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 from many different actors such as farmers, environmental NGOs, spatial planners in municipalities and many other actors managing land and water. 

Data collecting and sharing, builds solid evidence of the significant cost savings and benefits available from addressing systemic risks at a landscape scale. Currently, too much attention is directed to responding to disasters and too little attention to reduce the risks where they develop and prevent them. For the risks that cannot be prevented, society will have to put in place preparedness, response and recovery including risk transfer mechanisms, such as insurance.

Financing

Better financial tools and policies are needed to encourage investments in measures that retain water to mitigate drought and reduce flood risk. This also needs to address a broad range of issues at a landscape level and the upstream downstream dynamics, where investments upstream are needed to reduce risks downstream. These investments also need to be addressing inequalities and providing resilience for communities livelihoods. 

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.

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