for streamflow augmentation keeps resources in use and promotes synergies, which benefits social livability; and iii) risk management and a potential fit-to-purpose strategy can marginally help to avoid waste externalities. This research has shown that the CE principles are applicable as a framework for identifying the interconnected shifts promoted by water systems. A reflexive understanding of the alternative practices provides deeper insight into the experiences, barriers, and shifts that allow innovative interactions in specific urban contexts and can deliver additional benefits for society. This knowledge can be useful for integrated urban management; however, further integration of cross-sectoral collaboration and flexibility are required.
Nandita Singh
added an update
NATWIP is organizing an online session with the above title at the prestigious forum World Water Week 2021 on AUGUST 25, 7 pm (CEST). Here perspectives and learnings on naturebasedsolutions (NBS) for water management in the periurban will be discussed - How to address peri-urban water challenges sustainably? How to ensure that Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) implemented for addressing these challenges are sustainable? How to promote NBS for sustainable uptake?
The interesting results of our international research project NATWIP will be presented. We will present an innovative tool - the NATWIP framework - that can be applied globally for developing, evaluating and sustaining nature-based solutions (NBS) in the peri-urban. We'll also share the results of its application to NBS case studies in countries across Global North and South.
Join the session and learn more !
The session is co-convened by the Water Center for Innovation (#UtvecklingscentrumförVatten-UCV) – a Water Europe “Living Lab” in Sweden. From them you can learn about how to promote aquaponics as an innovative NBS for sustainable peri-urban food production.
For joining the session, registration at the World Water Week is essential. This can be done at: https://www.worldwaterweek.org/tickets . Choose the first ticket option: "Registration Only-Limited Access" for free registration. Once you have registered, you will receive a personalized link to access the Conference's Digital Platform 'Pathable', from where you can attend this session and also many others of your choice. Please register in advance to gain access well in time!
 
Nandita Singh
added an update
NATWIP is organizing an online session with the above title at the World Water Week 2021 on AUGUST 25, 7 pm (CEST). Here perspectives and learnings on nature-based solutions (NBS) for water management in the peri-urban will be discussed - how they help close the water cycle gap and boost urban water resilience. The project results will be shared, including the "NATWIP assessment framework" which is a practical tool for assessing the sustainability of NBS. Also, NBS case studies from the Global North and Global South will be presented.
Join the session and learn more about our NATWIP project!
The session is co-convened by the Water Center for Innovation (Utvecklings centrum för Vatten-UCV) – a Water Europe “Living Lab” in Sweden. From them you can learn about their Aquaponics project -a highly water-saving peri-urban agricultural mode.
We'll shortly post detailed instructions about how you can join the session on the WWW digital platform. Please check back!
 
Andrea Ramirez-Agudelo
added a research item
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are defined by the European Commission as "actions that are inspired by, supported by, or copied from nature..." and that solve societal challenges and multiple benefits. As a result, NBS are often promoted as alternative responses that solve complex societal challenges such as watershed management, while delivering a systemic approach of multiple benefits for well-being, human health, and sustainable use of resources. Despite rising interest in NBS, further identification of experiences implementing NBS could advance our understanding of the operationalization of this comprehensive concept. For this purpose, we analyzed 35 peer-reviewed articles on implementation experiences of NBS for water management in peri-urban areas, on aspects related to (i) NBS problem-solution: water challenges, ecosystem services, scales, and types; (ii) NBS governance and management. From the insights of the analysis, this paper asks what lessons are learned, and which barriers are identified, from implementing NBS for water management in peri-urban areas? As a result, this study presents a detailed analysis of each aspect. We conclude by highlighting accountancy, monitoring, and communication as potential success factors for integration and development while diminishing the overall barrier of complexity, which leads to technical, institutional, economic, and social uncertainty.
Nandita Singh
added an update
In project NATWIP, a review paper examining NBS for water management in the Peri-Urban has been recently published in journal Sustainability. The review is based on 35 peer-reviewed articles on implementation experiences of NBS for water management in peri-urban areas, on aspects related to (i) NBS problem–solution: water challenges, ecosystem services, scales, and types; (ii) NBS governance and management. The review concludes that accountancy, monitoring, and communication are potential success factors that can promote integration and development of NBS while diminishing the overall barrier of complexity, which otherwise leads to technical, institutional, economic, and social uncertainty. The paper is co-authored by Nancy Andrea Ramírez-Agudelo, Roger Porcar Anento, Miriam Villares and Elisabet Roca.
 
Nandita Singh
added a project goal
NATWIP will contribute to closing the water cycle gap by exploring the potential that NBS offer to address water management challenges in landscape areas that have been neglected because they lie in the transition zones between the urban and the rural, commonly referred to as peri-urban areas. The overall purpose is to exchange learning experiences among the partnership and promote the debate between science and society in order to increase awareness among practitioners and users on the application of NBS to manage different hydrological challenges such as water scarcity, pollution, and risks related to extreme events like flood and drought.