Going back to nature to address water crises: World Water Development Report 2018
Several countries have already benefited greatly from using these approaches for water management.
ALSO READ: 70 more water towers listed, to be protected As this year’s World Water Development Report makes clear, nature-based solutions offer answers to our most pressing water-related challenges and are also directly aligned with both the principles and aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
An estimated 3.6 billion people (51 per cent of the global population) now live in areas that could face water scarcity for at least one month per year, and that number could increase to 4.8–5.7 billion by 2050.
The effects of environmental pollution on African rivers from the Nile to the Mhlathuze in South Africa are poorly understood.
Global economic losses from floods and droughts have now surpassed US$40 billion per year across all economic sectors.
Projected losses due to floods, droughts and storms are estimated to increase to US$200–400 billion by 2030.
They address overall water scarcity through “supply-side management,” and are recognised as the main solution for achieving sustainable water for agriculture.
Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment can also be a cost-effective nature-based solution that provides effluent of adequate quality for several non-potable uses, including irrigation, as well as offering additional benefits including energy production.
Nature-based solutions are crucial to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG6 (Water), SDG13 (Climate Change), SDG14 (Oceans), SDG2 (Zero hunger) and SDG15 (Ecosystems).
Adopting them will, of course, not only improve water management and achieve water security, it will deliver on the tremendous promise of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.