Nature-Based Solutions and Water Security

Nature-Based Solutions and Water Security

An Action Agenda for the 21st Century

1st Edition - July 22, 2021

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  • Editors: Jan Cassin, John Matthews, Elena Gunn
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128198711
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128198988

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Nature-Based Solutions and Water Security: An Action Agenda for the 21st Century presents an action agenda for natural infrastructure on topics of standards and principles, technical evaluation and design tools, capacity building and innovative finance. Chapters introduce the topic and concepts of natural infrastructure, or nature-based solutions (NBS) and water security, with important background on the urgency of the global water crisis and the role that NBS can, and should play, in addressing this crisis. Sections also present the community of practice’s collective thinking on a prioritized action agenda to guide more rapid progress in mainstreaming NBS. With contributions from global authors, including key individuals and organizations active in developing NBS solutions, users will also find important conclusions and recommendations, thus presenting a collaboratively developed, consensus roadmap to scaling NBS.

Key Features

  • Covers all issues of water security and natural infrastructures
  • Presents a comprehensive state of synthesis, providing readers with a solid grounding in the field of natural infrastructures and water security
  • Includes a fully workable and intuitive roadmap for action that is presented as a guide to the most important actions for practitioners, research questions for academics, and information on promising careers for students entering the field


Water resource managers Conservation / environment focused NGOs; engineering schools; natural resources schools; government agencies that manage water resources/set utility rates; water-dependent businesses interested in engaging in collective watershed actions to manage their water risks; municipal leaders concerned with the resilience of their infrastructure systems. As a reference manual, resource guide, and/or roadmap for action

Table of Contents

  • Section 1: Introduction to nature-based solutions and water security
    1. Setting the scene: Nature-based solutions and water security
    Jan Cassin and John H. Matthews
    2. History and development of nature-based solutions: Concepts and practice
    Jan Cassin

    Section 2: State of science and knowledge
    3. Addressing water security through nature-based solutions
    Kari Vigerstol, Robin Abell, Kate Brauman, Wouter Buytaert, and Adrian Vogl
    4. Nature-based solutions, water security and climate change: Issues and opportunities
    Jan Cassin and John H. Matthews
    5. Nature-based solutions, sustainable development, and equity
    Leah L. Bremer, Bonnie Keeler, Puaʻala Pascua, Rebecca Walker, and Eleanor Sterling

    Section 3: State of policy and governance
    6. Why governments embrace nature-based solutions: The policy rationale
    Kathleen Dominique, Nathanial Matthews, Lisa Danielson, and John H. Matthews
    7. Nature-based solutions in international policy instruments
    Ingrid Timboe and Kathryn Pharr
    8. Legible rivers, resilient rivers: Lessons for climate adaptation policy from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
    Denielle M. Perry

    Section 4: Nature-based solutions in action
    9. Nature-based solutions for source water protection in North America
    Jan Cassin
    10. Protecting source waters in Latin America
    Marta Echavarria, Jan Cassin, and Jose Bento da Rocha
    11. Mobilizing funding for nature-based solutions: Peru’s drinking water tariff
    Cheyenne Coxon, Gena Gammie, and Jan Cassin
    12. Urban blue spaces, health, and well-being
    Paula Vandergert, Pauline Georgiou, Lisa Peachey, and Sam Jelliman
    13. Learning from indigenous and local knowledge: The deep history of nature-based solutions
    Jan Cassin and Boris F. Ochoa-Tocachi
    14. Nature-based solutions and corporate water stewardship
    Naabia Ofosu-Amaah, Robin Abell, Jehanne Fabre, Paul Fleming, Michael Matosich, Jason Morrison, and Tara Varghese
    15. Funding and financing to scale nature-based solutions for water security
    Sophie Trémolet, Brooke Atwell, Kathleen Dominique, Nathanial Matthews, Michael Becker, and Raul Muñoz

