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Nature-based solutions for upstream catchments and small streams (1/4) (IAHR_1_S1.1)

“Real-life stories on Nature based solutions for catchment management related to floods and droughts”

Convenors: Ellis Penning (Deltares) and Catherine Wilson (Cardiff University)


The impacts of recent extreme weather events have identified a need for a greater understanding of water management in catchments for the effective passage and slowing down of flood flows, as well as conserving water during prolonged dry weather periods. The scale of water storage required across a catchment to provide flood risk reduction and water resource enhancement can be estimated from existing scientific and engineering tools and methods. However, the water storage and flow attenuation potential of many Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are yet to be fully quantified at the catchment scale, and for a range of return periods in either flood or drought management. This is crucial to building resilience into existing catchments for present and future weather scenarios, as well as upscaling NbS practice in Flood Risk and Drought management.

Session Topics

This session will cover real-life case studies and proposed initiatives for the holistic NbS management of water for flooding and droughts from projects around the world. These talks will link scientific understanding with practical experience. The talks will cover various aspects around understanding how NbS is used in the management of flooding and droughts at stream and catchment scales. It focuses on: i) ‘on the ground’ and ‘hands-on’ practical experience of NbS techniques and challenges to implementation; ii) the key evidence needed to unlock funding; iii) aspects of NbS infrastructure maintenance; and iv) legal responsibilities. The talks will encompass why initiatives and practices became successful and/or why did initiatives never come to fruition, and how NbS schemes and approaches have evolved over time.