River Basins

Collaboration in a river basin is needed to share increasingly scarce resources, manage water related risks emerging from various land uses and prevent flooding by linking upstream and downstream activities. Upstream areas need to ensure spatial planning that is mitigating floods for downstream areas. For example, various land uses can be adjusted to be storing, infiltrating or slowing down flows. Retrofitting is also possible, but it is better to prevent damage.  Working out strategic approaches for assessments and dialogue in a river basin between different land uses and interests and stakes in drought and flood mitigation is critical.

Policy integration

To address droughts and flood management in river basins effectively, more concerted efforts are needed to integrate Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and climate adaptation.

Data collecting and sharing builds solid evidence of the significant cost savings and benefits that can arise from addressing risks that originate upstream investing in good IWRM including Nature Based Solutions. If all risks cannot be mitigated, DRR actions such as preparedness, response and recovery including risk transfer mechanisms, such as insurance, will be necessary for governments and for individuals to help them deal with flood risk.

Financing

Investing too heavily in flood protection or DRR downstream, when the problem is being created upstream, is not cost effective. It also is a lost opportunity of providing resilience for communities benefiting from IWRM and Nature Based Solutions for their livelihoods. Such insights are also evident at an urban scale, where assessing and mitigating risks from urban development in urban catchments is essential.

Benefit sharing needs to be worked out to make sure that those investing in such measures also get compensated in a timely way when the investments are being made.

Contribute!

We are looking for your stories, good practices and cases on good river basin management, please submit them here or get in contact with the WAC facilitator.

Articles

Flooding in Limburg DutchNews.nl
Article

Limburg Water Authority approach - water in balance

The Water Authority Limburg in the South of The Netherlands, has adopted an approach to deal with floods and drought. 

Read Article
Slovak landscape
Article

Water in the Landscape - climate change and dewatering

The draining and removal of water in the landscape has dramatic effects the warming of the earth, and extreme events and biodiversity. In this video, Slovak experts tell their story.

Read Article
A flooded town

Landscapes

Cape Town was near day zero in 2018. The drought that threatened to turn off the taps in Cape Town was made three times more likely by global warming, according to a study. Credit picture perfect istock.
Landing Page

Urban Resilience

Disasters, climate change, and rapid urbanization pose a serious risk to the provision of urban water services including safe drinking water, sanitation, and safe drainage.

Read more
The Lena Delta Reserve seen from a satellite
Landing Page

Deltas

Water defines and enables human development. Ecosystems and economies depend on water.  The impact of climate change will be most acutely expressed through water.  Deltas are particularly vulnerable to water-related climate risks.

Read more
Man in the sea in Bangladesh, istock photo, Credits: Mudassir Hossain
Landing Page

Coastal Areas

Human societies will need to adapt to sea level rise, which means flooding, increasing risk of storm surges, coastal erosion and the loss of low-lying coastal systems.

Read more
Shacks in a slum area along a small polluted canal. Manila, Philippines
Landing Page

City Slums

Inhabitants of city slums are at extreme risk to climate change. Slums grow at a rapid pace because of in-migration of people from disaster prone areas, and growing poverty in rural areas and more opportunities in urban areas.

Read more
A desert plain with three trees and amountain
Landing Page

Drylands

Drylands are defined by a scarcity of water, and cover more than 40% of the earth surface. Drylands are present in more than 100 countries and home to over 2 billion people.

Read more

Cross Cutting

Eifel, Elz valley, flood disaster, July 15th 2021. Europe is highly urbanised and has too few natural buffers that can infiltrate extreme amounts of heavy rainfall. Markus Volk. istock.
Landing Page

Nature based solutions

Nature based solutions work with and enhance nature to restore and protect ecosystems and to help society adapt to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation calls for the increased use of nature based solutions with multiple benefits which at the same time provides for livelihoods, ecosystem life support and community resilience.

Read more