    Section 5: Moving to scale: What is needed
    16. Mainstreaming nature-based solutions through insurance: The five “hats” of the insurance sector
    Elena Lopez-Gunn, Monica A. Altamirano, Mia Ebeltoft, Nina Graveline, Roxane Marchal, David Moncoulon, Beatriz Mayor, Florentina Nanu, Nora Van Cauwenbergh, Peter van der Keur, Josh Weinberg, Pedro Zorrilla Miras, and Jan Cassin
    17. Operationalizing NBS in low- and middle-income countries: Redefining and “greening” project development
    Alex Mauroner, Nureen F. Anisha, Ernesto Dela Cruz, Eugenio Barrios, and Sujith Sourab Guntoju
    18. Nature-based solutions: Action for the 21st century
    Jan Cassin, John H. Matthews, Elena Lopez-Gunn, Leah L. Bremer, Cheyenne Coxon, Kathleen Dominique, Marta Echavarria, Gena Gammie, Roxane Marchal, Alex Mauroner, Naabia Ofosu-Amaah, Denielle M. Perry, Eleanor Sterling, Ingrid Timboe, Paula Vandergert, Kari Vigerstol, and Sophie Trémolet

Product details

  • No. of pages: 496
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2021
  • Published: July 22, 2021
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128198711
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128198988

About the Editors

Jan Cassin

Jan Cassin. Jan is Director of Forest Trends’ Water Initiative, where she leads the organization’s work on scaling nature-based solutions for sustainable water management. An ecologist with expertise in terrestrial and freshwater systems, her career has emphasized applied research and practice in a wide range of water resource management issues – including integrated watershed management; wetland, stream, and floodplain restoration; green infrastructure design and assessment; ecosystem services quantification; and innovative financial mechanisms such as wetland banking and investments in watershed services (IWS). Jan recently led an international team in developing natural or green infrastructure water projects through investments in watershed services in 6 counties, including facilitating a global community of practice, implementing demonstration projects, and developing new information and tools to support natural infrastructure for water management. She regularly is invited to present at international water conferences and has authored several articles on natural infrastructure, water security, and climate adaptation. Prior to joining Forest Trends, Jan received her Doctorate at the University of Michigan, and has worked as an environmental and water resources consultant, as a researcher at MIT, a biologist for The Nature Conservancy, and a firefighter for the US Forest Service.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Forest Trends’ Water Initiative, USA

John Matthews

John Matthews coordinates the Secretariat for the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), which is hosted by the World Bank and SIWI and supported by groups such as the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Dutch Infrastructure and Environment Ministry, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, among others. His work integrates climate change adaptation policy and science into sustainable natural resource management, infrastructure operations, and economic development. John has worked on five continents and some twenty-five countries. He has authored or co-authored recent books, papers, and reports on decision-making frameworks for adapting water infrastructure and ecosystems to climate impacts, resilient approaches to environmental flows, integrating ecological and engineering approaches to robust water management, and using new economic tools to support long-term sustainable planning. John has been asked by numerous NGOs, development banks, government ministries, companies, and aid agencies to provide advice and support on freshwater climate change and development issues. He is a Senior Water Fellow at Colorado State University and Courtesy Faculty at Oregon State University. Previously, John directed the global WWF freshwater climate adaptation program and the Freshwater Climate Change program at Conservation International for four years each. He has PhD in ecology from the University of Texas and held a postdoctoral research position in conservation biology with the US Geological Survey.

Affiliations and Expertise

Coordinates the Secretariat, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), USA

Elena Gunn

Elena Lopez Gunn. Elena is the Founder and Director of ICATALIST where her role is focused on the strategic development of projects, vision of the future and innovation. She manages an interdisciplinary team to implement projects, as well as leads the development of products and services based on innovation. Her areas of focus include natural or green infrastructure, water resources management, and climate adaptation. Elena is scientific coordinator for the H2020 Naiad project on the insurance value of ecosystems for water risks. She is also a Visiting Fellow at University of Leeds, part of the water@leeds in the United Kingdom. Elena finished her PhD at King's College, London, and holds a Master’s in Development and Environment from the University of Cambridge, and a Master’s in Investigative Journalism, Data Management and visualization from the University Juan Carlos I with “El Mundo” newspaper. Professionally, Elena has collaborated with a number of organizations including UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, EU DG Research and Innovation, universities (Spanish and Dutch) and river basin agencies, the England and Wales Environment Agency, as well as the private sector (Repsol) and NGOs such as Transparency International-Spanish Chapter. She has published on a range of topics mainly related to water security, social innovation, collaborative decision making, water governance, evaluation of public policy, knowledge management and transfer. She is the co-editor of a recent book on adapting to climate change through water resources management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Founder and Director, ICATALIST

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